^Stay tuned for the Thursday Nite Rant!
Need For Speed Unbound existed for years as a ghostly whisper: a vague apparition that haunted EA’s shareholder meetings, but never quite took corporeal form. That is until October of this year when was revealed that not only did it exist, but that it was due out in just a handful of weeks, and it had a leftfield art style which combined animated graffiti and comic style art superimposed onto the series’ traditional hyper-realism.
This, to put it mildly, caused a lot of eyebrows to lift. Some of them in pairs. But thanks to EA Play (and, for most of us, its inclusion with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate), we’ve been able to dip in for a meaty ten-hour trial and confirm that the risks have paid off: Unbound is a slick open-world racer with fresh ideas that isn’t afraid to punish the player for slipping up.
It’s not a sunday driving car collector sim like Forza Horizon (which I love, but actual racing isn’t the focus, pun absolutely intended). It’s not a thinly-veiled follow-up to arcade crash simulator Burnout Paradise, which so many previous Need For Speeds have been. No. It’s a stylish game about high-stakes speed racing, and it feels so good in the hands that being made to live with your mistakes is all part of the fun. As Sherif argued very well in his recent article, Need For Speed has finally figured out what it wants to be.
So… why didn’t EA seem to want to show it to anyone until its release was imminent? We ponder this and more in The Thursday Nite Rant, a show we couldn’t think of a title for so we stole it from a Dril tweet. Have at, let us know in the comments if you think we’re full of exhaust.