After skipping a 2014 game in favor of the Aaron Paul-led Need for Speed film, EA has announced the return of its popular street racing series. Although the series has never been known for its continuity, developer Ghost Games is describing the upcoming game, titled simply Need for Speed, as a “full reboot,” focusing on the core pillars of the franchise including “a nocturnal open world” and “an immersive narrative that pulls you through the game.”
“We’re listening to the fans and delivering an experience that will capture their imagination and unleash their passion for cars and speed,” says executive producer Marcus Nilsson.
Ghost Games is working closely with Speedhunters, the EA-launched car culture website originally established “as a way to support and enhance the Need for Speed franchise.” Editor-in-Chief Peter Kelly says that reboot lifts the best elements of former Need for Speed games, and will include “genuine car culture,” a feature that the Forza Motorsport games have touted for the past several years.
As you can see from the teaser trailer above, the reboot doesn’t appear to drastically change the franchise’s formula, although the cut off F-bomb could suggest a “mature reimagining” not unlike 2013’s Tomb Raider. With the series stumbling slightly in Need for Speed: Rivals, this sort of decision could help to make it relevant again.
Previous series developer Criterion Games showed early footage of its new driving project at last year’s conference, and the team has remained quiet ever since. A proper reveal (one that actually includes a name, that is) is likely to come next month, assuming the project is still in development: the studio has been spending quite a bit of time posting about the Burnout franchise in recent months.
The first gameplay footage for Need for Speed will be shown at E3 on June 15, and the game arrives this fall for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, but EA stresses that the pre-rendered footage seen in the teaser is representative of all three platforms.