It doesn't really feel like there's a new Need for Speed coming out. While racing games have certainly declined in popularity, this franchise used to cause fervour among fans – but Ghost Games' latest has barely hit second gear yet. The reviews aren't going to help much, as while the response has been solid, it's not exactly going to have you whooping like a Monster Energy addled petrol head. We'd share our opinion, but, er, EA hasn't sent us the game yet. Awkward.
GameSpot - 8/10
I did notice a small but forgivable handful of framerate drops during my playtime on the PS4, and the game's always-online setup meant I could never truly pause the game. If you ever need to quickly pause the action to, say, answer your phone or stop your cat from destroying your furniture, you simply can't unless you're willing to lose whatever event you're playing. I was also disconnected from EA's servers anytime I was away from the game for even a brief period, which led to the unnecessary hassle of reconnecting just to continue playing by myself. Still, none of that – including the unfortunate difficulty spike I experienced – was enough to ruin Need For Speed's stunning world, rewarding progression system, and exhilarating driving mechanics. Your move, Vin Diesel.
EGM - 7/10
You'd be hard pressed to find an automaker willing to take an extra year to reset their car line much like Ghost Games did here with their second run on Need for Speed. What we get is a more focused and competent racer but one seemingly unwilling to risk standing out from the crowd.
God Is a Geek - 6.5/10
It sounds like I'm being incredibly harsh on Need for Speed, but it just doesn't do enough to truly excite. It's a perfectly serviceable racer with great looks (which is expected from racers nowadays), plenty of customisation options, and passable driving, but it's a real shame that latest reboot of this franchise had the hallmarks of the greats in the series' past and could have been truly special. While it's not bad by any means, it's just plain old "decent", and that's not really enough with the competition out there.
IGN - 6.3/10
Need for Speed looks the part, sounds the part, and is surprisingly reverent to real-world car culture. I like the direction Ghost has taken here, and I think it's the right one, but beneath its flashy exterior it's not quite firing on all cylinders.
Videogamer - 5/10
So, in a roundabout (none of those in this game) way, Need For Speed is a success. It does exactly what it sets out to do. But what it sets out to do is boring, bland, unimaginative and thoroughly dull. It's sometimes fun, very pretty, and enables you to plaster stickers of dogs all over your newly-pink Mustang, and it's riddled with great ideas like the fine online challenges with friends and enemies alike, annoying connectivity issues aside. But it meanders, settling on a rhythm that can only be described as 'safe', not pushing the player to be anything other than adequate. I adored NFS: Hot Pursuit, I got a lot of fun from Most Wanted, I even didn't totally hate Rivals – so it saddens me to say that, at the end of the day (which is always the time in Ventura Bay) Need For Speed just isn't that good.
Will you be putting your foot down in the new Need for Speed, or have all of the FMV cinematics forced you to turn and drive the other way? Park your opinion in the comments section below.