Need for Speed Carbon

Need for Speed Carbon

Overview

The time has come and Sony has finally released its highly anticipated PlayStation 3 to retail stores nationwide. Now of course finding one is a completely different story, but nevertheless we are here to check out another launch title for the highly anticipated console. Today we are checking out the latest game from the Need For Speed franchise, which EA took over the license for several years ago. Since then the series has undergone some serious changes and become a very successful franchise. So how does Carbon manage on the PS3? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

Over the past few years we have seen the Need for Speed franchise really evolve over time, from just a run of the mill racer to really one of the best open ended street racers on the market. Year after year, the developers have gone and really improved the series in numerous ways and really has kept gamers intrigued by their series. Now being that this is the second year of the Xbox 360 gamers is really expecting a true next generation racing experience. Can, Need for Speed Carbon provide that experience?

The last few Need for Speed games have had some back-story, but like most things based off of street racing really didn’t have a whole lot of depth behind it. In fact, last year’s game (Most Wanted) was literally just a stripped down version of any Fast and the Furious movie, with little plot and little reason to care. EA has tried to expand on the story in Carbon, with a lot more cut scenes with even more style then last year’s game. The game takes place in Carbon City (hint the name Carbon), which is a much more interesting city to drive in then last year’s Most Wanted game. The overall story in Carbon is extremely stylize but still does get the basic idea fulfilled.

The career mode starts off with of course you on the bottom and you are going to have to work your way up to the top of the street racing world. The biggest addition to the career mode is the team based strategy that has been implemented with the new "crew" feature. Now what the crew does offer up is a much more strategic experience that gives you an extra pair of eyes to help you be successful in the race. Also the game has put a much heavier emphasis on drifting, something other racers have successful at doing and Carbon really nails a fine median between too much drifting and just the right amount.

The overall feel of the career mode is really what we have come to expect from the series with very little left for surprises. The game is all about getting new cars and tricking them out something that has been improved a bit this year. There is this new auto sculpt feature that allows you to create your own spoiler to kind of customize it to your liking. The rest of the customization is pretty much like we have seen it in the past, with some upgraded menu’s to help the process along.

One of the big problems on the PS3 is that the online play lacks people, in fact this is a few weeks after the launch of the PS3 and there still really aren’t that many people online to play against, which really makes the online play somewhat obsolete. For the times I got online, I did find the online play to be both interesting and enjoyable to play; but then again it is so hard to get a game that made the whole experience rather off-putting. In the end, Carbon may not have the online play that some may have wanted, but the core gameplay is still very smooth on the PS3 and plays just like you would want it to.

Graphics

The big question for many of these PS3 launch titles is the question about the visual department and if the cell processer really took the game to the next level. Well with Need for Speed Carbon you have a game that looks almost 100% identical to what you saw in the Xbox 360 version. Need for Speed Carbon has some great blur effects that go well with the high speeds that the game runs at. The environments are a bit repetitive, but the overall look of Need for Speed Carbon is next gen; it’s just not anything different than what we saw on the Xbox 360 version.

Fun Factor

What you find with Need for Speed Carbon is a game that continues a franchise that has been extremely successful over the past couple of years. Once EA took over the franchise we have seen a large number of folks really jump on the bandwagon and enjoy a very open ended experience that made it extremely accessible to customize your ride. This continues in Carbon, with the new crew feature that works nicely and a very smooth ride online and off. This isn’t a brand new experience but it is one that continues to impress and entertain for hours on end.

Overall

Which to buy - the Xbox 360 version or the Playstation 3? To me they are so similar to each other that it just really depends on what platforms you own and prefer. You’re not really getting much difference in experience, so if you are one of the lucky few who own a PS3 and want a good racing game, Need for Speed Carbon is really a great option.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.