Game Rant

Need for Speed Unbound Review

Need for Speed Unbound is the 25th primary installment in the franchise since the very first game released in 1994, and that experience is clearly packed into its core racing gameplay. Every race feels smooth from start to finish, but unfortunately, the majority of Need for Speed Unbound does not feel as refined as its core gameplay.

Need for Speed Unbound takes place in the fictional city of Lakeshore, where the mayor and local police are seeking to eliminate illegal street racing ahead of elections. A big-money racing event gets set up and takes players across four weeks and four major, multiple-race events: three qualifiers and the Lakeshore Grand. Players must race day and night across every day of these four-week periods in order to earn enough cash to buy their way in and build their cars up to snuff.
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Arguably, few look to a Need for Speed (or any racing game) for a good narrative, but NFS Unbound’s story is perhaps the most generic of the past several years. It retreads the overused rival racer trope, repeats the same plot twists, and fails to make anything feel personal. Instead, the story pushes how money and the pursuit thereof are secondary to respect, honor, and family, but players will just be pursuing money constantly despite supposedly being funded. Ignoring that, though, fans will be able to enjoy some of the best core gameplay in the franchise to date.

Players are able to upgrade their cars through a series of tiers (B, A, A+, S, and S+), with various upgrades for every part of the engine. If players hit their limits, they’re even able to replace their entire block and unlock new upgrades to push it even higher. The substance in these upgrades is there, and so is the style. Every part of a vehicle comes with a ton of customizable body parts, including the complete removal of fenders, and the paint and wraps make sure fans can express…


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