The next Need for Speed game could look a bit more ‘out there’ than the last few entries in the underground racing series, with reports claiming that it will combine photo-realistic art style with some anime elements.
This comes from VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb, who discussed the game on the latest episode of his Grubbsnax show. He explained more about what this would mean, saying that it will be “photo-realistic, but it’s going to have on top of that, anime elements.” He continued, “You know when you see a car commercial or something like that and the car’s driving around, but then cartoons flames and stuff are flying off it? That’s the kind of the aesthetic that they seem to be going for.”
As for the game’s setting, Grubb claimed that it will be set in a fictionalised take on Chicago known as Lake Shore City. Common elements like the Autolog and multiplayer social tools will likely return, as will some deep customisation of “all the pieces of your car”.
In development at the revived Criterion studio in the UK, recent reports have also suggested that the new Need for Speed could be on track to release in November 2022 – these also came from Jeff Grubb.
Criterion has had plenty of ups and down over the last decade, with the team splitting up as Ghost Games was founded in 2013 to handle the Need for Speed – many Criterion staff joining that team in a UK studio. Criterion continued to work in a small capacity, cooking up the Star Wars Battlefront – Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission in 2016, and then working on the Fighter Assault mode for the follow up Star Wars Battlefront II.
EA decided to effectively reform Criterion in February 2020, transferring much of the Ghost Games team over to Criterion to work on a new Need for Speed game. However, Need for Speed’s development was then stalled through 2021 as EA redirected the studio to assist on the development of Battlefield 2042.
With that game released late in 2021 – albeit in a sorry state that DICE is slowly trying to rework and revitalise – Criterion has been able to get back to work on Need for Speed. Keep an eye out for an announcement and reveal in the next few months, I guess.