Car Wars: EA Announces Need For Speed Rivals

Oh, I guess Ferraris are back or something. Also, look at that sexy, sexy car butt.

The psychology of being inside a car is kind of fascinating – in a twisted, human-limits-revealing sort of way. We tend to stop viewing our fellow road-hogging compatriots as people, preferring instead to focus on the galloping four-wheeled colossi in front of us. Other drivers become objects, impediments, enemies. Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re honking and raging, and then you finally pass the person ahead of you and briefly see their face? “Oh god,” I often think. “They look so upset. Did I do that? To another person? That’s fucked!” But I keep doing it anyway, because I’m in a soulless metal shell, and so are they. That, I figure, is why street racing games are never about anything other than competition, rivalry, and sticking it to the po-lice. It’s so easy to hate a car, run it off the road, and laugh. Need For Speed Rivals‘ title, then, strikes me as weirdly redundant, in its own way.

(I am not, by the way, damning that thematic element of these games. Also, I don’t claim to understand actual street racing. It could be full of marvelous sportsmanship and terrifically polite people.)

Need For Speed Rivals isn’t a direct sequel to Need For Speed: Most Wanted, but it shares a lot of thematic elements with Criterion’s metal-twisting opus. Case in point:

“In Need for Speed Rivals, gamers play as either a cop or racer, where each side of the law has its own set of high stakes challenges, rewards and consequences. As a racer, the goal is to become infamous for taking risks behind the wheel and capturing your most intense escapes on video for the world to see. The more cops players evade, the more Speed Points they collect, enabling them to unlock new cars and items. Keep raising the stakes race after race to become an ever-more valuable target to the cops – but risk losing it all if busted. As a cop, players work together as part of a team in pursuit of racers, earning prominence and rising in the ranks of the Police Force with every bust. Achieving higher ranks unlocks new police only cars and more powerful pursuit tech.”

EA hasn’t explicitly stated whether or not Rivals is another open-world to-do, but NFS is at least receiving a couple major shake-ups. For one, Criterion isn’t leading the development charge on this one. Instead, Rivals’ new team of grease monkeys goes by the name of Ghost Games, and they’re apparently working “in partnership” with Criterion. Also, the wind beneath Rivals’ car wings comes from Frostbite 3, so it should have that “next-gen” sheen no one can shut up about.

Now for the potentially bad news. As ever with recent EA games, it sounds like single-player here is only an illusion. A feature called “AllDrive” will apparently let friends crash through the walls of your solitude whenever they please. “Players will have to keep one eye on their rearview mirror as friends will be able to enter and exit races on-the-fly, creating a world where no two events will ever be the same,” read EA’s announcement.

Sounds dynamic and unpredictable, for those who want it. Hopefully it’s optional, but I’ve sent EA an email asking for confirmation one way or the other. They, um, haven’t been the best on responding lately, but here’s hoping.

Need For Speed Rivals will be out on November 19th.


  1. PopeRatzo says:

    My needs are simple. I want another Burntout Paradise. Everything else is like dating the homelier older sister of the girl you’ve always wanted.

    And yet, I find myself trapped in a nightmare where games are announced, yet never released. Where I cannot play, but can only read about Kickstarter’d games from a future that will never come. And what EA is doing, even though I’ve sworn a blood oath to leave EA alone.

    • Claidheamh says:

      To be honest, I’d prefer another NFS Underground 2.

      • Cinek says:

        Me too.
        But in general only racing game that got me even remotely excited is Project CARS. That said – I’m not going to risk investing money in it yet, but so far all the screenshots and info released looks very, very well. Forza 4 may be afraid.

        • Claidheamh says:

          Project CARS does look good, but there are other games to be excited about, like GTR3 (yep!), which is being developed by Simbin themselves and Assetto Corsa. I am of the opinion that graphics are actually secondary for racing games, contrary to popular belief.

          I don’t even watch porn anymore, I just go to GTR 3’s website and put some good headphones on. :P

    • SanguineAngel says:

      My needs are simpler – I desire another Burnout Revenge complete with after touch and hot seat crash event and split screen racing. I like Burnout paradise but for me it failed as a burnout game due to an inexplicable lack of either of these things.

  2. Parge says:

    Is it fair to say that this looks *exactly* the same as the last 5 NFS based games. Seriously, what is the difference?

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The most recent NFS games are Most Wanted, The Run, and Shift 2. None of those games are remotely similar to each other.

      • Cinek says:

        I think he talks about graphics, not gameplay style.

      • grundus says:

        Shift 2 wasn’t a Need for Speed title, its full name was Shift 2: Unleashed. Need For Speed: Shift was a NFS game.


    • strangeloup says:

      That does seem to be the nature of AAA development these days. If you made a thing that sold well, keep making basically the same thing again and again until it ceases to result in a big pile of money. (Works, most notably, for Call of Duty, but that’s far from the only example.)

    • CrispinFister says:

      Yup but it wouldn’t be NFS if it didn’t look like a NFS game. I’m not a fan of the past 10 years worth of NFS titles but you have to have some kind of consistency going on with your product to make a series a series and not a bunch of randomly related games.

      I’m sure people say that all Elder Scrolls games look the same for the same reason, it’s a series of games that are made by the same people. SHOCK HORROR.

  3. DarkLiberator says:

    So Frostbite 3 has color. Good to see, now if only DICE would utilize that too.

  4. Siresly says:

    Polygon’s interview thingie clears up a lot of things, like for instance that;
    “It is not, Nilsson reassures, an always-on experience, as players don’t need an internet connection to race or chase by their lonesome.”

    link to

    I’m liking the sound of this one actually.

  5. MiniMatt says:

    Did anyone else try to climb through the windows of the family Ford Cortina as a kid because it kinda looked like the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee if you really scrunched your 8 year old eyes?

  6. Kollega says:

    Recently, i was thinking about that idea i had, about an open-world NFS game set in eastern Germany in the early Nineties, just after the German reunification. Throw in European vehicles, from Russian transportation buckets to Italian supercars, a selection of eccentric racers, some customization and RPG elements, and voila! Instantly more original than the last five NFS games combined.

    Although to be fair, it might not sell well enough to justify making it. Sadly, in today’s market originality doesn’t always win out.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      Not bad…needs more exotic circuits with dinosaurs and UFOs though. Not sure if Eastern Europe would be an ideal climate for those.

  7. BlacKHeaDSg1 says:

    I hope that will not be same rubbish as Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2012 … nor i don’t want to be as Burnout. I wish that they return to NFS3, Porsche, U, U2 and Most Wanted … those were the best NFS games.

    • elwood_p says:

      Gotta agree with that.

      Recently been replaying NFS Most Wanted (original) with the ‘modern rockport’ mod – fantastic!

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      Agree 10000%. I loved the original NFS: Most Wanted to death, and I got the new one because Burnout Paradise wasn’t awful. But the new NFS is just Burnout without all the zaniness that made Burnout fun- that is to say, a bland racing game that wasn’t fun enough to finish, a rarity for me.

    • Prolar Bear says:

      I’ve been replaying NFS Porsche recently and it has held very well, it’s quite unique and atmospheric. It’s a game clearly made with passion.
      Also am I the only one who does NOT want another Burnout Paradise? Most Wanted 2012 offline was pretty boring, not much to do.

  8. wodin says:

    Damn you..I thought we had a Car Wars game on the way..

  9. cqdemal says:

    If this turns out to be a fusion of the 2005 Most Wanted and Test Drive Unlimited, count me in.

  10. marsilainen says:

    “Current gen” Project cars already looks way better.

  11. Barberetti says:

    The trailer completely and utterly failed to tease me.

  12. anark10n says:

    What? No announcement of when an official announcement will be made? No teaser trailer for the trailer? Just drop it in our laps without any ado whatsoever?

    Wait …

    That’s the correct way of doing these things … uh … carry on.

    Edit: Just read the full title of the video and not what I wanted to see. That’s not how you do it. STOP. THIS. PLEASE.

  13. veqtor says:

    So let me guess, in this NFS game, EA will continue to remove features, customization options etc
    In some years, the only thing left of NFS will be the price.

  14. realitysconcierge says:

    Hey what’s the most recent racing game worth a playthrough? I’ve got a racing itch.