June 1st, 2007, 16:02 Posted By: -Xandu-
Need for Speed Turns a Corner
EA announces Pro Street, the world's first street racing simulation. First media included.
by Jonathan Miller
May 31, 2007 - The new Need for Speed is here: Pro Street.
Don't get confused. This isn't like other EA Street titles with over-the-top arcade slam dunks and impossible maneuvers. This is Pro Street. In fact, EA did the exact opposite and created an entire new genre of racer: the street racing simulation. "The Fast and the Furious" meets Forza.
Well, don't tell that to producer Michael Mann. His team at EA Black Box, responsible for NFS: Most Wanted, wants to distance Pro Street as far away from "The Fast and the Furious" as possible. Pro Street isn't about a glowing, fluorescent purple underbelly to your car. Pro Street is 100 percent about performance and the culture of street racing.
And if you didn't know, street racing happens to be illegal. To accommodate, professional race tracks are opening their doors to street racers in unheard of numbers. Pro Street will feature real world locations like Sears Point Raceway (now Infineon Raceway) near Sonoma, Calif. While EA wouldn't go into detail on the other tracks, it did say that you can expect a number of "iconic locations" in Asia, Europe and the States.
Live from Infineon.What we didn't expect from EA was just how "real world" it was taking NFS. We watched a developer do a quick lap at Sears Point and this is unlike any NFS you've ever seen. It actually looks real. Sears Point was bordering on photorealism. More importantly, the sense of intense speed is gone -- this game plays more like Forza than previous NFS titles in which you dodged cops and knocked opponents off cliffs. We watched as he apexed turns and scratched our heads as he used these strange contraptions known as brakes.
The biggest question we had for EA was this: Why? Pro Street is a not really a sequel -- it's a distinct departure from the franchise's roots, a turn in a completely new direction. Quite simply, said EA, street racing fans have been demanding real-world believability. That all starts with the race weekend.
The race weekend will be a spectacle.It's then that the street racing community gathers, car enthusiasts that like to build and show off their high-performance racers. They do that in a number of ways, and EA has included a few in several events that comprise the race weekend in Pro Street: Drag, Drift, Grip, Circuit and Speed Challenge. The career goal is focused around working your way up the ladder in each event and eventually becoming "king of the street."
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