Need for Speed Carbon - 360 - Preview 2
The Need for Speed racing series has been a favorite of mine for many years dating all the way back to the 3DO and the original Playstation. My favorite feature has always been when the cops are chasing you, named Hot Pursuit. Fortunately, Carbon includes this racing option amongst many others from past series including most of the features from Underground and Most Wanted.
The new feature is the canyon runs that occur on Carbon Canyon. This is somewhat like a time trail, where you first chase after the rival gang racer, and then you race down the same canyon while he chases you. What makes it exciting is that if you don't keep good control of your car, you can easily slip off the canyon wall, ending the race.
Another feature that is more fun than it sounds is Autosculpt™. I haven't been a big fan of customizing cars with pre-determined pieces. However, being able to have complete control of the exact look of your cars options was very exciting. Using sliders and controls similar to how most character creation tools work today, you are given a lot of control to create your very own ride. To give one example, your wheels have 9 sliders, known as zones in the game. Each sliding scale allows you to change the rim thickness, spoke size, spoke twist, spike size, tire profile and a few more options. Other examples include the body kit, hood, spoiler, and scoop. After you are done with that, you can add paint, vinyls and decals.
For those of you who own an Xbox 360, you can download the demo yourself through Xbox Live Marketplace. I had hands on time with both the 360 version, and the Playstation 3 version. Both looked mostly the same, and the developer informed me that they may add some tilt steering to the PS3 version. She explained that you would still steer using the analog sticks, but tilting the controller would help to turn sharper. We'll all find out later in November how this turns out when the Playstation 3 launches.