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Racing games have been a staple part of gaming since the arcade and the DOS era, and have continued to play a strong role in the world of gaming. From cars to 18-wheelers, racing has been everything from good to bad and even quite ugly sometimes. There have been two racing series that have blossomed to become the biggest series in the racing genre, Need For Speed and Forza Motorsports. At E3, both have introduced a new edition to come out in 2012. So the question is, which of these two games will come out on top?
Need For Speed (NFS) is one of the longest running racing games of the modern generation. The one thing the Need for Speed series was known for was the introduction of police, where not only was the objective to complete the race, but escaping the police too. Or if players wanted to spice things up, they had the option of being the cop and were able to bust racers.
Starting back in 1994, NFS has had a plethora of sequels and spinoffs, one of their most popular being the Hot Pursuit series back with NFS 3 in 1998. The unique aspect of NFS Hot Pursuit was the revamped police pursuit system and the ability to play with up to one other player in split-screen mode (The original NFS game offered a multiplayer mode on PC; however, required a modem connection and could be played in DosBox). NFS Hot Pursuit eventually got a sequel in 2002 and a remake in 2010.
The NFS series had other spinoffs that included Underground, Most Wanted, Carbon, Shift, The Run, and other franchises. Many of these series ranged from hits and misses, in which Shift and The Run were considered the worst in the series. Another thing about the NFS series are the various developers attached to the series: EA Canada, EA Black Box, EA Montreal, EA Singapore, Slightly Mad Studios, and Criterion Games (known for the Burnout Series). With these different developers who have been making various NFS games through the years, it is clear why each NFS game has been different.
The new NFS game for 2012 is a remake to the Most Wanted series. Most Wanted, developed by Criterion games (who also developed the Hot Pursuit remake) looks to be a city version of what Hot Pursuit was to the country side. Features that continue to be a part of the series are police escapes, an open world environment, and autolog. As with the more recent Need for Speed games, the open world environment has begun to be a regular, as seen in NFS Underground, which lets the player freely roam around the world as they leisurely drive or practice the tracks finding the best routs and shortcuts to take.
Most Wanted looks to be a promising installment to the NFS series, it doesn’t look to be anything special or offer anything unique to the NFS series, but it still looks to be a solid game and a fun experience. Most Wanted is scheduled to be released October 30th 2012.
Another game announced at E3 was Forza Horizon. The Forza series started back in 2005 with the release of Forza Motorsport for the Xbox. The Forza series is distributed by Microsoft Game Studios and is an Xbox exclusive. The main selling point for Forza is the realistic driving mechanics. The game strives to be more like a true driving simulator and does a great job. The Forza series is highly acclaimed and rated highly among various gaming sites.
Going along with the driving realism, the Forza series also introduced Autovista. Autovista is a feature that gives the player detailed images and facts about the select 24 cars available in the game. These facts range from general details of the car to the minute facts from the brake pads to interior details. The game series strives to be the most detailed racing game to date and succeeds.
The newest installment to the series is Forza Horizon. The biggest feature that Horizon is pushing for is the open world. With various roads to travel through and fluid day to night transitions, the Forza series strives to give players a detailed driving experience in the open world as they have with their cars.
Though the new Forza game looks to be another great installment of the highly acclaimed series, the introduction of an open world seems to be drawing life away from the series. With the gameplay trailer from E3, the life on the road seemed to be sucked out, as what happens with most open world games, which usually means that with the introduction of something massive, details are usually cut short to be able to fit in the wider space. Forza is all about the little details, so with the introduction of a massive open world, the famous Forza details might be lost due to the mass open road. Still highly acclaimed and greatly anticipated, Forza Horizon is expected to be released October 23rd 2012, a week before NFS Most Wanted.
Image Courtesy of Need for Speed