Racing fans rejoice: The Need for Speed Unbound reveal trailer is finally out, along with details about the upcoming street racer.
Need for Speed Unbound launches on December 2 for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. While the trailer itself is pretty light on the details, a press release (opens in new tab) from EA reveals plenty of details about what to expect from the latest entry in the Need for Speed series.
In keeping with its new, more stylized aesthetic, Need for Speed Unbound offers players the chance to make the world their own with a “toolkit of energizing visual and sound effects.” In addition to the usual chance to evade the police in frantic chases, you can also thoroughly customize your character and your ride.
The game also features a specially curated soundtrack, headlined by A$AP Rocky. The rapper also stars in the new Takeover Scene, a “replayable precision driving mode” that “brings the community together to take over parts of the city.”
Gotta go fast
While it might not be to everyone’s taste, unbound’s bold new anime-adjacent aesthetic is refreshing to watch. Since the last few Need for Speed games have been somewhat disappointing, it’s nice to see Criterion Games trying a newer approach.
While the heyday of Need for Speed Underground is long gone, I’ve always believed that Need for Speed is best fun when you can bend the rules a bit. Need for Speed is best when set in a slightly stylized version of our own reality, where needless police chases and unsupervised street racing are baked into the setting completely and completely.
While it’s hard to say which elements of the trailer are embellishments and which will make it into the game, the trailer’s sheer dedication to an over the top, unabashed street racer vibe seems like a good sign. If laughing gas making your way through a hairpin, accompanied by stylized graffiti and neon smoke, while pulsating music blares in the background, is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Perhaps with Unbound we’ll see a more unrepentant take on the Need for Speed formula, reminiscent of the playfulness of the much-loved Underground games. There’s been a worrying trend, embodied in the new Saints Row, of newer titles undermining what makes them great in an effort to apologize for their own deviations from reality.
If Need for Speed Unbound instead opts to indulge in the absurdity of its street racing-obsessed world, then we should be in for a real treat and a much-anticipated return to form for the series.