Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On EA's franchise system

I long for the day EA will return the Need For Speed franchise to its roots proper. I still feel that Hot Pursuit 2 was the pinnacle game in the franchise. Not that the newer games have been bad, I ADORED Most Wanted, but they just don’t feel like NFS games anymore. The series has gone from driving exotic cars on rural back-roads to tuning import and muscle cars and dragging them in city/track settings. Boy do I miss tearing through tree-lined tracks in a Ferrari being chased by no less than 8 police.

I’ve started to notice a pattern in the franchise however. It seems each game design gets two games to its credit. There have been 2 Hot Pursuit games, 2 games for Underground, 2 based off of Most Wanted, and 1 and 2 being in the same vein. The only exceptions I could really find have been High Stakes, which could be tossed in with the hot pursuit games, and Porsche Unleashed, which is its own entirely. With that in mind I expect we’ll see a ProStreet 2 sometime in 2009. I’m just curious as to what EA wants to do with NFS after this incarnation, especially after seeing what they have planned with Burnout Paradise. It’s Burnout infused with the Most Wanted/Carbon free-roam aspect, which should be undeniably awesome.

However, I just heard from the grapevine that EA plans on releasing a NFS game once a year. They’re supposed to toggle between a sim-like experience and arcade experience every other year. So bearing that, we should see a Hot Pursuit style game next year and another ProStreet in 2009, as I predicted. Let’s see what they have in store for this beloved franchise!

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