Wow, this is pretty nuts. If it's legitimate -- and given the gameplay in the above video, we're not sure how it couldn't be -- this appears to be crazy early footage of the next Need for Speed.
Criterion Games is currently working on a next-gen NFS title, a snippet of which we saw during EA Play 2020. The above video, which comes from racing game YouTuber BlackPanthaa, contains alleged footage taken from a dev build that's obviously not intended for public viewing. It contains lots of placeholder elements from Need for Speed Heat, blocked out buildings and geometry, and in-progress effects. As far as the handling goes, it does look more on the arcadey side, which tracks with Criterion's history. When you see it in motion, it's hard to imagine this is some sort of fake.
That being said, the final game will of course look nothing like this. The footage seemingly dates back to May 2020, and the title is due to arrive sometime next year. It will obviously go through a million changes, and is probably much further along development even now. We're not sure exactly how this leaked, but we'll try to reach out to EA for an official comment.
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