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NFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused Franchise

It wouldn't be harsh to say that Need For Speed has been in this mediocrity zone for quite some time, and with every new title in the franchise, they are trying to make it out. However, maybe the NFS Unbound represents the ticket out for the so much-loved series. Or maybe not.
NFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused Franchise 23 photos
NFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused FranchiseNFS Unbound Review (PC): A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused Franchise
The last majorly successful release in the eyes of many players was Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (2010). Since then, EA Sports developers have released many games placed in different racing categories. For example, NFS Shift was about racing on tracks, while NFS Heat tried to remaster legendary games such as Undeground 2 or Most Wanted with the street racing culture.

Need For Speed Unbound could be the game that will put the franchise back on the right path, because Unbound is the most fun I have had with the NFS series in a long time. The first thing you will notice about this game is the unique visual style, which sets Unbound apart from just about every other racing game out there. That primarily comes down to the game's approach to melding photorealistic cars and environments with anime-style effects and character designs. When you have first contact with this type of visual style, you might find it unattractive, but with time I found out it will grow on you.

Despite the game's arcade routes, its races can be surprisingly difficult, and you don't feel like the game wants you to finish in the first place, especially outside the storyline. As a result, upgrading your car to perform better and committing to a more grippy or more drift-concentrated setup will feel much more impactful.

One of the best features is the burst nitrous. Basically, pulling off stunts like jumps, near misses, or driving in oncoming lanes gradually fills up the burst nitrous meter, which has three different segments. When at least one element of the meter has been filled, you can hit the nitrous button to get a slight boost of speed. The more segments you can fill out, the stronger the power burst will develop. As a result, this newly developed mechanic allows you to make your own strategy at every point in the competition, encouraging you to constantly look for ways to raise that meter. You can get some burst nitrous by just drafting behind another car.

NFS Unbound Review \(PC\)\: A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused Franchise
Keeping these pieces of information in your head is good because you will need just about every tool you can get your hands on to take on Need for Speed racers. Even on medium difficulty, you will find it quite troublesome to overtake and maintain your position.

However, all these overtakes and wheel-to-wheel action feels surprisingly natural. Probably one of my favorite things in this game is that every racer has a distinct style and personality. For example, if you crash into your rival or overtake him multiple times, be sure you will get called out. It's true that from a mechanical standpoint, it's not that impressive, but it adds color to the game, something that NFS games were missing in the past.

Regarding the general gameplay, NFS Unbound offers an essential evolution of what we first saw in the Heat title. You can race around the streets during the day and night with night-time races featuring more aggressive police Ai, but of course, with greater rewards. Still, the cop chases are identical to the past titles in the franchise, and I didn't feel any evolution in this aspect.

NFS Unbound has an exciting emphasis on a story, and while it's not a crazy innovative one, it's still something. Still, if you get bored of the story, the soundtrack should keep you entertained because it is a mix of Hip-Hop, R&B, and electronic music, and it's a significant upgrade from previous titles.

NFS Unbound Review \(PC\)\: A Breath of Fresh Air for a Confused Franchise
Conclusion
With Need for Speed Unbound, EA Sports tried to emulate the feeling and the world of the initial Fast and Furious movies, but in a more cartoonish way. While it's a different and interesting take for a racing game, I am aware that a lot of people will skip this title, waiting for the next one in the legendary franchise. But, while it's far from the perfect game, NFS Unbound feels like a breath of fresh air, and it is a lot of fun to play.

Rating: 75/100

 
 
 
 
 

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