E3 '07: Need for Speed ProStreet Hands-On

EA's long-running racing series edges into professional territory in its next installment.

Considering that the last few games in the series have focused pretty squarely on underground street racing, Need for Speed ProStreet is a fairly large departure for the series. Rather than giving you an open city to race around, ProStreet is much more focused on the races themselves. EA is showing the Xbox 360 version of the game at E3 this year, and we were able to get our hands on a controller and give it a go.

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When you select a race event, you'll be taken to a sort of hub area, where you'll see a bunch of cars and people hanging out. In the case of the demo shown at E3, the area was a Nevada desert. You'll be able to bring a limited number of cars to an event, and if you manage to beat your car up too badly, it'll be totaled and you'll have to retry the race. If you crash all the cars you bring to the race, you may have to begin the entire event again. These consequences should definitely make the racing much more serious. Car damage also appears to be a big part of the game, and the cars take damage procedurally, so if you smash up the sides of your car, they'll have visible scrapes. Hoods, bumpers, and other parts can fly all the way off, and your car handling will be impacted if you take a bunch of damage.

There are multiple race types in ProStreet, and there's a boss for each race type. So you'll face, for example, the Drift King, the Drag King, or the Speed King as you play. The racing itself, on the surface, is similar to what you'd expect from the Need for Speed series, but the car handling feels much different. While it doesn't quite qualify as a full-on simulation, the game feels much less arcadey than the previous games. Yes, that means you might actually have to hit the brakes in this game. Also, like most driving simulations, ProStreet will have driving assists that you can disable as you get better at the game.

Visually, the big story about ProStreet is the smoke. When you burn rubber in ProStreet, the smoke looks absolutely amazing. It circles around the tires realistically and, most importantly, it lingers. If you burn out long enough, the smoke will start to impede even the cockpit view, and the smoke diffuses everything you're trying to see. It's a very neat effect that makes spinning doughnuts pretty exciting. Of course, how often you'll actually be able to get loose while trying to win races remains to be seen.

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On top of all this is an improved artificial intelligence system that reacts to your actions and gives each racer its own personality. Racers will make mistakes and display different levels of aggression. We're looking forward to seeing how all this comes together when the game ships to stores later this year.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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Discussion

84 comments
Gursewak_rules
Gursewak_rules

I hope this one is better than the other nfs games. what I want is a game that is realistic not arcadie. I hope you can still get a car that is totally customizable.

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

I hope you can get most of the cars in the world, and i hope you get more stuff for your car. I've had most of the need for speeds, got stuck on away places, hope this will be hard but not too hard.

fudgeman7
fudgeman7

sounds a bit more like burnout with the car damage and stuff but i think the new burnout will kick this games arse

MoDollars
MoDollars

i didn't realy like carbon from the looks of it and it's gameplay on the demo but i'm definitely looking forward to the this new installment.

Turbo-Evil
Turbo-Evil

Look good, but what's with the name. ProStreet. Is it a Pro or Street racing game?

Luwker
Luwker

Most Wanted was to me the best of the series, but this one looks like a serious kick-ass, even though i HATE drfit, and i'm not too fond of drags either I really liked MW's spread, few drags, to keep the nostalgy, and NO drift

Fists1
Fists1

it needs free roam that was one of the best features and no other games have that

patrickkkk
patrickkkk

I HATED MOST WANTED AND CARBON, i mean you let off the gas and your car puts the brakes on automatically WTF?!?!?! i hated not being able to let of the gas and just coast for a second. I HATED having to have the gas smashed all the time!!, i hated not having to brake for a U turn WTF>!>!>?!?! EA you FKED up on everything passed UNDERGROUND 1, NEED FOR SPEED HOT PURSUIT 2 WAS PERFECT. need for speed high stakes was perfect!!, WHAT HAPPEND TO THOES GAMES?!??!

iboo01
iboo01

yh i didnt really enjoy forza to much so i hope this wont be completely sim but it looks to be pretty good none the less

brad12d3
brad12d3

I am sure this game will be good, but I have to admit that the thing that I have always like about the NFS series is the fact that you are in an open world city, and you have to not only win races but dodge the cops as well. Honestly I am a little dissapointed that they decided to make it just like every other racer in the fact that you race specific courses, and are leaving out the one thing that I felt always set the series apart and that is the ability to free roam. I really enjoyed need for speed most wanted and hope they can bring back that kind open world racing and narrative story mix again.

Cheshnaz
Cheshnaz

I hate the simulated racing of Forza and I loved how NFS felt and the speed was perfect they better not draw away from this fully - it could still be professional if they only made a few changes but hopefully it feels as fast as MW... Also make the career longerrrrrrrrr not like carbon!!!

macabre190788
macabre190788

Hopefully I'll never see another "Underground" game again. This will be a great new NFS, too bad the fuzz won't appear in this game. Other than that, it looks sweet.

Super_Kid_999
Super_Kid_999

Ive owned all of them and playd all of them. Raceing games have been one of my specialties in gameing. ProStreet is going to bring a whole new chapter and way of raceing in the Need For Speed series. The graphics look like a HUGE step up from the latest installlment, Carbon.And the new smoke feature wil reall get people wanting to pop the game into there 360. I know i will.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

i think that this game will be great! i loved the last 4 games! to thos complaining about it being a 360 hands on on the ps3 section it is because it is also coming out for the ps3. gamespot always does this as it saves extra work. It is annoying but you are still seeing the game. Its a multiplatformer each version will looks the same on ps3 and 360.

RaNaBiR
RaNaBiR

Looks awesome!! This is a step in the right direction for the Need For Speed franchise!!

packernation31
packernation31

I'm glad they left behind the underground-no brake needed part of the series.

Esteban011487
Esteban011487

Please make sure that we get of the features from the Previews game!.

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

GameSpot you have photos of the game but they are from the 360 console, yet you put ps3 on the pop up image viewer. Explain yourself's?

Michael02024
Michael02024

zI belive sens_rocks_40 said that now NFS moved to sim racing it is NOT ok. If you are gonna comment on a review at least read it ok. This little chart thing will tell u its not. Sim racing --------------- l l l l NFSPS ---------------- l l l l Arcade racing --------------------- ok sens its is just like NFS Porsche Unleased: Not arcade but not Sim either.

Michael02024
Michael02024

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

alexaoeato
alexaoeato

I agree with torontoman1 the game does look good but i really liked the street racing games like Carbon but the only problem I had with that game was it was too short

ckat609
ckat609

I would really love it if they went to their NFSHP and NFSHP glory days!

Torontoman1
Torontoman1

The game looks really great but i preffered the street racing theme

mantsoor
mantsoor

great job!!! i love this game

PhilRiker
PhilRiker

Prolly has mega bad framerate problems! Bah! Just like the last 3 titles in this series. EA rushs there games for yearly releases and it just doesn't give the developer enought itme to fully optimize the framerate! Man I hate EA when they do the yearly cash-in with franchises.

Dadriverman
Dadriverman

Why is this in the Ps3 section when it's a 360 hands on?

guitahero
guitahero

Big Smoke uhn? Isn't NFSPS all about "photo-realistic" graphics? Where's the info GS?

alexaoeato
alexaoeato

I really like the nfs series but I really want them to stick with street racing

KnGGnK
KnGGnK

sick game but you cant lie running from the cops is still fun but regardless this game looks awesome

jackle2071
jackle2071

Whoa whoa whoa! when the heck did NFS turn into Forza/GT?

gelpen
gelpen

OMG i cannot wait for this game i need it i have every game in the series and im not about to give up yet but still all the aspects in this game is awesome (even if there isnt any cops) but now i just need to buy an xbox360 TYVM ea

Kyran87
Kyran87

Can't wait can't wait can't wait!

Tigermangran
Tigermangran

In the mind of this gamer who love the street racing franchise that ea has produced, i feel they have alot to make from the last game. I feel Carbon was not up to par with he rest of what they made. I liked the the design behind the older games and felt the Carbon was totally different from the others which i did not expect. i really felt it to be a let down. Hopefully this one will be better. The one thing Carbon did have going for it was the cars.

msudude211
msudude211

This game looks amazing. I cannot wait.

boydominican
boydominican

i don't think this game will be the best in the series because i not will be racing in the street only one racing track......what u think

minty_123
minty_123

lol, i dont really care if it has no cops or no free roam cus the graphics are just awesome! i mean, have you seen gameplay movie one, GAMEPLAY! its a race and it aint in HD but it still looked amazing. nfs c wasnt good with graphics, not enough tones, just dead bright or dead dark. this nfs is gonna be great, im buying it on release day for xbox 360 with HD tv, i slober thinking about it XD

BrCaK
BrCaK

Very gd i have to say the Graphics looks sweet n New Cars N gD 1z toooo

mattzz10
mattzz10

The improved driver intelligence seems like a great addition to this series. As it will give the races a new feel.

lrsp
lrsp

Looks good.

SM2099
SM2099

NFS going legit and legal on the streets? Could be cool... although I hope they don´t go driving sim... I just wanna drive and not so many technical stuff. Cause then, it wouldn´t be NFS anymore.

Firestorm101
Firestorm101

2 be honest NFS:U = Wicked!! Finished game twice NFS:U2 = Great, a bit boring a few places NFS:MW = Nice 2 c police chases again, races did made me bored but police chases was fun and challenging, ending was worth 2 play 2. NFS:C = Great story start, police chases wasn't an impotance anymore, no traffic in races which made it very boring. Ending was very crap as the plot was somehow lost near the end of the game. Physics was terrible as the cars tend 2 understeer no matter wat speed i was on. After hearing NFS: PS features, i might rent it out since i've losing alot of interest of the NFS series. This is just my personal response, so say wat u like of it.

greenpyro33
greenpyro33

it looks pretty good and nfs games have good track records

Crystall3d
Crystall3d

now , it s simulation time! so time to fuq up the simulation genre for EA this time...

markey9321
markey9321

This is going to be the best game in this series. I will definitely buy it! Only thing I find less exciting is that there will be no more open city to race around.

chshak
chshak

looks promising.....i may get it

bxgt
bxgt

I'll buy it because anything with four wheels is amazing to me

reym007
reym007

i dont thinks going to be as good as nfs most wanted but im going to buy it cause of the graphics

360luver4ever
360luver4ever

If all the things they are saying are true this is the best thing to happen to the series. 1/2 sim 1/2 arcade you can't go wrong.