Need for Speed Nitro Multiplayer Hands-On

EA's racing series is getting a makeover for the Wii, and we got a chance to play its new Elimination multiplayer mode.

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Need for Speed Nitro is the first game in the franchise developed exclusively for the Nintendo Wii and DS. Developed by EA Montreal, the game features an exaggerated, cartoonish style that feels naturally suited to the Wii while boasting a sharp 60 frames-per-second refresh rate. We got the chance to check out some new tracks and tried the Elimination multiplayer mode ahead of GamesCom.

Making its debut in Nitro, Elimination is a two-player offline versus mode. The mode is an eight-car race, and the person in last position is eliminated every 30 seconds, giving you a strong incentive to drive as fast as you possibly can. In a twist on the way modes like this normally go, eliminated cars are respawned as police cars, and you can use this second chance to make life difficult for your friends by using your vehicle to take them out. While winning a race is still the ultimate prize, trying to ruin a mate's victory is equally fun, and watching his or her reaction to your mayhem is guaranteed to result in a few laughs...or verbal abuse.

Nitro features a number of power-up items, and you can collect them by driving over medals during a race. The wrench power-up will partly heal any damage you've sustained by trading paint with other competitors, police cars, or immovable structures. Meanwhile, the wanted star medal helps you take the heat off yourself and put it on a competitor. When selected, a reticle will appear around the nearest onscreen rival, and activating it will reduce your wanted level (which ranges from one to five stars) while increasing theirs.

Nitro boasts 15 tracks in four cities: Cairo, Madrid, Singapore, and Rio de Janeiro. Cairo is an interesting street circuit, and the late afternoon sun gives everything a warm look befitting of its desert locale. Combined with lens flare effects and amber reflections from glass buildings, the city makes a great backdrop for street racing. Rio is a stark contrast to Cairo's arid landscape and takes place in the heat of the day, with wispy white clouds and a vibrant blue sky serving as a lush backdrop. The track we raced on takes you through the city and out into the surrounding coastal areas and offers some great variety with the concrete jungle contrasting the green, sloping hills and the azure blue Atlantic Ocean.

Nitro features an interesting graffiti-inspired visual style, which is seen throughout the menus, heads-up displays, and even on the cars themselves. The games also has a customisation mode, which allows you to change your ride to suit your own tastes; you can tag your car with dozens of decals, add a paintjob, give it a paintbrush effect, and unlock and upgrade body parts, such as air scoops, alloy rims, and spoilers. You can keep eight customised rides in your garage, but you'll have to unlock the premium models; only the Volkswagen Beetle, Volkswagen Type 2, and Renault 4L are unlocked from the start. Why someone would want to race a Type 2 is beyond us, but it's there should you want to pimp it out and get behind the wheel. If you're looking for something with a bit more grunt, you can also choose from the Chevrolet Camaro, Subaru Impreza WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Nissan 370 Z, Shelby GT500, and Audi TT Coupe.

Need for Speed Nitro will be ready to race on November 17. For more information, read our previous coverage and follow all of our GamesCom coverage at gamescom.gamespot.com.

Discussion

18 comments
speed2fast
speed2fast

this is supposed to be a kid game

naf456
naf456

The Graphics looks Dire, but hey it's on the Wii (No offense Nintendo). Chosing between this and Shift was easy, but i will probably will buy this Later on in time, thats if i buy the Wii tommarow (Wii or Ipod touch?). Dispite my rude remarks Playing this game i would Ignore the bad graphics and focus on the Gameplay (that is what you buy a Game console for isn't it?). I quess you do buy a wii for gameplay then performance. (Opposite to the PS3 (Jesus the PS3 games are a Bore))

WildStyle123
WildStyle123

I wonder if can go online the game. But even if doesn't the game still looks great hopefully it's better than NFS Undercover.

wineva
wineva

hopefully this is better than pro street

killeracer0210
killeracer0210

I can't wait! to get this game on my Nintendo DS!.

Excedra
Excedra

NFS died when prostreet came out.

johnnyauau
johnnyauau

I don't know what makes it different to other Need for Speed games but the powersliding sure needs that attention. The police should still be a fun distraction and the music should be heartpounding enough to listen to. Racing for the Wii is still great for cars but I wonder what about like motorbikes, trucks and other vehicles but that's just a thought. Anyway, those games is what I'm looking forward to in the future.

30NIGHTCRAWLER3
30NIGHTCRAWLER3

I don't like it, MOST WANTED CARBON is way better. WTF is this?

KingRoyW
KingRoyW

any N4S game without an open world is just plain half ass

wushumaster45
wushumaster45

I would get it for the 360 if I had one but it still looks pritty good for wii

coolnerd07
coolnerd07

@NND1 360 and wii are getting different games. wii gets an arcade racer and 360 gets a sim.

NND1
NND1

I have a wii but I will prob get this for my 360...

darylshaun
darylshaun

i hope this has alot of good cars! and it doesnt fall short like undercover!!

campbell153
campbell153

Reminds me of the toy car`s Hot Wheels lol, nah all joking aside it does look good!

Jackson97
Jackson97

Looking good! Really hope it has online multiplayer.

Spalacios12
Spalacios12

soo....... will this have wifi capabilities?!?!?! gah!