Need for Speed: World beta revs up

Electronic Arts gives players an early chance to try out massively multiplayer online racer, full release set for summer.


Gamers looking to kick the tires on Electronic Arts' massively multiplayer online racing game Need for Speed: World are about to get their chance. Electronic Arts today announced a new round of closed beta testing for the game, inviting would-be players to sign up for a testing slot at the game's official Web site.

Need for Speed is racing to a PC near you.
Need for Speed is racing to a PC near you.

While the game will let players compete online in standard Need for Speed drag, drift, and checkpoint races, it also adds a few tweaks to the series' formula. For example, a new power-up system will give players access to a number of new abilities, from turbo boosts to a "traffic magnet" that draws racers into a tight pack. There's even a power-up to add a lap to a race so lagging players have some extra time to catch up. The other big addition to the series is a stat-progression feature that lets players level up their cars as well as their drivers.

As with Tiger Woods Online (which recently entered open beta testing), EA has not nailed down pricing for Need for Speed: World yet. However, the publisher is expected to adopt a free-to-play model with basic content available from the outset and microtransactions spread liberally throughout the game.

Need for Speed: World is set for release this summer. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

[CORRECTION]: The original version of this story incorrectly referred to Need for Speed: World as a Web browser-based game. GameSpot regrets the error.

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