EA might not replicate the magic of Need For Speed ​​Underground 2

EA pourrait ne pas reproduire la magie de Need For Speed Underground 2

Find out why EA's latest racing games will fail to replicate the gripping experience of Need for Speed ​​Underground 2. Our analysis delves into the key elements that made Underground 2 a fan favorite and why which new games may not replicate its magic.

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Modern video gaming is a radically different pastime from the games we loved twenty years ago. The prevalence of “downloadable content” has given rise to a new generation of “games as a service,” which have transformed the entire creative process. Perhaps the best example of this is EA's Need for Speed ​​series, which is virtually unrecognizable today.

If you ask any fan, they will probably tell you that the series reached its peak in 2004, with the release of Need for Speed ​​Underground 2. This game embodies the rebellious spirit of teenagers of the early 2000s. touched players with its carefree attitude, hip-hop soundtrack, and obscure customization systems that allowed endless tweaking of imported cars. It became a mainstream hit that still maintains a devoted cult following today due to its anti-authority ethos and nostalgic style.

However, the modern triple-A games industry is dominated by massive budgets, franchises, and creative sure bets. Developing a $60 game today costs $100 million or more, requiring considerable investment in publishing and return on investment. Original ideas are rare, with most games seeking to exploit existing intellectual property to ensure the sustainability of franchise revenues.

Creativity is stifled by a focus on monetization, predatory microtransactions, commercial appeal, and maximizing playtime, rather than heart or personality. This is one of the main reasons why the Need for Speed ​​series has lost its luster. For comparison, take the original Need for Speed: Most Wanted from 2005 and compare it to its 2012 counterpart. The difference is stark.

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Something similar happened recently with the release of Need for Speed ​​Unbound. Although the title sought to recapture the rebellious attitude of Underground 2, the truth is that it felt forced and downright artificial.

It's also worth mentioning that it would simply be impossible to capture Underground 2's lightning in a bottle. The times were different. With the enormous popularity of the Fast and the Furious series, tuning imported cars was considered the ultimate symbol of rebel status. A game like Underground 2, with its almost limitless customization, was exactly the kind of thing gamers wanted to see in a video game.

Today, car tuning like in Pimp My Ride is a relic of the past. It would be difficult to sell a racing game based solely on how well it customizes. If sales titans like Forza and Gran Turismo are struggling to establish themselves in today's market, imagine what's left for a game like Need for Speed. Arcade racing games have all but disappeared from this generation of games – with the exception of an Italian plumber and his go-kart escapades.

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While we may never have a game as undeniably high quality as Need for Speed ​​Underground 2, we may have the next best thing. Recently, EA released their Dead Space remake, and it is absolutely perfect. If they manage to keep this trend going and remake Underground 2 on a modern engine – capitalizing on its nostalgia factor – EA might at least find a way to pay homage to what is unquestionably the best Need for Speed ​​ever made.

Let us know if you'd like to see Need For Speed ​​Underground 2 remastered on the PS5 and Xbox Series X?