Tag Archives: Need for Speed

“Need for Speed” news blow-out

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It’s been a busy weekend for the “Need for Speed” video games franchise.

As we await the release of a new entry in the franchise this year, “Need for Speed – Most Wanted”, peerless racing game developer Criterion’s VP Alex Ward indicated that the “Need for Speed” series is key to his company’s future.

This is news which will not please my wife, Mrs Rolling Eyeballs, who has completed Criterion’s Burnout Paradise at least 9 times on PS3 and Xbox 360 – it may be her favourite game of all time.

Would these game devs be half-as-eager to eulogize car thieves if they had their own motors nicked?

For the time being, it would seem, we won’t be getting any more “Burnout” games from the developer and will instead be getting the far less interesting “NFS” brand in yearly iterations – I just don’t care about running from cops and having to sit through cheesy, sub-DTV cut scenes with bored, CW show hotties feigning their best, “Maxim” approved sultry poses when I could racing at breakneck speeds around a city with hundreds of challenges to take on.

“Ah-ha!’, you might say, ‘Need For Speed: Most Wanted’ takes that template from the ‘Burnout’ franchise and applies it to the ‘NFS’ brand, making it the best of all possible racing worlds – everyone’s a winner!”  True enough, the E3 footage for the game did seem to suggest that Criterion were doing “Need for Speed” in an open-world city with challenges and the traditional, ‘run-from-the-cops’ gameplay mixed together.  But it wasn’t convincing to my wife or to a lot of “Burnout” fans – from the stuff that I’ve shown her, she feels that it’s neither fish nor avian, and that the hybrid of game styles isn’t something that she wants to play.

She played Criterion’s first “Need for Speed” game for around ten minutes before handing the controller to me and never picking it back up.  Game was traded swiftly thereafter.

In other “Need for Speed” news, DreamWorks have announced that they will be making the film version of the game series, with “Act of Valor” director Scott Waugh choreographing the vehicular mayhem for a 2014 release.  The only possible response to this news is to wonder how it took other studios four or five years to notice that the last few Fast & Furious movies have been getting progressively more popular and that they might like a cut of that action.

It’s almost as though folks in Hollywood wouldn’t know a cheap-to-make, action franchise if they saw one.  There’s none of the sci-fi or fantasy world-building that a “BioShock” or “Skyrim” movie would necessitate and a lot of metal-on-metal, car-flipping action with implausibly good-looking thieves flipping off The Man to appeal to young kids at the multiplex on date night.

Doesn’t that material kind of green-light itself?

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“Need for Speed” speeds to the big screen

The only good thing about "Need For Speed:Undercover" - Maggie Q...

In news which might have seemed like a hot deal right after the release of “The Fast & The Furious” back in 2001 but which now seems like a case of Hollywood being predictably behind the times, DreamWorks have emerged as front-runners in a battle to nab the film rights to EA’s long-running and iterated-up-the-whazoo racing games.

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I’d be reasonably happy to see a movie based on this franchise, as there’s always been an element of story attempting to knit together otherwise unconnected races, stunt challenges and general law-flouting, cookie-cutter rebellion – it couldn’t be any less absurd than the last Fast & Furious flick, but it would have to go a hell of a long way to be half as enjoyable as Justin Lim’s feverish nitrous dream.

John Gatins, who previously brought you robot-bashing hug-em-up Real Steel is down to write the script, which hopefully may aspire to more than sweaty, C-list CW studs calling each other ‘Bro’ and engaging in physics-defying, CG-assisted vehicular mentalism.  I also predict the reassuring presence of many hot ladies to carefully negate any sense that all of these devil-may-care, hot-headed rebels are eager to explore each other’s manifolds between life-or-pink-slip races.

All very nice for EA, I’m sure, but where’s my frigging “Burnout” movie already?

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