Need for Speed Carbon (360) – Review

Need for Speed Carbon - CoverUnfortunately, the last several entries in Electronic Arts ‘Need for Speed’ series has significantly veered from established concepts that work well (such as those found in Hot Pursuit and Porshe Unlimited), and instead have incorporated elements to go along with Hollywood ideas, such as underground and illegal street racing. While “Most Wanted” was a return, in the most part, to the right elements, the series has taken several steps backwards with Need for Speed Carbon which, while combining elements from the “Underground” series, “Most Wanted”, and tries to add a few more, ends up being too easy save for a handful of races thanks to EA rubberbanding, and seems to be a game designed simply with intense graphics to take advantage of the next-gen consoles with little focus on actual gameplay. Continue reading

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NFS: Carbon ~ 12% complete

Wow, that quickly degenerated into a mix of every NFS element from previous games into one – which, while not necessarily bad, has yet to make this game unique.  I do like that the police chase elements from NFS: Most Wanted (including being able to knock down environmental elements on top of the pursuit cars to stop the chase), but really, there’s nothing really new beyond having a helper during races to assist at times.   The terrority aspect is just a different way of presenting a race challenge tree for the most part, and certainly not as open as it seemed before.

New 360 Games (Gears of War, Need for Speed Carbon, Tony Hawk Project 8, Call of Duty) – Initial Impressions

Finally got to my batch of new 360 games with an hour or so into each to get the feel of them:

Gears of War – Definitely one of the best looking games in a long time – all the detail that a game like Doom3 could provide but without being massively specular or reflective – more gritty like a war-torn land should be!   So far, I’ve yet to get the groove of the gameplay (single player for right now) but that could just be a matter of still being jet lagged.

Need For Speed Carbon – While I’m not 100% thrilled with the return to an “Underground” racing approach, they seem to have taken good elements from Hot Pursuit/Most Wanted along with the territory issues that were introduced in GTA:SA and also in Saints Row, and so there seems to be more than just racing going on – but it’s too early to tell on that.  The addition of the crew member with you during races may be rather interesting to see how it works out.

Tony Hawk Project 8 – Yay, no “wreck the city to win” type storyline – this appears to be just providing who you are as a skateboarder.  Only have done a handful of goals, but the system seems to be better this time around compared to American Wasteland.  And wow, Tony’s reaaaaally aged badly.

Call of Duty 3 – I’m liking the more impressive approach they’ve used in the in-game cutscenes (being in the truck as it blows up, watching your squad commander hoist you over a wall into the middle of a battle zone).  Plays the same so far as CoD 2, which is just fine for the most part, but it will be interesting to see what more they add.