* Prices may differ from that shown
== NEED FOR SPEED CARBON == Need For Speed Carbon is one of the older car racing games from the Need For Speed series of games but definitely one of the better. Need For Speed Carbon is developed by EA Electronic Arts. Carbon also takes place shortly after the events of Need For Speed Most Wanted. Need For Speed Carbon was released back in 2006 for many systems including the PS2, PSP, PS3, PC, Nintendo DS, Wii and many more. Most of the versions of the game are the same but a couple have different bits in it. Most of the newer Need For Speed games have been very disappointing in my opinion and I prefer the older versions such as Need For Speed Most Wanted and Need For Speed Carbon. This game is also street racing which a couple of older games in the series have been. I prefer street racing for a Need For Speed game because it suits it more and is definitely much better. There is a story to the game and its an okay story. As you drive to Palmont City you receive a number of flashbacks of a race against Kenji, Angie, and Wolf. At the end of the race a police incident forces you to escape by any means possible while the police hunt you down. After the flashback a former police officer now turned bounty hunter chases you down a canyon. Just as your about to be arrested Darius and his crew turn up and pay off the bounty hunter to release you. Now you must race on the street and help Darius take control of the territories but all isn't as it seems. Can you rule the streets and make a name for yourself. === GAMEPLAY === Need For Speed Carbon is a great game in terms of gameplay. At the start of the game you get the feel for some real action because your driving a kitted up car but as you get caught at the start you get the car taken away. Soon after you have to buy a new car which is your first proper car and you have to choose out of 3 different classes. There is muscle, exotic and tuners. Each car have their own strengths and weaknesses so you have to choose what suits you best. After picking your new car you can visit shops to upgrade the performance of the car or shops to put vinyls and decals on it or even change the colour of your car from the numerous colour sets available. At first you cant really upgrade your car much due to lack of funds and the fact most of the items are locked at first. Once your done with your vehicle then its time to hit the streets with your crew and try to take territories and own the streets. There are lots of different challenge types in the career mode and some of these were made famous on other Need For Speed games. Challenges such as sprint, circuit, speed trap, drag and others are available in the game. Something new would of been much better. There are also canyon duels on the game which are really serious races down canyons. Canyon duels are 2 different races the first would be you chasing your opponent down the canyon trying to get in front and the second would be your opponent chasing you trying to get in front. Along with customization of your vehicle comes a new option to the Need For Speed games called Autosculpt enabling you to utilize aftermarket car parts and mould the parts to your liking. Just like Most Wanted there are cops that will chase you if you do things wrong and the cops are scattered everywhere. The good thing is that cop chases cant happen in the actual races which is perfect because in previous games they could take place in races and sometimes this would cause you to lose. The game offers over 60+ different licensed cars and over 20+ different tracks. All of the tracks are different parts of the city but its obvious which way you have to go when in the races. There are a total of 5 playable game modes and some of the game modes have secret unlockables available but you have to do certain things to unlock them. Most of the secrets cant be used in career mode though which is a little disappointing. The game also features traffic just like most of the NFS games. Winning races will win you and your crew different parts of the city and let you own it as territory. If your in a different part of the city and your territory becomes under threat then you must quickly get to that territory to try and protect it. Overall Need For Speed Carbon is a great game for gameplay features and is definitely my favourite for all the variety available. === GAME MODES === CAREER - Career mode is by far the best mode on the game and the biggest. This is where the story takes place but the game mode is only one player. In this mode there's an all out war to own the city and its down to you and your crew to win the races and own territories. This is a fun game mode to play because of all the features and the variety available. CHALLENGE SERIES - In Challenge Series your aim is to complete all the challenges that are available. You can earn medals on each challenge which range from bronze, silver and gold. Achieving gold is much more valuable because you can unlock better things by getting gold. Also there is a shadow car available to beat on tracks. The challenges include canyon duels, canyon races, canyon drifts and others. This is a great mode and is almost as good as career mode. This mode also offers a bit of variety in its gameplay. The only letdown is the fact there isn't a massive amount of different challenges available and I think its quite disappointing there are only a few. QUICK RACE - Quick Race is okay but its only good for a limited time. You can choose any race from the game to compete in against either the computer, friends or people over Xbox Live. QUICK MATCH - Quick Match is an Xbox Live game mode in where it randomizes your opponents from Xbox Live and it also randomizes the track or challenge to suit your skill level. CUSTOM MATCH - In Custom Match your able to choose everything you want for your races. You cant choose your opponents but its your game and your rules. This mode is for Xbox Live only. Its a fun game mode but because of the age of the game its quite hard to find people playing the game now. === GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS === For a 2006 car racing game the graphics are actually really well detailed. All of the 60+ cars on the game look exactly how they do in real life before you upgrade them. Also the city is really well designed and the layout of the races that revolve around the city is fantastic. I was also very pleased with how the weather changes and the day into night and so on. Also the scenery is brilliant and definitely makes the game look better. The game does have a couple of dodgy glitches though but it doesn't hurt the games performance or quality in anyway. The sound effects are a little disappointing in my opinion. Sometimes the sound does sound like its a bit off and out of sync. The music is pretty good to the game but it sometimes doesn't suit the game which is disappointing. Sometimes the sound will be really loud and full on and all of a sudden it will go quieter and less effective. Some parts of the sound are okay but its not the best and overall I was quite disappointed with them. === DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY === Need For Speed games have always been a bit of a challenge because of the various game modes and things to do on it and Carbon is no different. Most of the races are simple and at first very easy but as you progress further in the game and more races and challenges become available they actually get a little harder and more challenging. The controls to the game are simple enough to master just like any other car racing game. Some of the faster cars are a little harder to handle it all depends on the cars details and how much of a gamer you are. Overall though I would say the game is suitable for most gamers and not that difficult. The games length could be classed as brilliant because I still play the game now and its almost 5 years old. The career mode can last up to 20 hours which is fantastic for a game that has multiplayer options as well as the single player options. Overall the game would probably last close to the 50 hour mark with all the challenges and game modes the only problem the game has is that not many play the game online now and because of that it doesn't last as long. Overall to me its fantastic in terms of length but others may think its disappointing. === ACHIEVEMENTS === The achievements for Need For Speed Carbon are probably the hardest to any Need For Speed game because they actually take a huge amount of time to achieve them. Most of them involve evading police numerous times, hitting so many road blocks and doing other bits. Most are time consuming and some are almost impossible to get now because some require you to beat so many people in Xbox Live races. A lot of the achievements involve going up certain amount of levels. Overall there is a good mix of achievements but some are really tricky to get. === PROS === *The game has a lot of different race types available. *The game also features over 60+ different cars and lots of different tracks. *Lots of different game modes to play. *Not too easy and not too hard. *One of the better Need For Speed games available. === CONS === *Some of the sound effects are a little disappointing. *Most of the achievements are hard to achieve. *A couple of annoying glitches that pop out when you least expect them. *Xbox Live modes are just about dead because of the game being old. === FINAL THOUGHT === I have been a fan of the Need For Speed games for many years and I also believe they have always outdone any other street racing game such as Burnout. I love Burnout games but Need For Speed games have always been one level above them. They seem to have more to offer and are more popular because of this. Street racing is better for the NFS games and is better than what they have done with some of the NFS games such as Shift and Pro Street. This is the tenth game in the series and one of the best. There have been many more after and they will continue to make them because of their popularity. The game has an age rating of 12+ which is about right because it does contain some strong language and a lot of illegal street racing. The game manual is okay but offers very little. I would recommend the game to gamer's who like a good racing game especially street racing because you can customize your cars to look how you want them too. I would also recommend the game if you like Burnout games or other NFS games. Its fantastic and a lot of fun. The game is fairly cheap right now because its been out a while but its not as cheap as you would expect. I bought the game when it was first released at full price and the game can usually be found in shops for around £10. Amazon have the game between £5-£8 used which includes postage. The game is definitely value for money. Overall its one of the better NFS games and I would give it an 8/10! Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
To me, need for speed carbon was among the best of this racing series, although i do prefer underground 2, this was very close to it. The reason i say this, is because they really outdid themselves at EA with this game, making the game in high definition for those lucky enough to own a PS3 or an Xbox 360, the the graphics were truly outstanding. another thing i like about this game, is the way it plays, the driving style and the way the cars look when your driving are truly amazing, the reason i like it so much is because the style is almost cartoony, and i think it was good the way the still made it look good in doing that. The story-line is pretty good as well, most of the other games had very little to keep you amused while you were playing, and in this one they actually had a decent attempt at a story-line, and you've got to give them credit for that. Overall a pretty good game, with some amazing cars and characters, good investment for both lovers and none lovers of need for speed.
Need for speed carbon is successor to a long line of previous titles in the need for speed range, one I believe to be the best around. This game offers racing, challenges, customisation and extra missions with some of the greatest looking cars around on the market today. Since its early days, need for speed has left the norm of circuit racing and instead created an incredible game set in the cities, mountains and freeways. This is no exception to the modern trend and offers gameplay excellent from the start. There are an incredible amount of bonus unlocks which will keep you playing all day long, sometimes even trying to get chased by the police as you unlock even more upgrades whilst honing your skills as the perfect underground driver. This game could be better with the addition of more races to complete, as the inital races wont set you back months of hard playing, but this is made up for by the quality of the actual gameplay you get. All in all, a great entertaining game with very little, if any major faults. An excellent and must have for any games collection.
Still no Ferraris!!! Are EA doing this on purpose? Are they punishing us for some unknown reason? Have we not loyally bought and played (sometimes through gritted teeth) every one of the fifteen NFSs ever released? And i`m sorry, I just can not believe they can`t afford the liscencing. Not when they have so many global franchises. A racer that has Lambourghinis, Koenigseggs, Zondas (if you bought the black edition) and a McLaren is just, in my eyes not complete with out the most famous of all, the prancing horse logo. Nearly every other racer worth it`s salt has managed to do so, and I think it`s fair to say NFS is a series well established and enjoyed by many gamers. So why should they be any different? The game its self is fairly well structured, race for wins, wins build up until you control a zone. Which in turn unlocks other zones within the city. Each win rewards you with either new motor, parts or vynals. When enough of the map is owned by you the canyon races become available. Canyon races are tough and require mucho concentration, for if you falter many complete restarts will be needed! The usual entourage of cars are there. From your Mom n Pop Mazdas to Scoobies and Evos, through Astons, porches and Ford GTs. With game complete you also win obligitary-bad-guy`s awesome R8. But you`ll need a tricked out koneigsegg to whip this bad boy, he`s fast! Handling models are pretty much vanilla for the series, getting the best out of any of the cars relies much on heavy throttle and constant nitrous use. The new crew dynamic adds little to the real enjoyment of the main game, and i found it really just another menu option to tinker with. The absolute worst feature in this game, and every NFS before it, is that cpu controlled cars self level to stop you getting the edge. Okay, so it keeps every race fair. But pants to fair! After spending half a mil on a super car and finding out it couldn`t outrun a 350z I was mighty pissed! When I spend that much I want my beast to wipe it`s arse with every other car on the start line. And the same goes for police chases. How pointless is it when my Porsche Carrera GT can`t outrun the US equivalent tof a panda car! It makes the whole concept of advancement worthless. On the whole a fun, playable racer. But the whole point in having a franchise is to improve upon it every time if possible. Come on EA, you`ve had enough time! Surprise us next time! And develop the racer we all want to see from you. (But don`t make it anything like pro-street! Did you have a bring your retarded programming friends to work week?!!!!!) (Sorry, that was harsh, even retards could have made a better game!) A game that thrills, pleases, teases and frustrates all at the same time is, I think, a fair summary. J.Hunter
Need for speed Carbon is a racing game for the Microsoft Xbox 360 console. In this game you must take over all of the neighbourhoods from rival gangs by beating them in race events. The driving in this game is very arcade like, as you have come to expect from the Need For Speed series. In this game you start off by picking your type of car, you can pick exotic cars, muscle cars, or tuner cars. The customization system has been completely changed, you can now sculpt the individual parts of your car to your liking. This game also introduces a crew, who will help you win races by blocking rivals, going in front of you and helping you gain the speed and so on. It keeps the excellent police chases from the previous game Most Wanted but they happen much less often. This is a fun game and can be yours for about 20 to 30 pounds.
Need for Speed Carbon followed Need for speed most wanted. I had high expectations after having played the best game in the series so far. I was deeply disappointed with this game, it seemed like a step back and not a step forward. This doesn't mean it's a bad game, it's just that on the back of a great game you would expect the next game to be at least on par. Advantages The career mode is somewhat exciting, you have to take over 'turf' from your rivals all over Palmount city by the end of which you would have taken over the whole city and understand the storyline which can be a bit patchy at times. A variety of race events exist within a certain zone and winning two will give you command of the territory. The online multiplayer is one of the games strengths, bar a few slight hiccups it's a good gaming experience. The online mode also helps you unlock a few cars. Pursuit Knockout is the most fun mode, where the last person to complete the first lap is turned into a cop and have to crash into the rest of the racers, it adds some spice to usual online racing. The game has a diverse range of cars and its customisation features is always a strength, there's so much to do. You can even design your own add-ons leaving your own unique touch on any car. Disadvantages Most wanted was renowned for its exhilarating cop chases so I was expecting more of the same from this game. However, it seems that the chases have been toned down slightly and are more of a rarity. A slightly annoying aspect is having to race in the same place again if a rival crew want to re take a territory forcing you to race in that area again. I guess it's fair since you take their territory so they want it back but maybe carbon could have put some new events in that area so you are doing something different as you revisit. Need for speed carbon is a solid racing game but with a predecessor like Most wanted it falls into the shadows somewhat. I hope that future games capitalise on winning ingredients already in the series.
Need for Speed Carbon is by far an outstanding game. Its a racing game which encorporates street life with excellent cars. This game has very good graphics and looks amazing on a HD TV. I personally dont think the whole story line is as organised as the last NFS. In the last NFS you had to conquer certain players and make your way up the black list but in this NFS you have to conquer certain areas to be able to go to the next. The cars in this game are of good standards and are fully customisable, from the paint of the rims to the amount of nitrous oxide the car contains. It also has a very good online mode but this can lag alot. You can acheive quite alot of gamerscore from this game and on the online mode you can work your way up threw XP levels which is a whole new game of its own.
If you think about it, there are many games that are released yearly. Madden, Fifa, Pro Evo and more. One of those yearly releases is EAs long running Need for Speed series. Back in 2003, EA took the series underground as rather than racing in daylight, Underground was a lot like The Fast and the Furious films, where its all about racing at night. There was a sequel to. Both games certainly werent my favourite racing games, but they were better than some of the stuff that comes out. It wasnt until Most Wanted until I had a passion for Need for Speed. Most Wanted brought you back to daylight, added intense cop chases and was overall much better than the previous Underground games. Now, what we have here is Carbon. Its not new, as were near the next Need for Speed now, but its the newer one Ive played. Anyways, Carbon is pretty much a new beast from Most Wanted. Rather than a heavy focus on getting on the cops nerves, here its back to the underground as you are racing to take over turf. Like the Underground games, Carbon is great, but its far from superb. Plus, its very disappointing after the excellent Most Wanted. -(The Story)- Carbon continues the story of Most Wanted. Most Wanted ended with you getting back your stolen car and leaving Rockport while a bounty hunter Sgt. Cross followed you as you escaped. Now, as you enter Palmont City, Cross catches up to you and takes your car out. Luckily, just before Cross takes you in for his bounty, an old buddy called Darius pays Cross off and saves you. You then have to help Darius in return by getting behind the wheel and taking over rival turf. As you play the game, you discover its not your first time in Palmont City, as you discover you have a bit of a past here. A hidden one at that, but as you play you discover more and more about your past, until the big secret is revealed. Its not much of a story, but as you discover more about your past, the game starts to get interesting. Plus, there are the same OTT cutscenes from Most Wanted, making the story enjoyable to watch and hear. -(The Controls)- The controls are pretty much standard fare for the 360. You gas with the Right Trigger, Brake or reverse with the Left Trigger, handbrake with the A button, Nitrous with the B button and gear up, down with the right trigger. Theres some other controls for the game, like Maps and SMS controls in the career mode, activating a crew member and using speed breaker where you slowdown to make taking corners easier. Unfortunately, the handling in this game does take away most of the shine from the controls, while the handling is mostly the same as the previous game, that was okay as the game was really exciting, but here the game is a complete bore and is more noticeable. -(The Gameplay)- What made Most Wanted the best in the series was the excitement it created. Sure, the races were decent, but the cop chases were exciting and created a brilliant experience. In Carbon, however, cops are absent here. You arent forced to get into cop chases here, and cops rarely pop up during races. So what are left are the decent races, which arent enough to carry the game alone. Theres some new stuff here, like the canyon duels and the crew factor, but they only drag down the game more. You can choose go into cop chases though, and when you do they are the best bit of the game. Basically, cops will be alerted to you if they see you. After that they will be on pursuit of you. You can ditch them by either getting away from them or taking them out and running after. If you do get away from them then you are thrown into a cooling down period. If you can stay away from them until the cooling period is over then you have escaped from them. If you are seen when in that period, pursuit will begin again. Cop pursuits are really fun, thanks to the thrill of breaking the law and the tense music played while in pursuit. But like I mentioned, you rarely need to encounter them. So hows the rest of the game? Boring. There is little to excite you here. You have your standard races, with circuit, sprint (from point a to point b) and more. Then there are the races unique to the series like drift, where you have to skid your car to make it slide (and when the mediocre handling is worse), speed camera races when you have to go as fast as you can through a point, and checkpoint races where you have to race to checkpoints as fast as you can. The newer race types include the canyon drift and duel, where youre placed on a huge canyon and either drift up there or face of against a boss. Boss races are most frustrating, as you have to win literally three races in a row, which is annoying, and the bosses are hard, so its worse. Overall, these modes would be okay if the game wasnt so dull. Sprint races are fine, as are races about the same length, as it means you can be done quickly. But circuit races (especially on long tracks) drag on and become a bore to complete. Drift is wose as you always feel the A.I. is cheating on you as just as you get first, the opponents get a load of points and overtake you. The main mode of play is career mode. Here, its all about turf wars. Basically, the games map is split up into 5 turfs. Each turf has a section with maybe two to three races on a section, which could be any type of race. Once youve done, for example, two of three races, you own a section. Once you own all the sections of a turf, you can challenge the boss of the crew owning the area. Beat them, you own the turf. Then thats what you pretty much do until the game. Sometimes the areas youve already taken control of are trying to be taken over by rival crews. Basically, you have to race these races again. You win thats fine and dandy, but if you lose you will lose control of the area. Or if youre lazy and cant be bothered to do the race. You can easily win this back, though when I lost on a drift race, I couldnt win it back thanks to cheap A.I. Aside from that, the game can easily be taken over completely. Shame the career felt like it was racing over and over again in the same track. BORING!!! There are some factors to the career mode, like the crew selection. Basically, the game rips off what Juiced did back in 2005. Right at the beginning you get your first crew member. After that you can hire, fire and control your crew to help you in the career mode. But the crew members dont just race for you, as each member is split up into different categories. There are blockers, drafters and scouts. Yet, somehow they dont seem to really help you. Blockers basically try to take down enemies by spinning them out of control, but theyre really only helpful for taking out enemies behind you. Drafters go ahead of you and then you can slipstream behind them and then get a slingshot, but the tracks are designed in a way that its impossible to set up. And scouts are guys who search for secret passages. We have eyes you know! Its not hard to point out another passage! Cars in the game are split up into three categories. Theres tuner, muscle and exotics. Tuner category is cars that are souped-up Japanese sport cars like the Toyota Supra, Nissan Skyline and more. Muscle cars are pretty much the olden goldies. Theres some new cars like Chrysler 3000, but its mostly the older cars like the Chevy Camero SS. Exotics are pretty much cars from MTV cribs. Mercedes and Porches are included here. There are a couple of achievements for basically buying all cars in one category. You can either buy cars from stores or winning pink slips from the bosses. Its easier to just buy cars, as its easy to earn money from constantly racing, as you could earn about 60,000 if you take over a turf. Customization is still strong here, as you can make a solid looking ride by using vinyl, paint (including gloss and metailic), body parts and more. You can do performance, but youll mainly change your looks. One new thing here is that you can autosculpt, where you mould body parts to different shapes. You can mould some nice shapes here, but its hard to do so as precision is needed here. This is all fine and dandy, but the game itself is so dull. The game fails to create a good sense of speed, or challenge. Thats probably due to the poor A.I., which provides little challenge or force. The team A.I. fails as well. But what really sucks most of the excitement out of the game is the way the tracks are designed. Theres little variety in the tracks, and what really ruins it is that how claustrophobic the tracks feel. Tracks feel tight, and unlike the Midnight Club games where you can drive where you want to the checkpoint markers, the tracks are closed up with huge barriers. I hate those barriers. Traffic is poor, as its sparse and very hard to crash into them. They swerve out of your way before you can hit them as well. The multiplayer would be fine, if the game wasnt so dull. You can race all the match types in the games, though you cant do the twenty car races so thats disappointing. And theres little excitement here, as doing online with 6 other people isnt very exciting. Plus, I doubt youll find any opponents online. Heres a question for you. Would you rather play Gears of War online, where you can play with eight people in one of the most exciting games ever made, or would you play NFS:Carbon where the game is dull, unexciting and only lets you play with six people? I think Ive just made myself clear. The game is rated 12+, which is very overatted. 3+ would have been fine, as the game says it has violence, but theres only cars crashing into each other. Plus, Most Wanted got a 3+ and theres much more to do with criminal offence here. Also, the game has little challenge here so kids could thrash this game, though they may have trouble with the bosses. Also, kids may find the colours very dull (black, grey, blacker grey), unless you count the cars that are on the track, which stand out quite a bit. Kids may also like the customization factor to the game, so that would appeal to them. -(The Graphics)- Graphically, Carbon looks nice. Its certainly not a showcase of the 360s power, but its still attractive none the less. The game itself has some really nice effects. Theres bump mapping, lighting, reflection effects and motion blurring here. The games environments look nice, but arent that varied as they all pretty much look the same except they have a few differences like buildings and other objects in levels. Plus, some of the textures look ugly so it diminishes the graphical quality. The car models still look fantastic, with excellent details and realistic looks. Its also nice to see when you add visual upgrades like glossy paint or stickers. Plus, unlike the PS2 and Xbox versions, the game runs at 60 frames per second and has some races where there are about twenty cars on the screen, and theres little slowdown. -(The Sound)- The sound is great. The soundtrack is very different from the previous game. Rather than having non-stop licensed music, the game goes for a much less absent feel to the music. A lot of the music is composed, and it really does get your blood pumping. Especially in canyon duels, where the music is eerily absent. The effects are top notch, as car engines sound superb and the sounds of things like road signs crunching, car parts crunching and smashing into other cars is cool. Like before, the game has cheesy FMVs, so expect cheesy voice acting. Its so OTT that you cant help but enjoy it. Plus, thanks to the 360s ability to have custom soundtracks in any game, you can finally listen to your own music in a NFS game. Shame theres no point, considering you have to turn down the car engine and sound effects completely down, and theres no point. -(The Replay Value)- Carbon could provide a pretty long experience. The career mode can take from 10 to 20 hours to complete, depending if you want to try and complete all the events and buy all the cars. But you probably wont want to do that, considering the game is boring. There are nearly fifty achievements to unlock, but, most of them are involved with online play, so if you dont have Xbox live then youre screwed out of a lot of achievements. Still, you could spend a few good hours trying to get the non-online achievements. Plus, theres also a challenge mode where you have to do a set of challenges. There are about three different types of challenges-bronze, silver and gold. But the racing is so boring you probably wont want to do it, especially without cutscenes to spice them up. Theres also online multiplayer for up to 8 players. That means you cant do races with twenty people online. Plus, if you found the game boring like me then you probably wont bother with the extra stuff or online play. -(The Score)- Controls=5 Gameplay=5 Graphics=8 Sound=8 Replay Value=6 Overall Score=6.4 -(The Ending Comments)- Sure, its not the first time the NFS series has been on the 360. I expected a lot from Carbon, considering the previous game was one of my favourite racers made, thanks to its exciting cop chases. Carbon is disappointing. It really doesnt force you to get into chases, and its really sad that its that way. Plus, canyon races are frustrating, the wingman mechanics are weak and the crew stuff feels like a cheap knockoff of Juiced. So this means Carbon is fair at best. Its not the worst racer Ive played, and the visuals and sound are nice. Its just that Carbon is boring, thanks to a lack of police chases. And the mediocre handling is more noticeable here, as what else attracts your mind? Carbon could be a decent purchase for fans, but other racer heads would be better off trying Most Wanted on the 360. -(The Extra Info)- This game was published by EA Games and developed by EA Canada This game was released on November 3rd, 2006 and is also on PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox, Gamecube, DS, GBA, Wii, and PC. Thanks for reading. Stunt 101
Having all fur coat and no knickers is a term used for someone of something that looks classy on the outside but when it comes down to it has none. Paris Hilton and Channel 4 are good examples of it. There is nothing more disarming than coming across something that looks genuinely first rate only to be sucker punched with the real deal at a later date. In the gaming world they're Kings amongst mere boys in developing games that look fantastic, but have no soul. They are called EA and they churn out yearly updates to titles that should have been taken out and shot sometime in the 90s. Thats not to say that they dont produce some good games as that would be naïve, however, they did produce Need for Speed: Carbon. Gameplay If Need for Speed: Carbon was to be given its sequel number it would probably be called Need for Speed 12 or something like that. The franchise has been a real money spinner for EA and has captured the lucrative Christmas No1 spot several times. However, this is not a sign of quality as the most popular games at Christmas often have mass appeal, but are actually not very good. You star as an illegal street racer who previously, for some unknown reason, had been chased out of town. On your return you have to join a weak street gang and try and increase the respect for you and your gang by racing others in the city. The city acts as a giant hub like in Crackdown and in certain parts you will come across markers that trigger a race. You must win these races to progress in the game and reclaim parts of the city for your gang. The racing aspect of the game has been done before and is nothing new. Aspects that are unique are the ability to have another driver on the course with you who will either block other cars, let you slipstream or find you shortcuts. This is a neat feature and adds something to the game. Another element that NFS does well is the police chases. If you are found speeding the police may come after you. This triggers a mini game in which you must drive through the city in real time in the hope of escaping jail! The gameplay may sound good and there may be plenty of aspects, but this means nothing as the actual handling of the cars is awful. You feel like you are driving through treacle, the problem is particularly bad in drift levels. I also thought that the races themselves were deadly dull with the AI of the others cars giving you no competition. There was no sense of speed or adrenaline in the gameplay and with plenty of other great racers on the 360 there is no need to have this game. (2 out of 5) Characters/Story This being a NFS game there is actually a surprising amount of storyline for a racer. After some victories you are treated to a cut scene that sees your character interacting with other members of the street gangs including a former girlfriend and a former enemy. The fact that you are racing for a reason does add a little bit to the game as although the racing itself may feel a little soulless the parts between it are somewhat interesting. (3 out of 5) Longevity I think that the longevity of this game all depends on how long the gamer can stomach the duller than dull game mechanics. Even the newest of gamers will tire quite quickly with racing the same grey tracks over and over again. However, if you have your dull radar off the game is pretty deep with lots of levels. The game is also extended by the fact that rival street gangs will try and invade your territory and you must defend it in another race on an old track. For me this was a bit dull, but to some it could be enjoyable. Like all 360 games there is also the ability to gain achievement points and add to the time spent playing this game. For all its faults NFS: Carbon does have a decent set of achievements to gain that are split well between offline and online play. I was a bit peeved that lots of the achievements all seemed to be linked to the police chases and not the main game. (3 out of 5) Online The online community of this game was not something that I delved too deeply into as I could not actually stand to race the cars. There were plenty of options on offer to play and as long as other people are online up to 6 could race at once. From what little I played, it felt like a competent racer, however, it was far duller than playing the excellent online aspects of Burnout. (3 out of 5) Graphics Here is the area where EA often shine and is the reason why I referred to all fur coat and no knickers at the start of my review. There is no denying that in the looks department NFS: Carbon is a beaut. The actually city and cars themselves look crisp and high definition and have the right amount of lighting. Even better are the cut scenes that see real life actors fed through an animation filter similar to Sin City and 300. The effect is really good and it gives the game real presence. However, I have a couple of issues. Firstly, it cant be too hard to design pretty looking things that dont do much as the races feel incredibly last gen and non-interactive. Secondly, whats the point of playing a game that looks good but is vacant in the gameplay stakes? (4 out of 5) Level Design For what this game gains in graphics it loses in its awful level design. As a rule the city is great to race around freely. However, once you pass through a certain marker you are forced to do laps in a given part of the city. All the levels look the same and after 5 or 6 you really get bored with going round yet another grey bend. The race tracks are deathly dull and have not exciting features in them. I would probably say this was the poorest aspect of the game and the thing that ruined the experience totally for me. (1 out of 5) Sound Like graphics, the sound of a game is easier to make decent if you have piles of cash, and what are EA famous for? Their piles of cash! As with the majority of their games NFS: Carbon has great sound presentation. There is a line up of songs from the original artists that plays during the game and if you are a fan of new metal you will be happy. The music is not so poor even for none fans and is completely harmless. The sound effects in the game are also excellent with the car noises sounding great, especially through surround sound. There is no denying the quality here if only the game could have been as good elsewhere. (5 out of 5) Summary Need for Speed: Carbon is essentially just as I made out in the opening paragraph of this review a pretty face, but a vacant mind. To many casual gamers the great graphics and nice presentation may be enough to impress them. However, as a person who plays many games I can honestly say that this is not worth buying. The levels are samey, dull and generic and the cars handle like they are being driven through melted tarmac. No amount of flashy effects can detract from the fact that I grew bored of the game after only a couple of hours of gameplay. I doubt very much that this review will prevent NFS: ProStreet from hitting Christmas No1 in 2007 but at least a few people here will have been warned. (2 out of 5) Maker: EA RRP £50 Amazon uk £14.96 Play.com £39.99