NVIDIA has released the 364.47 WHQL Driver for its GeForce graphics cards, bringing with it Game Ready optimisation for Tom Clancy’s The Division, Hitman, Need for Speed, Ashes of the Singularity, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, plus fixes for many known issues with Windows 10.
The Need For Speed franchise has really struggled to find its identity in recent years and released extremely similar experiences with just a few minor tweaks. This is a crying shame because the older games are perceived as some of the best arcade racers ever devised and appealed to a wide audience. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the intense chases between the police and felons in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. Although, some users enjoy the whole idea of street races and tuning up vehicles.
On another note, the previous title, Need For Speed: Rivals was a complete shambles on PC and locked at 30 frames-per-second. Furthermore, the studio tied the frame-rate to the game engine’s speed which explains why the frame-rate was restricted at such a low figure. Even when you apply a manual fix, the engine almost runs in a fast forward mode, which almost defies belief! Thankfully, EA has learnt from this debacle and decided to postpone the latest Need For Speed game on PC to make it run properly.
This latest entry will support an uncapped frame-rate, ultra-high resolutions, high texture quality, and a variety of commonly used steering wheels. Today, the company unveiled the system requirements to play the game at the low and high preset:
Minimum Requirements for 720p30 at low settings:
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
Processor: Intel Core i3-4130 or equivalent with 4 hardware threads
Memory: 6GB RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB, AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB, or equivalent DX11 compatible GPU with 2GB of memory
Hard Drive: 30 GB free space
Recommended Requirements for 1080p60 at high settings:
OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
Processor: Intel Core i5-4690 or equivalent with 4 hardware threads
Memory: 8GB RAM
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB, AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB, or equivalent DX11 compatible GPU with 4GB of memory
The Need For Speed franchise usually adopts an arcade driving model to easily drift around corners and remain accessible to players using a controller. It’s diametrically opposed to the simulators popularized on PC such as Assetto Corsa, Project Cars, iRacing and RFactor. Despite this, EA is making the PC version of Need For Speed more akin to a simulation game. Clearly, the handling remains fairly arcade-like but the studio decided to implement manual transmission and support every major wheel model on the market. This includes the Logitech G27/Thrustmaster TX 458/T500RS and more! As a result, the game will automatically map all the key functions to your wheel of choice without having to waste time with manual tweaking.
Not only that, the game engine’s speed will not be tied to the framerate like its predecessor and allow for an uncapped framerate. This is a wonderful choice and means players with 144Hz monitors can enjoy the benefits of such a high refresh rate. On another note, Need For Speed has natively support 4K monitors and looks absolutely fantastic due to the superb texture quality. Although, there’s no current information regarding 21:9 monitors and how well the UI will scale.
While the PC version is facing a significant delay compared to the console editions, it seems worthwhile given the added visual quality and smooth frame-rate. Furthermore, the PC version includes both the Icons and Legends update from day one! Currently, it’s scheduled to release on March 15th but Origin Access members can play the game early for a limited time, starting March 10th. To mark this occasion, EA has released a trailer showing in-game footage. Although, it’s a shame that the captured video is recorded at a maximum resolution of 1080P. Whatever the case, I cannot wait to try Need For Speed on PC, and preparing my wheel setup for its release.
EA’s reputation among the gaming community is fairly atrocious due to launch day DLC, microtransactions, and killing off revered series such as Sim City. As a result, it’s expected to see these features implemented in any modern EA title. Rather surprisingly, the FAQ page for the upcoming Need for Speed game directly addresses people’s concerns and states:
“We plan to release a series of free content updates for Need for Speed. We currently have no plans for any paid DLC.”
“There will be no micro transactions.”
Could this really be the beginning of a new consumer-friendly strategy from EA? It’s far too early to tell, but I’m pleased to see this level of transparency from a leading AAA publisher. However, it’s important to remember that the latest Need for Speed game requires an internet connection. The concept behind this is to merge the single player and online portion into one experience. I’d personally like EA to consider an offline mode, so the game isn’t rendered useless when the servers are switched off in the future.
Putting these issues aside, I have to applaud EA as the retail release should be updated on a regular basis without the need for an expensive Season Pass. Of course, EA’s plans could change in the future, but this announcement makes Need for Speed a much more attractive proposition. Unfortunately, PC gamers will have to wait until Spring 2016 which is a significant delay compared to the console versions; perhaps this is to properly optimize the netcode or overall performance.
The latest Need for Speed game merges the single player and online aspects into a constantly-evolving, social experience, but this requires an always-online connection to EA’s servers. Therefore, it’s perfectly plausible for the game to be rendered useless in a few years time when EA switches off the servers. As a result, consumers have a skeptical attitude towards this particular title and worried about the always-online DRM. Furthermore, the developer, Ghost Games has just announced in a post that the PC version will be delayed until 2016. The company said in a statement:
“At Ghost, we’re united by one common passion… to deliver the best Need for Speed experience possible. And at every step of the development process we’re guided by our community. Whether that’s reading your comments on Facebook or Twitter, watching your videos on YouTube, or joining in with the discussion on Reddit, the conversation we’ve been having as fans of Need for Speed is enormously important and we’re working to reflect it in the game we’re building.”
“Part of the conversation includes hearing from our PC community that an unlocked frame rate in Need for Speed is a massive priority for you, and we fully agree. To deliver this, we’ve made the decision to move the PC release date to Spring 2016. Our PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release dates will remain the same, starting November 3, 2015 in North America and November 5 worldwide.”
“This decision on PC gives us the necessary development time to increase the visuals that we can deliver on PC. We will also include content updates that will have been released on console up to that time, making them available to all PC players from day one.”
This is a significant delay for the PC platform and bound to disappointment racing fans. Although, if the extended period is used to optimize the game properly, or significantly enhance the visuals, then it might be worth the wait. Ideally, I’d like to see an offline single-player mode included to evoke a sense of confidence in the game’s future.
EA hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to convincing players that always-online is a great idea, we all remember the trouble they had with Sim City and its always-online requirement. One game series that doesn’t seem to be that much bothered by it is Need For Speed, and the newest game set for release this fall will also require to be always-online.
Executive producer Marcus Nilsson told Official Xbox Magazine that the game’s heavy online focus allows it to deliver a number of exciting and innovative features, so the same “explanation” that we get each time. The new Need For Speed game will bring the next generation Autolog that is said to “give it more of a human voice” and “it will treat friend’s play as if it was part of the narrative experience”. The game will also feature a new snapshot system for in-game picture-taking and sharing, and that naturally requires an online connection for the latter. Xbox One will also get a video capture and sharing function thanks to the already good built-in system.
The game is set for a November 3rd launch on all three major platforms, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and best of all, PC. Below you can enjoy the GamesCon presentation that also includes a new trailer for the game and it looks great.
Will always-online be a deal breaker for you, or do you look forward to the next Need For Speed game? Let us know in the comments.
Thank You GameSpot for providing us with this information
Gaming sure has evolved a lot over the last few years, don’t you agree? All you have to do is compare the first game you every played with any modern title and you’ll quickly realize that today’s gaming engines are designed to provide an immersive and sometimes very realistic experience. A fine example is the impressive Frostbite 3 engine, which will be used power the upcoming Need for Speed and Star Wars Battlefront games. As far as Need for Speed is concerned, it seems that the engine has great potential to deliver photorealistic images, and thanks to a NeoGAF member named ShamePain, we can actually feast our eyes on a set of screenshots that compare the game’s cars and environments with reality.
It’s worth noting that the screenshots were taken in-engine and not in-game, which is a bit disappointing if I’m honest. The comparisons show off what the engine is capable of, but we shouldn’t really expect the final game to look this good. Nonetheless, it’s still a remarkable example of Frostbite 3’s complexity and prowess. Have a look at the screenshots below and let us know if you’re looking forward to the new Need for Speed.
Thank you Dsogaming for providing us with this information.
First teased yesterday, EA has officially confirmed a new entry for the Need For Speed franchise. The announcement came as a new teaser trailer for the yet unnamed title set to reboot the series. Based off of the teaser trailer, the game appears to have a setting similar to Underground and Underground 2, among the better Need For Speed titles. This new game is distinct from the Need For Speed: No Limits for mobile.
Other than the trailer itself though, the biggest takeaway is this interesting statement found near the end. It states that “All footage captured in-game” which has become standard in trailers but also saying that “game engine footage representative of all platforms”. Note the title of the video which is labelled for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. This suggests that there will be parity between the two consoles and for the PC platform which, depending on your platform is a good or bad thing. It does suggest that the hardware for the PS4 and the PC in particular, aren’t being fully exploited but does mean players won’t have to pick and choose which platform to play on as they will all be the same.
From the trailer itself, the engine appears to look pretty good. Whether or not the end game will look similar is up for debate as even PC-centric games like Witcher 3 have failed to match their trailer quality -. More word of the title is likely to come at this year’s E3 next month so stay tuned for more face paced details coming soon.
As part of EA’s latest money-grab, the next Need for Speed mobile game is to feature in-app purchases (IAPs) for petrol. The ‘freemium’ game, called Need for Speed: No Limits, will offer players the opportunity to pay real money to fill up their tank in order to race.
It’s not just petrol that you can spend your hard-earned cash on – the best cars in the game are only available in exchange for gold bars, and gold bars are only obtainable by paying for them, making for a wildly unbalanced game that can only be fully appreciated via regular cash transactions. Though, at least the petrol gauge fills up over time, if you can wait.
Though not yet available for Android, the iOS version of the game has been released in a handful of countries, with complaints about the IAPs already surfacing; the Android version is due out this Spring.
Amazon has reduced the price of its PlayStation 4 console bundles, lowering the price of its six hardware options by £5-£20. The PlayStation 4 Gamer Pack, which includes a copy of Killzone: Shadow Fall, two DualShock 4 controllers and a PS4 Camera, now costs the same price as an Xbox One, reduced from £449.99 to £429.99.
Bundles including copies of Killzone: Shadow Fall, Watch Dogs, Need For Speed: Rivals and Battlefield 4 have each been reduced by £5 too, priced between £384.99 and £424.99. The bundles are only available to those who pre-ordered a PlayStation 4 from Amazon before August 7, with earlier pre-order customers given priority.
The information arose when Amazon began contacting customers two weeks ago about pre-order bundles, with all customers expected to be contacted before the end of October.
Below are the bundles with their respective prices, new and old:
Bundle 1: PlayStation 4 + Killzone: Shadow Fall – £384.99 (Previously £389)
Need for Speed: Most Wanted was released just towards the end of 2012 in one form or another for nearly every major format on the market. PC, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, Kindle and the Wii U all have their own iterations of EA’s latest street racing title and its the 19th title in the long running Need for Speed series. Today however I will be focusing solely on the PC edition of the game, but for the most part (mobile devices excluded) you can expect gameplay to be the same across all major platforms.
Most Wanted stood out to me for one major reason, that being that in my opinion the main Need for Speed franchise has been on somewhat of a decline in recent years. I enjoyed “The Run” a little, didn’t much like the recent Hot pursuit title and prior to that the only good one I can think of was Carbon, which even then was a bit on the dull side. Yet Most Wanted 2012 has a different developer at the helm, famed fast paced racing creator Criterion Games, who created one of the finest arcade racing games in history, Burnout.
TrickStyle, Burnout 3: Takedown and Black are some of Criterion Games finest creations and are three of my all time favourite games, so I’ve always had faith in the developer to make something a little special, that’s exactly what I’ll be hoping for today.
The System requirements for this game are pretty modest, the good old 8800GT should be enough to get you up and running and just like many other EA racers this game is fairly forgiving for lower end systems. However if you really want to push things to the maximum and still apply AA, AF, FXAA, SSAO and more, then not even a single GTX 660 Ti will do you much beyond 25Fps, I know this because I disabled SLI to test it and things didn’t run as smoothly as the recommended requirements imply.
Crack the game up to SLI mode however and your presented with one of the best looking racing games on the market today. The lighting in this game is spectacular and the Chameleon game engine does a fantastic job of pushing reflections, shadows, particle effects and varying amount of destruction around the game world, so long as your system is capable of taking advantage of such features.
Car models are well realised but the pale in comparison to the stunningly details and realised gaming world. Filled with plenty of civilian traffic the roads are busy and chaotic, police are everywhere and there seems to be enjoyable driving routes no matter which way you turn, sometimes even slowing down to enjoy the view is just as good as 200MPH in this title.
Minimum System Requirements
Windows Vista 32bit (No support for XP)
2GHz Dual Core (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz or Athlon X2 2.6GHz)
DX 11 Compatible 1024MB GPU (Geforce 560 / HD 5870/6950 or higher)
Review system specification
Windows 7 64bit
3.2GHz Intel Core i5 3570K
8GB DDR3 @1800MHz
2 x GTX 660 Ti 2GB (SLI)
Illegal street racing has always been a popular format for racing games and it seems its one that isn’t quite worn out yet. Most Wanted throws you back to some of the earlier titles in the Need for Speed titles and the gameplay is highly focused on pick a car, find a race, get chased by cops, loose cops, rinse and repeat.
Its a formula that works well and your never left out of the action thanks to the expansive and well detailed open world environments that becomes your play ground. There are 10 top racers in the city known as the “Most Wanted” and its your ambition and goal to become the number one most wanted racer in the city. Win races, complete objectives such as discovering shortcuts and jumps, out run the police, burst through speed cameras at crazy speeds, drive like a pro and more to boost your self up the Most Wanted ranks.
Soon enough you’ll find yourself caught in high speed pursuits that immensely difficult to escape from, resulting in 10-15 epic car battles between you and the local law enforcement. Battling against the Most Wanted racers in head to head battles in a bid to shut them down, although this part is exactly like Burnout Paradise its still cool to literally take other drives out of the race.
Other Burnout features are here too “takedown” your opponents mid race with a cheeky nudge and your nitrous bar is filled to the maximum, stylish camera cuts for when you total your car, drive through petrol stations for speedy car repairs mid race and so on.
One thing I really like about this game is the cars, the game doesn’t start you off in a Ford Focus and force you to grind through slow races. You get right to the good stuff and the better cars are all available right from the start too, all you have to do is find the time. Littered around the city are jack points, if you see a car you want then just pull up near it, press the button and you not only get in the car but also fully unlock access to it for races, free driving etc, you can even fast travel to that location should you wish to use the car again at a later time.
I was really expecting to hate on this game when I received it, especially given I’ve been burned by a few of the more recent Need for Speed titles, even the good ones were only enjoyable for short periods of times. That really isn’t the case though and I have been drawn deep into the word of illegal street racing once again.
I’m a big racing game fan and while I typically prefer the more commercial driving simulators like Gran Turismo, Forza, Project CARS and other such titles, sometimes its nice to just go crazy in the fantasy worlds that games like Needs for Speed provide. I was really hoping that some of the Burnout series magic would be brought to the table here and that developer Criterion Games would in fact create a homage to not only the classic Need for Speed titles but also the early Burnout titles and that is exactly what they seem to have done here.
EA seem intent on churning out yearly updates for all their major gaming series, not forgetting the occasional spin-off, tie in, or sub-sequel, prequel and beyond, so the games do tend to go through a rollercoaster of quality and ideas as they try new things or over use old features. In my opinion though this is one of the highest points in the Need for Speed catalogue and its a true return to form and focus for the street racing series, although it still doesn’t beat the best in the series which was Hot Persuit II for the PlayStation 1, which in my mind will always be the best in the series.