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Need for Speed Carbon First Look from Gamespot

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Need for Speed Carbon First Look from Gamespot

Need for Speed Carbon First Look from Gamespot
Published by forahobby on Sunday, July 09, 2006

GameSpot have gotten an exclusive look at EA's latest entry in the Need for Speed series.

We talk to EA's Scott Nielsen about the sequel to Need for Speed Most Wanted.

Need for Speed Carbon is the latest entry in EA's long running racing series. The last few entries have tweaked the established formula to good effect which has resulted in high expectations for new games in the franchise. We had the chance to get an early look at a work in progress version of the game on the Xbox 360 and original Xbox to see how the game is shaping up.

This year's game is an ambitious expansion of the key features that have made the series popular with new elements that have come out of the team's research into the racing scene. The big hooks this year are canyon racing, racing crews, and car class affiliation. The heart of the game's career mode is a battle for control of a city. The game's setting is a massive free roaming metropolis that's bigger than the one seen in last year's Most Wanted. In addition, you'll find massive canyons that will serve as the stage for the unique boss battles. The action in the game will find you building up a crew of racers to help you take over the city neighborhood by neighborhood and mastering the three car classes--tuner, muscle, and exotic. Furthermore, EA's Vancouver based studio is trying out some interesting expansions of the car customization feature seen in previous games.

The game's premise casts you as an established racer who got involved in the blacklist shenanigans of Most Wanted and is now returning to the game's city to right a wrong done to you. The exact details of the story are being kept under wraps, especially when it comes to what, if any, ties it has Most Wanted's narrative (which naturally makes us think there is), so we weren't able to find out too much. One thing we do know is that the game's narrative will again play out via cinematics handled by the director that did Most Wanted's. However, in keeping with the game's tone, the cinematics will have a different feel from Most Wanted's awesomely campy movies. We, naturally, hope that we get at least some scenes of over-the-top racing drama, though we're curious to see exactly what's going on in Carbon's story.

In terms of gameplay, Need for Speed Carbon stays true to the open world framework of its predecessors but manages to trick it out considerably. The core experience has you traveling through the massive city that is the main stage for the game's action and challenging other crews for control of their territory. As you defeat them you'll take their 'hood and your rep will grow. Obviously taking on racing crews will present a sizeable challenge that is more than one man can handle. Fortunately you'll be able to recruit a posse of wingmen to help you out in your quest. The wingmen will present a unique new twist to the gameplay as each will offer unique abilities you can call on during a race to give you an edge. What we've heard of so far are blockers, scouts, and drafters. So, for example, you could call on a blocker wingman to help you get past or slow down an opponent. Where things get really interesting with the wingmen though are the abilities they'll have outside of a race. Though the team isn't giving up all the details on how this will all work just yet, they shared the different out of race abilities and offered some info on what to expect from them, mechanics and fabricators will affect how much you'll be able to customize the performance and visual aspects of your car while influencers will impact how you interact with groups such as the police in the game.

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