With Need for Speed Heat on the horizon I decided to do a quick revisit of the 21 previous NFS games leading up to the launch of Heat. Here you can see Need for Speed 14 (World), an MMO racing game that was released in 2010 for PC and shut down in 2015, although you can still play it offline or on third party servers. In this game I recorded a race on West Park & Forest with the Toyota MR2.
As an MMO racing game Need for Speed World was obviously quite different from all the previous games in the series but the map was very familiar to veterans, since it was a combination of the maps from NFS Most Wanted and Carbon. More and more cars were added to the game over time and in the end there was a very large number of them.
Most events were regular races but there was also the Team Escape mode, which offered Hot Pursuit style races in coop with other players. There were also various powerups besides nitrous with juggernaut, slingshot and the dreaded traffic magnet.
Many people seem to have good memories about NFS World and the map and the car list were really possibly the best in the series but there were also many very bad things about the game and I am surprised that it doesn't have a more negative reputation.
The worst thing about the game was the insane cost and the disgusting pay-to-win and related mechanics. Many cars in the game could only be purchased with speed boost, which was the premium currency of the game. And they were VERY expensive. The best car in the game was the McLaren F1 and this car alone cost about $40 worth of speed boost. A single car! And for several of the lower car classes the best car was a premium car as well.
That's only the beginning though. Then we get to the performance parts. Only the lowest level parts could freely be bought with ingame cash. All the better ones could only be acquired as very rare random drops or from buying random "card packs" for boost. Then you also needed "skill parts" to improve things like nitrous and for those parts it was the exact same story as well. And you couldn't even try different setups because it was not possible to uninstall parts and put them back into your inventory. You could only sell them. The powerups were limited as well. I remember always having 0 nitrous when I was doing leaderboard runs, so I always had to grind a couple of races to get more nitrous before I could do another run.
If this game was released in 2019 there would probably be huge outrage on reddit and in other places and rightfully so but somehow in 2010-2015 EA was able to get away with this. NFS World was one of the most toxic microtransaction PC games ever and I am surprised that it isn't more known and infamous for this.
The game also didn't have proper controller support and while the keyboard handling is somewhat acceptable it's just not how I like to play.
And then there is the traffic. Most events always had traffic turned on and the AI would constantly hit you with traffic magnets, as you can also see in the video.
I guess it's good that people are playing this game offline or on custom servers now and not on the official server anymore, so they can get around at least some of the bad things that plagued the official version. And like I said the map and the car list are definitely great. I actually wonder why the official version was even shut down though because they must have surely made a ton of money from it...
Like all 21 main NFS games Need for Speed World can be played on a modern PC with Windows 10, if you can find a download of it.
I will attempt to show you all 21 existing NFS games before the release of Heat, so expect to see a video almost every day from now until the release of Heat and on some days even two. :)