previews\ May 31, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Need for Speed ProStreet - PS3 - Preview

The Need for Speed series has been a staple in video gaming for over a decade now, bringing arcade-style racing with deep customization options to the racing genre. Recently, the game has focused on the world of illegal street racing, allowing gamers to customize their rides with aesthetic touches as well as some basic performance upgrades. However, EA is looking to change things with this year’s entry, Need for Speed ProStreet.

ProStreet will shift the race to the area of performance based racing, where you become the Street King by racing in a variety of real life tracks throughout the world. The game will offer iconic locations racing fans will be able to recognize and race weekends, which are multi-disciplinary events where you race for superiority. The physics will offer a believable (though not simulation-heavy) experience, where the player will feel the raw, violent power of the car like never before.

Need for Speed ProStreet Xbox 360 screenshots

On the customization end of things, performance will take top-tier this time around. You’ll be able to customize your car down to the minutest details, and tuning will have huge effects on how your car handles. Even autosculpting will affect how your car performs on the track, compared to it being primarily an aesthetic venture in the previous Need for Speed game, Carbon. The game will be accessible to a variety of car buffs, from those who know the ins and outs of upgrading a car to those who don’t know the first thing. You can use blueprints to make your car to your personal specs, or you can get your hands dirty and get into the nuts and bolts yourself.

The game will have offer a bunch of different game modes. There will be a Drag mode, the Drift mode last featured in NFS: Carbon, Speed Challenge, and a brand new mode called Grip, which will be the antithesis of the Drift mode where the goal is to gear your car to grip curves.

Need for Speed ProStreet Xbox 360 screenshots

Graphically, the game will be a very impressive step up for the series. Damage visualization will be based on detachable and hinged parts as cars will lose bumpers and take on a super-realistic level of damage. The game will even utilize material differentiation, as carbon fiber will shatter and fiberglass will tear, just like in real life.

One of the coolest graphical additions comes in the form of smoke. Smoke effects will be greatly improved in this entry to the Need for Speed series. The team showcased a demonstration with a car peeling out on the track, where the smoke would engulf the rear tires and leave a smoke trail on the track to great effect.

Need for Speed ProStreet Xbox 360 screenshots

ProStreet will be a departure from the way the series has progressed over the past few years, but the pay-off should be pretty good. The game’s depth and new focus could be the right thing for the series, and ProStreet should be a next-gen driving experience not to be missed.

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