Review by 40Spyder

Reviewed: 11/28/07

A Far Cry From Previous NFS Games

Need for Speed: Pro Street is the latest installment in EAs series, following Most Wanted and Carbon. Fans of the Need for Speed franchise are in for a big surprise when they play this game, an that's not necessarily a good thing. Gone are the police chases, freeroam capability, speedbreaker, wingmen, and the goal of becoming the top street racer. Instead, this game's storyline basically consists of the player taking on the role of Ryan Cooper, traveling from event to event, (I use the term "traveling" loosely, you just select the events from your map) winning races to earn a prize.

Race types now include: grip, time attack, drag, wheelie, drift, sector shootout and speed challenges. Most race types are recycled and renamed race types from previous games.

The physics engine has been completely reworked. Car handling is no longer lumped into one of three groups (as in Carbon) but each individual car handles differently, continuing EAs theme of increased realism for this title. Fans of the series may find the physics disappointing however, as the game now feels like a slightly modified Gran Turismo, abandoning the arcadey, an all-out, all-the time feel of games past. Rather than desperately slamming through turns with a sense of urgency, racers are instead encouraged to slow dramatically, find the best line and hit the apex of corners.

The number of available cars has increased since carbon, with many of the fan-requested cars now being present (Nissan GTR, Pagani Zonda, Dodge Challenger, etc). Also the tuning options have been greatly expanded, and players may find themselves spending entire playing sessions just re-tooling and testing their cars, without setting foot on the tracks at all.

Expanded car selection
Expanded tuning options (too many to list)
Daylight racing (you can actually see where you're going!)
Increased garage capacity (have not found a limit yet, limit was 7 in NFS Carbon)
Dyno testing (lists horsepower, torque, 0-60 time, fastest 1/4 mile, etc)
Catch-Up (rubber-band AI) appears to have been eliminated

Lack of police chases
Lack of freeroam
Announcer (who's entire dialog is basically variations on "Watch out for that Ryan Cooper, he used to do illegal street racing")
Menus (light grey on white design is hard to read, very slow response time)
Map (graffiti theme looks like a failed attempt by EA to seem "cool", at the cost of functionality)
Cars can only be set-up for one race type (ie. once you create a drag racing blueprint for your car, you can not use that car for other race types without rebuilding it from scratch)
Focus on best lines rather than speed (just an opinion here, but the game is called Need for SPEED, not Need to Slow Down to 40mph to Hit the Apex of this Turn)
Inability to map controls
Inability to set mini-map to rotate with your progress

In conclusion, I was disappointed in this game after playing Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Carbon. It seems that EA completely abandoned the theme of this series, instead opting for a watered-down of Gran Turismo.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: Need for Speed ProStreet (US, 11/13/07)

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