It’s like a nightmare. You’re trapped in LA and the sun never shines and you’re living out of your car and everyone keeps talking to you about driving techniques. When they’re not talking to you in person, they’re calling you all the time. It’s hell. This is the setting for the first exclusively new-gen Need for Speed, which launched on consoles in November last year. After relatively unimpressed reactions, its developer Ghost Games has used the interim to give its PC port a tune up.
There’s now manual transmissions, additional steering wheel support, an unlocked framerate, 4K resolution, and new cars and customizables courtesy of both the Icons and Legends packs.There’s a strangely heavy story component to this new Need For Speed. You play what is essentially a voiceless camera who hovers around a bunch of nocturnal street racing enthusiasts as they ignore the fact you never speak, driving from diners to bars drinking—as everyone is keen to point out—coffee. Your buddies are all depicted by good-looking people in live-action cutscenes, who talk in a vaguely convincing street racing lingo. Your hero, this floating camera, is somehow able to operate an automobile, and because your crew acknowledges you’ll never know human emotions like love and joy, they instead race you for ‘street rep’. The more you win, the higher your rep, the more cars you can buy.