History, The Origin Of Need for Speed
Need for Speed originated in a small gaming studio by the name of Distinctive Software, Inc, better known as Unlimited Software, Inc. This company was known for its releases of 4D Boxing (1991), Stunts (1990), Test Drive (1987) and Mission Impossible (1991).
Prior to it being bought out by Electronic Arts, Need for Speed was already made, under another two names, Stunts and Test Drive. Test Drive also had a sequel to it, The Duel: Test Drive II.
In 1991, it became EA Canada, a major component in the future EA Sports, in a deal worth US$11 million. This had a significant effect on Accolade, which lost credibility, and market share, upon this deal and in the following years. Although the Need for Speed series’ development started in 1992, I stick by my previous statement that it already existed in a different name.
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1994 – The Need for Speed
It took two years of development for The Need for Speed to be released, it was first released on 3DO, soon making it’s way to PC (DOS) in 1995, and in 1996 it was on Playstation and Sega Saturn.
1997 – Need for Speed: II
One year after The Need for Speed to come it, it followed with a sequel, Need for Speed II, this game included some of the rarest, most exotic cares of that time, including the Ford Indigo Concept, and features tracks from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Many fans were disappointed by this game, when they found it was in the style of an Arcade Game and had lost the realism from the first instalment. V-Rally was also released in this same year.
1998 – Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit was a revolutionary game for the series, adding the police, and a Hot Pursuit mode, in which the player must avoid the police. This game took advantage of the multimedia capabilities of the CD-ROM by featuring music videos, slide shows, and audio commentaries. This game was the first in making additional cars downloadable for the series. This resulted in modding communities making websites where you could download extra content that would not be available from the official website.
1999 – Need for Speed: High Stakes/Road Challenge
Need for Speed: High Stakes/Road Challenge was released in the summer of 1999. Being widely criticised for it’s likeness of it’s predecessor Need for Speed: III Hot Pursuit, containing all of the same tracks, although, Need for Speed: High Stakes/Road Challenge also contained it’s own new tracks. Nevertheless this game provided several new racing styles, including: High Stakes, Getaway and Career. This game was far more improved on the Playstation that it was on the PC, it contained new tracks, and the AI was far more improved. In this same year, V-Rally 2 was released.
2000 – Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed / Porsche 2000 / Porsche
This game differed a lot to the previous Need for Speeds, as all it featured was Porsches and a wealth of information regarding them. The cars handled a lot more realistically in this game, compared to all the other Need for Speed games. There is an in depth catalogue that spans throughout Porsche’s years. In terms of game construction, it is most often hailed as Need for Speed’s best collaborated effort to bring forth one singular car brand and amplify and deepen the depth of knowledge both on history and motor functions.
2001 – Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
This was the debut Need for Speed title of Black box Software and the first Need for Speed game for the ‘Next Generation’ of consoles. This game was more situated around racing, than being in the police’s shoes; the game play was significantly increased, while some other modes suffered.
2003 – Need for Speed Underground
Need for Speed: Underground was totally reformulated, and way different to the other Need for Speeds out there, this game was made for tuners, you could totally out mod your friends and use your favourite car in the game against them in head to head or online play. The races were featured at night, and this game had a storyline to it, making it the best game so far.
2004 – Need for Speed: Underground 2
You anticipated it, you wondered what would happen, and then it came, the sequel to Underground 1.
Featuring free roam, this game was revolutionary to the series, allowing you to go anywhere within the map, and travel to your own races, and it allowed you to own more than one car, this game saw the use of the Underground Racing League, and Street X modes, and far more tuning options, such as speakers for your car, although they didn’t do anything they looked good in the all new magazine photo mode.
2005 – Need for Speed: Underground Rivals
Based of the popular Underground series, this game had a little more features than its predecessors; it featured some American Muscle cars such as the 1969 Dodge Charger, the 1967 Ford Mustang, and the 1997 Chevrolet Corvette C6.
2005 – Need for Speed: Most Wanted
This game was an instant classic with the Need for Speed fans, as it included police chases as a must, and CGI effects for movies, the storyline did not follow from Underground 2, however, in my eyes it is far better than them, except the lack of drifting, they made up for it though, with Tollbooth and more.
2006 – Need for Speed: Carbon
This was only a slightly improved (graphically and car wise) version of Most Wanted; it featured almost all the same cars, and a lot of new American Muscle. The game was shorter, and a lot easier than its predecessors, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fun to play, with the added racings of Canyon drifting, and Canyon racing, it was a very fun sequel to Most Wanted.
What is in the making for us in 2007? We can only wait and find out, let’s hope it’s a great sequel or a new beginning.