Need for Speed Unbound Year 2 Roadmap Revealed: New Game Modes Inspired by Classic Titles, More Cars, & Player Council

After a little quiet spell over the back end of 2023, EA has reignited the Need for Speed Unbound communication channels with a “Year 2” roadmap for the title — as the series enters its 30th anniversary year.

Players may have been fearing the worst for Unbound’s continuing support, after Criterion was moved into the EA Entertainment from EA Sports to assist with the Battlefield series and “a connected Battlefield Universe”. That was, after all, what caused the delay to the NFS title’s launch in the first place…

With a 2024 roadmap now in place, those fears can be assuaged a little and there’s a few reasons to be optimistic that work continues on the game which launched in December 2022.

Firstly, there’ll be four content updates — or “Volumes” — in 2024, spread out over the year so that there’s a few months between each. As yet EA hasn’t published any specific dates, just windows that roughly correspond to each quarter, but Volume 6 will pick up right from where Volume 5 left off in October 2023.

Each update promises to contain a new major game mode, and EA has shared details on the first three. Volume 6 will bring a new head-to-head mode, while Volumes 7 and 8 will add modes inspired by previous NFS titles: a Drift & Drag mode derived from Underground, and a Cops vs Racers mode which takes cues from Hot Pursuit.

Additionally, the updates will each contain at least two new cars, each with fully customizable body kits and parts, as part of the Speed Pass. Again, details aren’t shared at this point but the teaser for the first of this year’s updates does note that Audi will be returning to the title.

Apropos of Speed Pass, there’s set to be a new “Premium” tier for this feature alongside the existing free path. That will grant instant access to one of the cars added in each update, and although it doesn’t seem that they will be limited to this tier it does appear that certain cosmetics will be. EA hasn’t yet revealed how to access the Premium content, although we’d hope (but don’t expect) it’s granted to players who bought an upgraded game version.

Naturally each update will also add new events, new challenges, new playlists, and fixes for the most common bugs and issues encountered by players.

One of the most intriguing parts of the roadmap is the fact that EA has revealed the existence of a “Player Council”. Described as a selection of NFS influencers, community members, and players, EA says it’s working with this group to help better understand what players and communities want — as part of a range of ways to receive player feedback.

That also includes gathering “telemetry” from the game in order to see what players are interested in doing. The announcement adds that 2024 will be a “year to test and learn and understand what works best for you”, which somewhat suggests there may be more to come once Volume 9 reaches the game in the October to December window.

It’s all excellent timing for PlayStation users, as Need for Speed Unbound is added to the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog, for Extra and Premium subscribers, today.

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