Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Game review: Need For Speed

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A scene from the video game Need For Speed.
A scene from the video game Need For Speed.

With its sharp graphics and punchy racing, this Need For Speed reboot feels like it's had the Fast and the Furious-style makeover it so desperately needs. While 2013's Need For Speed Rivals provided a fun arcade experience, its all-online-all-the-time attitude meant it lacked a story and decent characters.

This remake from Ghost Games makes up for that with real actors playing real people in real locations. Yes, that means there's some pretty terrible acting on display. You can't help but cringe as your crew of energy-drink-swilling car bogans tries to involve you in the conversation. But like the recent Guitar Hero Live experience, at least you know who you are and where you stand.

Then, you'll get into the street racing. This is where Need For Speed excels. It has swagger to burn. There's nothing like the roar of a Subaru as you prowl the brilliantly rendered streets of Ventura Bay, earning money and reputation points through a series of increasingly difficult races and drifting challenges. Here's where you'll need to put the work in - but it's worth it when the game gets harder later on.

Add in customisation options, addictive racing and some pretty sweet graphics, and it feels like the Need For Speed franchise is back on the right track. And it almost is. Save for a few corners being cut - Where's the manual override? Why can you only race at night? Why are Ventura's streets so damned empty? - and this feels like something Vin Diesel would be proud to play.

Game: Need For Speed
Release date: October 28
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rating: M
Verdict: Great body kit but this reboot struggles on the turns.

- TimeOut

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