Need for Speed - SuperCheats Top Five of the Game Series

Five: Need for Speed: Carbon

Developed by EA Black Box and released in October 2006 for Xbox 360 (and the first game in the series with versions for the PS3 and Wii), Carbon also happens to be the first title in the NFS series that received a 'proper' Achievements / Trophy scheme, setting the standards for the games that followed by incorporating an interesting flow to the various goals one must attain to unlock them.

Created as the direct-sequel to the previous year's NFS title Most Wanted, Carbon offered a bit of a 'more of the same but different' take in game play in that the well-liked (one is tempted to say addictive) police-chase-focused game play in Most Wanted is downplayed in Carbon in favor of a more relaxed but no less frenetic focus upon racing.

Specifically the game's focus on racing is a sort of return to the nest -- one might even say reboot -- from the previous games. For one thing all of the racing in the game happens at night (hence the name), and in addition to that, the wide selection of car types found in MW returns as well.

Gamers get to select from a wide assortment of car types; everything from American muscle cars to Supercars, and the ones that come in the middle of that span, like compact and sports cars. Basically there is a little something in there for everyone, and what is perhaps more important, the races that make up the game are not just about, well, racing, but are really all about racing with your crew!

In Carbon as you play through the story you gather about you a racing crew, which is really a stable of NPC racers whose skills set should nicely compliment your own, offering you the ability to utilize them in order to extricate yourself from sticky situations while racing as you carve your way to the top of the racing chain.

The story this time is a rather interesting -- if special one -- and offered an eye-opening surprise to players who forgot that there was something special about this game in the series; it was the tenth NFS title, which is why the development team went the extra mile on it.

In a nutshell the game begins with an introduction to the primary characters -- the protagonist (you) playing as an up-and-coming racer -- confronted by the antagonist, Cross, who is/was a cop in the city whose special happy place was only attained when he was busting racers.

As the game opens the player has a flashback to the race in which they are departing Palmont City via the Canyon route when the new ex-cop Cross slams into your rear end. That direct and violent attack on you is the result of something you did: you escaped during the epic chase in which Cross was supposed to catch you.

But he did not catch you and was sacked as a result. Now it is get-even time, and it turns out that ex-Officer Cross has a screw loose.

Luckily for you (or is it) just before this ex-cop turned bounty hunter who is out for revenge can put a bullet in your head, a new face appears on the scene in the form of a racer named Darius -- who happens to be the leader of the most notorious racing crew around -- The Stacked Deck Crew -- who tells Cross where to head in, because it seems Darius intends to 'deal with you' on his own.

That should be sufficient back-story to get you interested in playing -- and play you should because Carbon has all of the elements we have come to love in the NFS series but enough subtle twists to it to provide more than a few hindsight-focused 'Whaaaaa?!' moments! Rather than risk prematurely exposing plot and story elements you really should experience for yourself, let's get back to the game.

Drift racing replaces Drag racing in Carbon, and a new boss-race system called Canyon Duel was added, which features a cat-on-mouse style of racing with the player and the boss changing places depending on the success (or lack of success) of the player to remain either as close as possible to the leader or get ahead of them.

During the pre-release publicity for the game, fans of the series seemed to view the news of these changes as a case of the development team fixing something that was not broken rather than what it was, which is an attempt to add a new and interesting flavor to the series.

In the end what Carbon demonstrated was that it is indeed possible to take a handful of positive elements from an established series, mix them well with new (but untried) ideas, and end up creating a game that adds up to more in entertainment value than the sum of its parts would suggest is possible.

Posted: 27th Jan 2014 by CMBF
Need for Speed: Most Wanted,