Gamescom 2013: Need For Speed: Rivals - Customise This!
Written Sunday, September 01, 2013 By Dan WebbView author's profile
It's safe to say I've been working on the site for some years now, over seven in fact, and there are a few things that you hear constantly across the boards and in the comments that you really can't miss. For example, in every Star Wars article from the beginning of time - or at least the beginning of this site - people have screamed out for a new Battlefront game. They got one… or at least they're getting one. Another example, and rather more topical for my segue too, is customisation in Need For Speed games. "When are we going to get it back!?" I heard a select few scream on multiple occasions. Well, your prayers have been answered. Kind of.
Need For Speed: Rivals allows players to customise their car to some degree. Players will now be able to give their cars a paint job, fit some new shiny rims onto their rides, plaster racing stripes onto their motors, and apply full body wraps as well as add decals to give a car their own personal touch. It's unclear whether it goes to the same depths that Underground did - with adding spoilers, neon lights, and what not - but being able to change the colours, decals, rims and so on, well, it's a hell of a lot more involved and in-depth than Most Wanted (2012) was.
If you're after nuance from upgrading the car itself from a performance perspective, then you're barking up the wrong tree as the depth still isn't really here. Instead each one of the aspects of your car - like upgrading the chassis, the steering, the engine, etc. - has five levels or so, and it's a matter of clicking on what you want to upgrade on your vehicle, and that's about as in-depth as it gets.
The customisation extends to your pursuit tech too, whether you're a racer or a cop it doesn't matter, your weapons will be the key to your success out on the roads. Through levelling up you'll unlock various tools that you can then equip to your car, with two active at a time. Players will be able to call in roadblocks, equip EMPs, use jammers, lay down spike strips, and purchase turbo boosts and more to get ahead and gain XP - of course, the tech differs from cops to racers. As always, it's one of the best aspects of a typical Need For Speed game.
A good way of earning XP fast is by trying to complete assignments, those of which are categorised as easy, medium or hard, and the harder the assignment, the more XP you'll earn. So you could be trying to get air, net takedowns, use certain weapons against opponents and so on, all in the name of XP. Aside from that though, there isn't really much else to say about Rivals' appearance at Gamescom. It was a fairly low-key showing, in truth.
Our main criticism of Rivals at this year's E3 was its lack of structure, something it still doesn't seemingly have, judging by this latest Gamescom showing. Although there is a narrative that will be discussed at a later date, according to EA Ghost devs on hand during the presentation, it's becoming harder and harder to see how Need for Speed: Rivals is going to ultimately shape up. Sure, the mechanics are fairly spot on, it looks beautiful and the customisation is back to some extent, yet it still might not be enough. One of my most important football idioms - one that works for all sports, for that matter - is that you can't have a team of individuals and expect to win. You need structure and teamwork among other things; it might actually be applicable here somewhat.
Need For Speed: Rivals is scheduled for a November 19th release on Xbox 360 in the US and 22nd in Europe, and will hit the Xbox One upon launch.