Need For Speed is 25 years old. The first opus of this series of most famous racing video games, entitled “The Need For Speed”, was indeed released on August 31, 1994, on the 3DO console from Panasonic. The following year, its arrival on Sony’s PlayStation, PC (Windows) and Sega Saturn opened the doors to massive and international popularity.
Published by Electronic Arts and developed by Pioneer Productions (integrated into EA Canada), this founding episode had the particularity of offering road races behind the wheel of the most popular GTs of the moment (Porsche 911 Carrera, Ferrari 512TR, Dodge Viper RT / 10 …) and pursuits with the police. All served by a purely “arcade” gameplay. Several games marked the history of the NFS saga after that. Presents ten essential episodes in the video!
Still published by EA, the Need For Speed franchise has been driven in different directions as development studios, fashions, sales, and opportunities change. Thus in 2000, after two other episodes in the line of the first one was launched “Need For Speed: Porsche 2000”, offering vehicles of the manufacturer of Zuffenhausen following the negotiation of an exclusive contract between this last and the American publisher exclusively.
In 2003, NFS surfed the “Fast And Furious” wave” with” Need For Speed Underground “. On the program: nocturnal atmosphere, tuning and neon lights. The police disappeared, but success was there, enough to launch a sequel the following year. In 2005, the Sun and the forces of order were back in service for the return to the roots of “Need For Speed: Most Wanted.”
Two years later, the saga takes a more realistic direction with “Need For Speed ProStreet”. EA will drive the point home with “Need For Speed Shift “in 2009. This opus is focused on classic circuit racing and asks to manage its income to improve its vehicles. Subsequently,” Shift 2: Unleashed “becomes in 2011 an independent game of NFS after the release in 2010 of “Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit”, new return to origins with very accessible gameplay.
NFS is looking for itself
The rhythm of the annual releases continues until 2013, even if it means dull, which pushes EA to try the blow of the “reboot” with “Need For Speed” in 2015, two years after the launch of the previous episode and one year after that of a movie from the games. The atmosphere is similar to the “Underground” opus in more prestigious with vintage cars and the participation of personalities such as Ken Block or Magnus Walker. In 2017, NFS took a new turn, again inspired by “Fast And Furious”, with the scripted episode “Payback” resembling action films.
NFS’ career has been marked by experimentation and wanderings, successes and failures, through more than 30 games released. EA has just announced a new episode called “Need For Speed Heat” which seems to bring together a good part of what the saga has produced so far: day races on supervised circuits, illegal night races, police chases, cars of all prices and very advanced tuning. It remains to be seen whether the sensations will be there.
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