Need for Speed ProStreet Updated Hands-On

EA's Need for Speed series is taking a turn towards realism and we've got an updated look.

EA's latest entry in the Need for Speed series, ProStreet, will almost certainly split the NFS audience. The series is moving away from the open-world, story-driven, cops-at-every-corner style to a more focused--and slightly more realistic--style of gameplay that is drawing no small amount of influence from what's happening in today's real-life tuner scene. And while that might raise the hackles of the NFS purists, for those new to the series or those looking to return to Need for Speed after skipping the last few incarnations, ProStreet could be a welcome change. We had a chance to spend some extended time with an updated build of the game to see how the new approach is working out.

Grab the hottest car in your collection and hit the asphalt in ProStreet.

Instead of driving around in a fictional city looking for trouble, ProStreet will place you in the driving shoes of one Ryan Cooper, an up-and-coming race driver. Cooper is looking to make a name on the tuner and street racing circuit, so you'll need to steer him through a number of race events that cover a big swath of racing disciplines as you go. Race events in ProStreet will be organized into either grip, drift, drag, or speed challenges, and each of these disciplines has a "king" associated with it, which is a boss you'll be looking to take down to prove your supremacy in that particular style of racing. Then there's Ryo; he's the final boss you'll face in the game and also a master of every discipline in the bunch. Your goal is to make your way through all of the different race events--besting each of the kings until the final showdown with Ryo.

Grip races are perhaps the most straightforward of the four race events. You'll take on a number of cars in various circuits, and the first one to cross the finish line is the winner. In drift races, style counts more than speed; the idea is to rack up as many points as you can slipping and sliding your car through the curvy drift circuits. Drag events are quick, straight-ahead sprints to the finish line, while speed challenge events will test the upper limits of you car's speed by challenging you to maintain incredibly high speeds through long, increasingly challenging point-to-point circuits.

As we discovered in our hands-on time with the game, each of the event types in ProStreet has its own charm and its own challenges. With grip races, the challenge is dealing with the heavier feel of the cars. We tried a couple of different grip challenge races with cars, such as a Mitsubishi Lancer, which--while not the hottest car in the lineup--is certainly no slouch. The more realistic feel in ProStreet is most evident in weight transfer, which plays a big role in achieving quick times around the circuits. If you can manage to roll your momentum through the tracks, you'll be that much quicker each lap. Interestingly, some grip events will feature two classes of cars, and your goal will be to win the race in you current class.

Drag events are the shortest to be found in ProStreet race weekends, but thanks to some interesting mechanics, they have a challenge all their own. If you've ever seen a real drag race, you know that tire temperature plays a big role in how quickly your car will get off the line. As a result, just as in the real thing, you'll want to burn your tires out before the race begins (which, coincidentally, is a fine way of showing of ProStreet's amazing smoke effects). To do so, you'll need to take part in a brief minigame that will challenge you to keep your engine revs at a certain level (indicated by a constantly shifting green zone on a rev meter) to put maximum heat into the tires. Once you've built up heat, you've got to launch your car off the line, first by revving the engine and then dropping the car into gear by pushing forward with the right stick.

Drift battles, speed challenges, drag racing and grip events--whatever your favorite racing discipline, ProStreet's got you covered.

Besides drift events, which require a special kind of control and timing, speed challenge races are perhaps the most challenging race type to be found in ProStreet. The goal in speed challenge events is to have the highest top speed when progressing through the various checkpoints that make up the course. Here, your cars are tuned for maximum top speed at the expense of handling, making the cars difficult to navigate, even through the relatively long and wide turns that make up speed event courses. The speed challenge event we played featured a long, narrow desert course full of long straights and wide turns. As we approached top speed, the car became increasingly difficult to control in the turns, where even the slightest miscalculation could send us careening off the road and into one of the rocky hillsides that ran alongside the course.

All of these different race types will take place in race-event weekends that are held by in-game clubs in a variety of locales, from North America and Europe to all across Asia. Certain events are more heavily focused on certain race types than others, so you'll be able choose which types of events you want to attend depending on the kind of racing you want to do. For example, if you like speed challenge events, you'll want to attend events organized by Nitrocide, an in-game group devoted entirely to speed challenge races. If you win some speed challenge races, you'll eventually be able to take on Nate Denver, the speed challenge king. If you beat him on the track, you'll get bragging rights…and his wheels in the process.

Different race events will require different car setups, and though ProStreet seems to be aimed a bit more squarely at the car enthusiast, the developers are ensuring that even novices will be able to easily set up their cars. ProStreet will include the blueprint features, which will let you save individual blueprints for different race types, so that you can have a single car setup for drift, grip, drag, or speed challenge events.

Smoke those tires and then fire your sled off the line in ProStreet's drag racing events.

Damage will also play a big role in ProStreet. In fact, the game has one of the more advanced damage models we've seen in a console-racing game. If you sideswipe a railing or tunnel wall, your car will get scratches on the side of its paint job. If you hit a stationary object head-on, you'll watch as your car's body crunches and folds with the impact. But it's more than just visually impressive because damage will affect your car's handling, and it will be possible to "kill" you car if it gets banged up enough. If your car is slightly damaged, you can repair it with either cash or repair markers. But on the other hand, if your car is totaled in a wreck, the only way to repair it will be to use a "total repair" marker, which can be purchased outside of race events or received as one of the rewards for winning race events.

With slightly more realistic handling, as well as an import-tuner-themed approach toward its look and feel, ProStreet represents a departure of sorts for the Need for Speed series. It's entirely possible that this new direction could alienate fans of the series looking for another high-speed romp with the likes of Razor Callahan and Sgt. Cross. On the other hand, certain aspects of the series--namely challenging driving and a breakneck sense of speed--will never change and remain a big part of ProStreet's allure. There are still more details to learn about the game, including what's new with the game's online features. We'll be bringing you these details and more in the coming weeks. In the meantime check out the latest developer diary video from the game producers.

Written By

Want the latest news about Need for Speed: ProStreet?

Need for Speed: ProStreet

Need for Speed: ProStreet

Discussion

167 comments
mr_goobar115
mr_goobar115

Insanely detailed compared to other titles and gives you a sense of speed. Muscle cars actually dont suck like in carbon so get a Plymouth road runner and drift!

sindikatvisual
sindikatvisual

oh my it's very funtasti..... but my comp not played this games hiks hiks

theminence
theminence

I didn't like the demo at all.. didn't give me the need for speed feeling (which MW did)

ernyx18
ernyx18

The demo s*ck but the full version is good. Not the best of the series

wokwok
wokwok

pro street it's sucksssssssssssssssss for real

BrandynC20
BrandynC20

Im sorry but i hope this game is better than the demo. It does not feel realistic at all.

PerpetualBliss
PerpetualBliss

Ummmm....yeah. The demo was like playing a really bad version of Forza 2. They've stolen far too many of the gameplay mechanics from Forza 2 (everything down to the beginners arrows on the track), while not even coming close to the same level of realism. Lame.

ringwraith58854
ringwraith58854

brealsoul i agree porsche unleashed rocked. still play it.

londonrider
londonrider

It looks like Need For Speed goes legal... *Bad ass* tone was wiped away from this game. Well, demo showed only some of the features, hopefully the full game will catch up with something engaging

brealsoul
brealsoul

Just played the demo. What a dissapointment. You just cannot feel the car..it s like they don t have weight..totally scrub. Anybody Remembers how the cars felt in NFS PORSCHE? I sit here, and cry thinking how wonderfull and enjoying that game was. No NFS came close to it ever. Maybe one day, developers will actually put passion in what they do, like they did with NFS Porsche, and create something grate, that will last through time. If in Porsche graphics were updated, I d play it 100X times instead of Underground/Most Wanted, and this Pro Street scrub of a game... ooo, and i don t even want to remember Test Drive..what a letdown.

icepwndnoobs
icepwndnoobs

I'm dissapointed that they don't have police in this game because that was probably the best part of Need For Speed. But I am also looking forward to the new game, looks really good. (Underground and Underground 2 didn't have cops and they were good, hopfully they can pull it off!). Most Wanted is the best up to date.

Dr_Feelgood
Dr_Feelgood

EA seems to be taking an innovative approach to their racing games it seems. While NFSPS will be aimed at the Forza and GT crowd, Burnout Paradise seems to be aiming for the Midnight Club, Sega Rally, and yes traditional NFS fans. Herre is hoping they decide to continue along this route, and offer games for casuals/arcade and enthusiasts/simulations alike through other genres of games.

WizengamotX
WizengamotX

I like racing games on my platform... XBox 360 babay.

sonyw810
sonyw810

Wow , i have just played the demo !!! This game is going to be awesome !!!! Speed challenge is very difficult, but Grip rocks . And i`ve heard Drag mode is going to be a blast. I can`t wait until november 14 !!!!! Now, can anyone explain me how is it that i can play this game al maximum setting ( and it runs incredible ! ) and i can hardly play Crysis at medium settings, although i have more than the minimum requirements ???

spunkybob123
spunkybob123

You know, if all you people like NFSU1 and 2 just go and play them, no one is forsing you to buy new games. I loved NFSU2, still play it all the time. But as alot of people say, times change. I have the game pre ordered on the 360 even though my PC could cream this game no problems. Reason is i dont trust NFS games online :)

motofan87
motofan87

nfscars.com is still around, still play hp2, carbon was a joke

yacbos
yacbos

well well played the demo got a high end pc the games run smooth but the game play sorrrrry that is absolutely far from being good as NFSU2 or NFSMW this is a kinda clone of Gran turismo the game is far from being arcade and not even close to being a simulator i dont know where should i classify it. plus it's called pro street and as i see those are racing TRACKS not streets comeone we want NFS not GT clones i donno where EA is going with this started with carbon and now this :(

boxone
boxone

"Played the demo.....I have better than the minimum required hardware and with all settings on low it runs like s h i t.The controls are pretty numb and if you want to steer you have to have patience.Hope that the people who can run the game with all effects on high have a nice time playing it.....but for me it is a total letdown.With my pc I had no problem running most wanted on all things high and carbon on medium........this "game" sucks for me." Its your computer thats the problem not the game. sorry

NervoZa
NervoZa

Played the demo.....I have better than the minimum required hardware and with all settings on low it runs like s h i t.The controls are pretty numb and if you want to steer you have to have patience.Hope that the people who can run the game with all effects on high have a nice time playing it.....but for me it is a total letdown.With my pc I had no problem running most wanted on all things high and carbon on medium........this "game" sucks for me.

yianaki
yianaki

In the PC versions of these EA racing games is there still rampant online cheating? Or have they found some way to fix the problems? Anyone play PC carbon online who knows? I am looking forward to this game and I am just getting a nice pc graphics card upgrade and I know it will look a lot better than the 360 version. That isn't worth anything if everyone is cheating online. I suck enough as it is I don't need cheaters beating me down.

eXcluded_basic
eXcluded_basic

One VERY important feature that EA has left out from all the latest NFs games is the ability to work well with steering wheels. The input sensitivity has been completely tailored to gamepads. NFS1-3 and Porsche Unleashed all had excellent options for configuring steering wheels, complete with inner and outer deadzones, steering & throttle/break sensitivity AND support for multiple peripheral devices, so that I could use a joystick as a shifter, and my wheel and pedals for steering and givin gas. EA STOP THIS shake & bake attitude towards wheel owners, GIVE US options to configure our wheels properly.

eXcluded_basic
eXcluded_basic

One VERY important feature that EA has left out from all the latest NFs games is the ability to work well with steering wheels. The input sensitivity has been completely tailored to gamepads. NFS1-3 and Porsche Unleashed all had excellent options for configuring steering wheels, complete with inner and outer deadzones, steering & throttle/break sensitivity AND support for multiple peripheral devices, so that I could use a joystick as a shifter, and my wheel and pedals for steering and givin gas. EA STOP THIS shake & bake attitude towards wheel owners, GIVE US options to configure our wheels properly.

dany_gamer_kid
dany_gamer_kid

i hope there will be trafic,i'd like to hit another car at 200 km/h.i want that demo,now!!!

Shishio817
Shishio817

Hot Pursuit 2 was definitely the best.

_halo2_halo2_ha
_halo2_halo2_ha

NFS hot pursuit 2 was the best NFS imo; i miss the days of nfscars.com

MoeSyslak
MoeSyslak

Underground 2 is my personal favorite, people were impressed more by the jump between underground 1 & 2 rather than the jump between most wanted and carbon. Most people will be happy with an updated underground, i know i will. I played demo for prostreet and wasnt totally impressed, had a forza feel to it. Everyone that hates the fact NFS is heading for realism with GT and Forza just pick up burnout instead.

Twinturbo120
Twinturbo120

most wanted and carbon sucked cops are annoying. underground 2 was the sheet...u kno y? cuz u actually dyno tuned the car to see power and torque changing the ecu maps actually MADE HP unlike most wanted and carbon i hope Prostreet wont disappoint....

Annihilator-X-
Annihilator-X-

Some of you guys are so shortsighted. The free-roaming nature and police cars raming have been a feature for 3 generations and it's time to move on. NFS had always been lacking in realism and I don't see why we can\t move on. This is not GT either as you don't get drag races with GT.

xenowhatnow
xenowhatnow

Lame, what made NFS great was the freeroam and the ability to just jump and race. If I wanted to play GT I'd flipping buy GT. Too bad, NFSU, NFSU2 and Most Wanted were extremely fun games because you could jump in and race anytime, not spend 4 days tweaking some setting just for 1 race...

K-E-C
K-E-C

omg cnt wait 2 play this game im a big fan of need for speed and i played evry single game !!!!dis game is goin 2 rock new cars and races and customastion COOL !!!

Rasmita
Rasmita

new cars new vinyls new kits ill be exciting

branbo45
branbo45

i dont like the sound of no roaming world, or no pursuits, i don't like it, but i do agree with bill, to see a new underground 3 free run online

shariq166
shariq166

No pursuits ... just a plain racing game, like countless others... yuck Most Wanted rocks!!!!

oonge
oonge

lets wait and see

darklord1985
darklord1985

it's nice...i wonder if it will be a good game..ffs not like Carbon

lada2107black
lada2107black

that is a big move for ea. i can't wait for it !

emd88
emd88

the look awesome and all those stufff but YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYy there no free roam :( :( :(

laifox
laifox

At last! a more sim side NFS...like the old time ones :)

Cono_2007
Cono_2007

I wonder what thing's you can put onto your car...

newb16
newb16

It does not matter about freedom or the storey it matters about gameplay and how good it looks. If you think that you should wory about the freedom and the storey your not a real NFS fan.

bigtimekiller7
bigtimekiller7

looks cool, i like how they mad the smoke go everywere thats the best thing i think,but not being able 2 have freedom 2 go round the streetz as u like well that will be a little **** for NFS but all in all it will be fun. :)

Breackneckboy
Breackneckboy

FatalFist what kind of an "avid" NFS fan are you?Looks like you are a Forza fanboy to me! :( btw this game looks excellent!!

Raptole
Raptole

Very, very good game!

bill86
bill86

One thing I want to see from the EA Games....... "Underground 3" free run online multiplayer ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! :)