Need For Speed 2022 - A Dialogue

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United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Hey there people,

This is my first time on this forum and it's the most active forum concerning racing games at least I've ever been on, and I just wanted to start a discussion amongst the NFS fanbase about NFS 2022 now that we are a year and a half away from it releasing. I've also talked about this on Reddit, but I really wanted to open it up to as many people as possible and see what it is that people think about stuff, what their hopes are, things they'd like to see change etc.

So... Need For Speed in general is a series that both developers and some fans should be way more ambitious about, Need For Speed Heat set a somewhat great tone for the series (despite me having some issues with the car list, the story and I think arcade racers in general have suffered from a lack of depth, that game included) compared to the previous few games, and there are actually a few ideas from the games preceding Heat that I would like to see return to some extent.

I think what I personally want out of NFS the most next game is the ability to choose, not just for me, for everyone. If you want your Ferrari to look like a GT3 car, you should have the parts at your disposal to do that, I personally think supercars that look like that are dog ugly but each to their own. If you want your 1969 Camaro to be a grip monster, or you want to brake to drift to your heart's content, the handling model should allow for that and it shouldn't penalise you for doing ether of those things (although I feel brake to drift should be an optional feature that can be toggled on or off. If you want to turn off the police in free roam because they annoy the **** out of you, you should have the ability to do that. I've seen a lot of selfishness, snobbery and elitism from certain parts of the NFS fanbase, whether it's nostalgia merchants demanding that we return to the physics and handling of the mid 2000s NFS games and giving the most unhinged and hysterical critiques of the new NFS games or the hardcore players (a certain youtuber come to mind) who forget that not everyone wants or has the time or privilege to invest as much into a game as they do and that considering they make up the majority of the fanbase, not only should their voices be heard as much as yours, they should be able to adjust the difficulty to their liking, but unfortunately they tend to be the ones who shout the loudest and the voices of everyone else are often drowned out, so this is my attempt to... be a voice of reason lmao. With that being said, I'm calling this idea Need For Speed : Friction, though if any of you guys have a better name after reading everything, be sure to let me know.

1. Story/Progression
I would really recommend the developers not only look at games like Forza Horizon 1 and Midnight Club LA to see how a Racing Game story can still be immersive without taking away from the driving, but to also look at really great RPG's like Dragon Age : Origins and Skyrim, take elements from those games, and see how they can work well in a racing game without compromising the identity of it as a racing game. I would also really implore them to do their research on different car cultures and how the people in them ACTUALLY act lmao, I hear the word corny used to describe NFS stories in the past few years and it's probably because of the constant "look at me, i'm a street racer" attitude a lot of the characters have. But yes, there was a real sense of progression in Forza Horizon 1 and the conversations for example in MC:LA felt very natural, and the story never took precedence over the driving. That is the starting point, at least, for any story-driven racing game. The rivals in this game idea are very much like Most Wanted 2005's but with much more interaction and each with their own motivations for doing what they do, and each of them holding a key part to the advancement of the story(s.) I think some of the criticism of Payback was borderline unhinged and hysterical, there were some good ideas that were just executed badly, the story and progression being one of them, and I actually quite enjoyed the cinematic feel of the game, something I feel should be expanded upon in the next game. It's a shame it was done to make up for the one-dimensional nature of everything.

I feel like there's been a real bleeding together of different car cultures in an attempt to create a "universal car culture" and yes, cars are just cars at the end of the day, but Muscle cars had their own lore, culture and influence on car culture, JDM has it's own story, and just over the past 20 years we now have a pretty big library of exotics and supercars, enough to say they also have their place in the automotive canon. So I feel like these differences should be emphasised in the next NFS game.

So I wanted to keep my idea of having three "distinct" origin stories for Tuner, Muscles and Exotic/Supercars intact (a la Dragon Age Origins) but I think people should have a choice after completing the origin stories of continuing with the "tuner", "muscle" and "exotic/supercar" stories alongside the main storyline (you will only be able to continue the story you originally started, if you completed the Tuner origin story you would only be able to do continue the Tuner storyline, with each storyline having 3 class bosses) or just doing the main storyline completely on it's own, and even within the main storyline, there should be different ways to progress, and if you just choose to do the main storyline... congratulations, you now have something to do at the end of the game, as your class story as it were is accessible to you at any point during the game, and doing them unlocks "class specific" abilities, class specific auxillary parts, and you unlock cars from your class more frequently, among other things. The abilities are as follows :

Oh and YES, before ANYONE says anything, you are not locked into choosing cars from your class, after completing the origin story you can buy any car from any class you want, there isn't that trash tier system from Carbon, rather, there are certain cars from your class that will appear more often at the beginning of the game (for example, if you choose the exotic origin story, you will see old Porsche 911's and Lotuses at the beginning and you will begin to see the higher end cars more frequently later on in the game)

Tuner Class Abilities

Tuner's Acumen - 20% point bonus during drift races.

Blending In - Cooldown Spots tick 30 percent faster at higher heat levels.

Muscle Class Abilities

Bullitt - 60% chance to pull a Wheelie at the beginning of Drag Races.

Let It Burn - Pursuit Breakers respawn faster.

Exotics/Supercars Class Abilities

Catch Me If You Can - Nitrous refills 50% faster during pursuits.

Top Of The Line - Performance Parts cost 30% less.

The story revolves around a group of 6 socialites called the Silver Mantises (name in progress lmao) who drive exclusively hypercars who have been exerting a very powerful influence over street racing in the fictional Crisola City for the past 5 years, controlling everything from race routes, to threatening racers who beat their racers with either working with them or being assassinated, to even the police in the city. The leader of this group of socialites is one Kevin "Mantis" Denton, who, after winning an annual race called Desperado's Passage, ditched his heavily modified 180SX for a Lotus Evija and joined an elite group of racers on a remote Island called Engano Atoll, allowing him and his group to sabotage the street racing scene in Crisola City completely unchallenged. You arrive in Crisola City and after completing the Origin Story, are soon dragged into the struggles of Crisola City, between the different crews, the 6 bosses you must beat before travelling to the aforementioned Island, and the police take a particular interest in you. After the murder of one of the 3 characters who will guide you through your respective origin story just after completing it, the increased aggressiveness of the police towards you, and "insert other incentive to find these socialites here lmao", you begin the process of finding Mantis and the 5 others who are responsible for the discord in Crisola City.

There are 15 bosses in total in Need For Speed : Friction - 3 of them being related to your class story, the first 6 of them in the main storyline being the bosses of Crisola City who each drop clues to getting to the remote Island (these clues can also be dropped by racing the roaming racers, but takes much longer than attracting the attention of the bosses by increasing your reputation, completing enough races and getting a certain amount of pursuit time. Roaming Racers are definitely a feature I think should return from Payback, and the final 6 bosses being the socialites. Here are the bosses as follows :

And quick note... there should be a lot more exploration of characters, their internal struggles, as well as how these struggles link to the overall story, hence why I called the game "Friction."

Tuner Bosses - Akiko "Duchess" Matsuda, Colin "Monk" Ikeda Benjamin "Gust" Thompson

Muscle Bosses - Tyrone "Anvil" Johnson, Tatiana "Tatu" Simons, Simon "Ghoul" Carol

Exotic/Supercar Bosses - Sophie "Sapphire" Weber Veronica "Thorns" Rossi , Robert "Klepto" Turner

Main Bosses (these are the 6 racers who capitulated to the Silver Mantises and are now their lackeys) -

Patrick "Hatrick" Rhodes

Thomas "Skippy" Lavert

Matthew "Maverick" Baxter

Casey "Crackerjack" Colt

Lewis "Leopard" Sowell

Mateo "Matchstick" Ricci

Socialites

Simone "Wing" Fabbron - Ferrari F40

Xavier "Pincers" Richards - Mclaren F1

Triston "Thorax" Prager - Porsche 918 Spyder

Tessa "Antenna" Soprano - Ferrari LaFerrari

Ewan "Vision" Valdes - Koenigsegg Agera

Kevin "Mantis" Denton - Lotus Evija

I had someone on my last post say "I don't like stories, I could do without it thanks" and to that I say... just skip the cutscenes lmao, this is what I meant about selfishness earlier, just because you don't want a story that doesn't mean the vast majority of people don't, this section is for the people who are interested in NFS stories, and I think the people who constantly criticise, and rightfully so, the stories in NFS games should be the first ones to say what it is they'd like to see in an NFS story. What do you guys think of the story idea? Do you think it's do-able? What is it you enjoy about NFS Stories?

Now Let's talk about Police and Pursuits.

2. Police/Pursuits
Like I said in my last post, there should be an option from now on to toggle the Police on and off in Free Roam, some people don't want to be thrown into a pursuit when they're just trying to cruise around and some people like the constant danger of the police around every corner. I think Heat was onto something with the day/night cycle but I think there should be more subtlety (if anyone disagrees with this, let me know), and in this context, I think the Police should be much more prevalent at night, both in free roam and races when they know that the really illicit stuff goes on at that time of day. I still think Pursuit Breakers should not only return (I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I don't want to just bash the 5-0 to death lmao) but be dynamic and be realistic in the sense that if you roll through a gas station during a pursuit for example, you will not be able to use that particular pursuit breaker again for a few days because I don't know of any gas stations that get blown up and then are as good as new the next day lmao, I also think cooldown spots should return because they reminded you that you will get out of a pursuit a lot faster if you duck and hide as opposed to still driving around where the police are still zooming around trying to see the last place where you were at. I've been thinking about Pursuit Tech a lot, but what do you guys think? Should it return in future games, and if so, to what extent? Do you like the police in recent games? Do you want to be able to turn the police on and off in free roam? Let me know.

Just a quick sidebar, please give the villains in this game some humanity, show us how they act around their allies, loved ones etc, no one is ever "evil" all the time and this reminds the players that they may not be so different from the villain.

Now my favourite part... cars.

3. Cars
I think the vast majority of people would say that the cars in NFS, a series about illegal street racing and car customisation, should be :

- Street Legal

- Modifiable

- Sporty from the factory in some way shape or form

- Should represent the best of their respective car canon i.e. the Toyota A80 Supra, Honda NSX-R NA1, Nissan Skyline R34 and the Mazda RX-7 FD Spirit R are the faces of JDM/Tuner Culture, the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and the Pontiac GTO's of the 60s best represent Muscle Cars, and the Porsche 911 992, the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Mclaren 720s and the Lamborghini Huracan are the poster boys of modern Exotics/Supercars.

I doubt many would agree that they should be :

- SUV'S

- Track Only Cars

- Civilian cars like the Ford Fiesta or Nissan Micra

- Different trim levels of the EXACT same car like we had in Heat

- Cars that aren't that relevant to their respective canon i.e. a Toyota Starlet isn't really a car that comes up generally in discussions about JDM/Tuner legends.

So let's define some terms :

Tuners - Tuners are cars that are relatively inexpensive and accessible, easy to modify, and have a lot of potential when it comes to performance. Hailing mainly from Japan with some European exceptions, they excel in places with tight corners and hairpin turns, and when modified enough, can give the Aventador's and 812 Superfast's of the world a real run for their money. Toyota, Honda and Nissan are the poster boys for tuning cars and culture.

Muscles - Muscle Cars are coupes with big V8 or HEMI engines that are most at home on drag strips and anywhere that they can go fast in a straight line. What they may lack up in handling aptitude they make up for in straight line acceleration and pure, unadulterated driving joy. Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge are the undisputed kings of Muscle and Pony Cars.

Exotics/Supercars - Made from the ground up to be street legal high performance machines, Exotics and Supercars are meant to come out of the factory ready to be both road and track ready. Despite a few exceptions, when it comes to reaching top speed the fastest, few can keep up with these expensive pieces of engineering. Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren are the contemporary trailblazers of this archetype.

Hypercars - The top 1% of Supercars, Hypercars push the limits of not only what a Supercar is capable of, but what a Car is capable of. Electric Motors, Air Brakes, blindingly fast 0-60 times, these cars are extremely limited in production and have jaw-dropping performance figures. The Ferrari F40 is probably the original Hypercar, but Pagani, Koenigsegg and Bugatti are the contemporary pioneers of the Hypercar.

Just to reiterate, why are there track cars like the P1 GTR in a game/series about illegal street racing lmao, nobody thinks of a Chevy C10 from the 60s when they hear the words Need For Speed, and I don't think anyone wants multiple trim levels and roadster versions of the exact same car lol (this is different from having different generations of the same car), my goal with my car list was more-so evenness and depth than it was the size, there's been a giant bias towards super and hypercars in recent games whilst muscle cars are treated like there are only 5 of them and tuner cars only ever get the bare minimum, there are so many cars like the Celica GT-4, the Honda Integra Type R DC2 and the Nissan 300ZX that are very high up in the JDM canon but are missing from NFS games, and then there are cars that haven't appeared in the series for years like the Mazda RX-8. And again, considering there were 127 cars in the last NFS game, I think we can safely debunk the argument that NFS can't have car lists with depth and also that more cars = less customisation, you can add cars while adding more customisation for existing cars, surely?

I still don't know where Toyota stand with licensing because they're in Forza Horizon 4 AND Fast And Furious Crossroads, but Straight Up Hippo did a video last year talking about a NFS Underground remaster and he doesn't think anything besides money is stopping EA from renewing the license but here is the car list again for those that didn't get to see it in the last post.

Note : If SUV's return it should be in an Offroad DLC Extent, and at least one of the Car DLC packs should link into the story in some way.

Here are the links to the car list below as well as there being an attachment to the entire post

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rjYThzR5wnLjJP4t4JAxV9D2PhQwSTyU/edit
And here are the starter cars as follows

Tuners - Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno (If Toyota are a no go the Mazda MX-5 ND will replace this car) and Honda Civic Type R EK9 2000

Muscles - Ford Mustang Fox Body and Chevrolet Camaro Z28 1973

Exotics - 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS and Lotus Elise Series 3

If there are multiple generations of a car there should be a drop down menu when buying the car showing the different generations, with the most recent iteration showing up first, for example, if you're buying a Porsche 911, the 992 would show up first, then the 996, then the 993, and then the 1970's Carrera. You should also be able to drop the top of the car when you buy it and be able to add the roof back if you so choose during customisation.

Depending on what class story you do, you will unlock cars from that class at a faster rate than cars from other classes.

Developers, if you're reading this, PLEASE : Make every car distinctive, don't just recycle engine sounds, and do your research, that's gonna be a consistent theme in this post, games that feel authentic and smooth usually have people who did a lot of research on how to make them feel that way.

Here are some DLC Car Pack Ideas

90s Muscle Pack - 1999 Ford Mustang New Edge and the 1996 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Noughties Titans Pack - Porsche Carrera GT, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and the Ferrari Enzo

JDM Luxury pack - Lexus IS300, Infiniti Q60

The majority of the Hypercars in this game will be unavailable until you actually start racing the socialites, the Hypercars in both Payback and Heat felt WAAAAAAY too accessible IMO, they should feel special and they should feel like you have to work really hard to unlock them.

What do you guys think of the car list? Are there cars you'd like to see return/make their first appearance in the series? How do you feel about the car lists in previous games? Let me know.

Now let's talk about the Customisation real quick.

4. Customisation
I don't think that adding more cars and adding more customisation for cars that have been in the series for the past 3 games are in conflict with each other at all, the Nissan R32 Skyline is a great example of a car that if you were to do a quick google search you would see that there are a lot more visual modification options than are available in NFS games so I think the customisation needs way more variety, when I look at older NFS games I see the stark differences just between body kits, they go from very subtle bumpers and side skirts that blend into the car to aggressive, race ready wide bodies that give the car an edge to it, and there isn't really that for a lot of cars in NFS HEAT, people should have as much choice as possible, not everyone wants their Porsche 911 to look like a GT3 car, so again, I think it would be a great idea to do some research for each of the cars that appear in the next game and get that sense of variety, look up not only well known tuning companies like Rocket Bunny, Mansory and Liberty Walk, but also lesser known ones, and I actually enjoy some of the Developer made kits made in the game so if you aren't able to find many parts for some cars, just... make your own dudes lmao. And just two quick notes

- I think people should be able to adjust the size of the parts on their car a la autosculpt, some of the spoilers in Heat and Payback were damn near sci-fi and it really put me off some of the modification options. If you want a giant spoiler on your Jaguar F-Type, you should be able to do that, if you want a small little spoiler or ducktail you should be able to do that too.

- Developers, I would really love it if you would add a canard option that connects the fenders to the bumpers or even just the body for certain cars like the Audi R8 for example, if you can't find any real life examples of fenders, canards or smooth wide body kits make your own, but it is really grating to look at your car and to just see two gigantic fenders jutting out, it really ruins the smoothness of a car like the R8.

- And I think that there should be an option to use the nitrous in bursts or to have bottles that deplete when they use them all.

I think there should be at least 4 customisation options for at least the bumpers and spoilers of each car in the game, cars like 180SX have more than enough customisation already, let's make sure every car has that level of choice.

Hypercars are probably going to have the least amount of customisation in the game because, they're, well... hypercars, and manufacturers generally wouldn't want you touching them that much anyway, but every other car in the game, from the Toyota AE86 to the Chevrolet Camaro Z28 to the Mclaren 570s should have just enough customisation so that they can be turned into anything the player wants them to be.

What is it you'd like to see out of customisation? Are there any cars you'd like to see receive more customisation? Are there any customisation features from previous NFS games you'd like to see return?

Now let's talk about the Physics briefly.

5. Physics/Handling
I think the fact that we STILL need to have a conversation about this at all shows how many things that NFS is still having issues with, this might be an unpopular opinion but I actually think out of all of Ghost's games, we are never going to be able to please everybody so I think the best we can hope for is to not penalise anyone for any particular handling set up they use, people should be able to grip without gigantic amounts of understeer and people should be able to drift to their heart's content. But I think Rivals had the best handling model out of everything they've made, it was far more stable than 2015's and it felt more believable than Payback's, there's been this constant war of the purists who wants NFS to handle like a sim and the casual players who just want something fun, and I think Rivals struck a really great balance between the two, and if you were to combine this with Heat's ability to choose between grip and drift handling, with a little polish I think it could be the handling model the NFS series should roll with from here on in, again, if you want it to feel either of those two ways you should be able to tweak things via live tuning, stance tuning etc, but other people don't take it that seriously, so.... don't force them to lmao. Also, the best physics models feel the most rewarding at high speeds, just look at MC:LA for example, you really do feel like you're going 200 MPH, take inspiration from that.

What do you guys think of the handling model? What would you like your car to feel like? Do you feel like Heat did a good job with the handling model?

Now let's talk about the Environment real quick.

6. Environment/Map/Atmosphere
I think this is one thing Payback actually did better than Heat, Fortune Valley felt much more alive than Palm City regardless of the time of day because of the pedestrians, the traffic, the roaming racers etc, and one thing that has been missing from racing games for a VEEERY long time is shortcuts and making them important, MC:LA is a game that really made you learn shortcuts and it really added depth to both races and the map, by the end of the game you will know the best routes to take to reach the finish line the fastest and the map itself won't take 300 years to get from one point to another.

The map should be pretty damn big, don't get me wrong (approaching The Crew One big) but make sure it isn't big for the sake of big, add depth, make memorable shortcuts, make some landmarks in the style of the bridge from NFS : MW, the Airport from Underground 2 (I think the Muscle Car starting area should be the place where the Airport is) and make people want to explore things. The map should feel like another character in and of itself.

Remember to add real life stores to the map too if possible lol

Back to what I said earlier in making the differences between day and night more subtle, roaming racers should be more active at night, cooldown spots should be more prevalent at night etc.

So like I said in my previous post, each origin story will have a starting area inspired by different real life areas - tuners will start in a place close to the Canyons with lots of tight corners and winding roads which is heavily inspired by legendary Japanese touge routes like Takenouchi Pass and Hakone Hill Climb (see below) :




Now that's a CORNER if I ever saw one. (Takenouchi Pass.)




Hakone Mountain Pass.

that only the zippiest of cars like the RX-7 and the Civic Type R EK9 could breeze through called Leviathan's Pass. The mountains lead into a village-y rural type area, where the player will spend most of the origin story, doing what at that point will be the Tuner-only events of Drifting and Touge racing events.

The Muscle Car starting area is as obnoxious and grand as the characters in this starting story, and is heavily inspired by Detroit which is probably the first place people think of when they think of muscle cars - long inner city straights, grand highways and plenty of space to pop wheelies and rev those big HEMI engines to your heart's content, the two race modes that this story features from the jump are the return of Highway Battles from NFS Undercover and Drag Races (I actually enjoyed the Drag races in Payback but I wish they had patterns to learn like the original NFS MW did, one wrong move and you're head first into a Fire Engine), here are the places I'm thinking of below :


I see a Falcon XB, Chevelle SS and a Charger R/T zooming across here

And the Exotic/Supercar starting area is heavily influenced by the Casino part of the Payback map and the real life Los Angeles, very much the place where the rich and speed hungry go. Huge intersections, beaches, glittering casinos etc. I'm thinking of a really long, Las Vegas Strip-esque area in the middle of this part of the map. The Time Attack races from Heat and the Speedtrap races from NFS MW 2005 are the Exotic-Exclusive events for the starter story, before all of the class specific races I've mentioned are available to everyone after completing the Origin Story.

What do you guys like out of maps? What's your favourite NFS map so far?

7. Endgame/DLC Content
So I'm about to piss some people off LMAO.

Hero cars should not return unless they link into the STORY in some way, I think the time the developers spend catering to a tiny minority of loud nostalgia merchants could be spent on other more important things, yes, everybody loves Eddie's Skyline, Rachel's 350Z and of course the M3 GTR from Most Wanted, but there comes a point where people get tired of seeing them for no apparent reason other than "look what we did 15-16-17 years ago" , so all 3 of those cars should return, but only if they have a rational and legitimate reason to.

Please go for quality over quantity when it comes to DLC, I think people are more than happy to wait if they know something worth their while is coming their way, and I think 8-10 pieces of DLC over the span of a year is enough to tie people over until the next game, here are some ideas :

Playing as Mantis - Play through Desperado's Passage and Kevin Denton's rise to power.

Offroad DLC - The Silver Mantises had all of their bases covered and installed a puppet crew in an off-road region of the map, IDK lol

DLC where hero cars return for some reason related to the plot.

Tuner specific DLC

Muscle Specific DLC

Exotic Specific DLC

What do you like to see out of a DLC? Are there any DLC packs out of recent NFS games you like? Let me know

8. Things to Improve from Heat
This is going to be a quick checklist of things that seem to constantly be broken at launch and never get fixed

- More customisation for returning cars such as the R32 Skyline GTR

-Clipping Issues

- A Level Cap Increase

- No PVP, Endgame

- Car list filled with cars that don't fit into a series about illegal street racing i.e. SUV's, track cars

- Hypercars being way too accessible too soon into the game

- Crews having a purpose after game completion

- PC Optimisation

I would talk about multiplayer but I don't know too much about it besides the RSR being massively OP and that it has been the past 3 games so I'm sure a lot of people would want that fixed and for some balancing to happen, so I'll leave that to you guys

That's everything I wanted to say for right now, and I will probably add a section about DLC and endgame content later but please feel free to comment and discuss my ideas with me, I'm a lot happier with what I thought of this time.
 

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