GeekDad Review: Need For Speed: ProStreet

Geek Culture

NFSNFSForget the arcade-style titles with almost comically inaccurate physics and surreally tough cars. Need For Speed: ProStreet has taken it to the next level with a new physics and graphic engine. Race on the deserts of Nevada or the Autobahn. Practice your drift, drag, speed & grip. But if you customize your whip with new bodywork, better check it out in the wind tunnel before heading out.

A lot of NFS regulars will be disappointed to hear that there isn’t any illegal street racing — the line’s staple thus far — and therefore no police chases. Apparently this has caused the game to take a couple of major hits from various reviewers. However, having never played any of the previous versions, I could care less. All that mattered was that it started quick, was fun to play, and had lots of pretty visuals and cool sounds. The best part, especially for dads with little game console experience (hi!) as well as for younger kids, is that the lowest difficult level is very easy. I was winning races after my third time playing. The AI at this level is dopey and amateurish driving (not shifting gears or using the hand brake, for example) doesn’t hinder your performance that much.

But brace yourself, the word is that the difficulty level ramps up very quickly. The AIs are ready to pounce on any mistake you make, and going so fast that you can’t make turns results in a smashed whip, not a few seconds lost. While driving aggressively isn’t exactly punished, you just have to gauge whether that bump is going to knock the AI out of position or send you careening into a wall.

Need For Speed: ProStreet: Fun and easy to play casually, yet has the complexity and challenge that more demanding players expect.

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