Following right after the 2005 hit NFS release Most Wanted, Carbon brings you more Need For Speed style adrenaline rush but how does it fare when compared to the previous releases?
Need For Speed : Carbon continues the story of your racing endeavours Rockport in Need For Speed : Most Wanted. This time around, the story is set in Palmont. More plots, twists, characters, game modes, so on so forth – read on…….
I’ll put it this way – this game sucks big time and I’m not the only one in the world to think so. For someone who played Need For Speed since their very first release, owned and played every single NFS game and seen the series being improved and more entertaining on each release and Carbon is the first to ever have gone backwards.
The new game modes where you have a wingman to race along with you is a great idea but it’s quite pointless. Quite often they’re actually faster than you and for most part of the game, they’re the ones finishing the race for you. I can’t say this is a bad thing, after all when you race as a team it’s all about which team crosses the finishing line first. Another thing about the wingmen is that they don’t know when to shut up and we just can’t get them to keep quiet.
And despite the rather interesting plot, the game itself is short. Short, as in I finished 20% of the game in about an hour or 2. It didn’t take long for me to finish the entire game either, the only part that you actually need some skill to handle are the boss races.
Yes, they come with boss races this time. And yes, this involves territorial acquisitions. You start with your own crew and as you takeover more territory, the territory boss will challenge you to a Canyon Race – Initial D style. 2 races on the same track, one with you given the lead and another the boss given the lead. You must be the one holder the better record difference to win.
Basically that’s it. You buy cars and mod them, and in this series you actually get to sculpt your car. Remember those fancy parts and cuttings from the previous series? This time you get to decide how far the angle of the vents should be, or how low a side skirt should go.
The game is also terribly notorious for its random crashing. In my case, I finished the game with only a crash or 2 while I’ve come by many others that face far more than what I did.
What about the police chases? ANNOYING!!! The ones in Most Wanted were fine, in Carbon the police seem to have some psychic ability. The cops in Carbon appear right out of no where and not far in front of you when you’re just about to evade escape. With that knowledge I tried my way to slow down just before they appear and go the opposite direction as they appear, guess what – they just know that you’re behind and make a U-turn to catch up on you.
Now, how about me hiding is somewhere, say a narrow lane some where hidden from anyone’s view. NOT A CHANCE!!! The cop appeared nearby and immediately home in on me, ever watched the show Enemy Of The State? I felt like Will Smith in that show.
Evading escape just wasn’t fun anymore, knowing that the engine is practically cheating.
Another stupid thing about this game is that you can’t finish the entire game with your starting car. I was like WTH!??!?! I was so happy when I was present with a Mazda RX-8 right at the start, and since I finished Underground 2 and Most Wanted with that same car I thought it’ll be great to finish Carbon with this one too but this is not the case.
After playing for a while, you’re forced to change to some other car in order to progress. It feels really odd that while you can finish the entire game of the previous releases with just 1 car and now that car is the lowest grade car in this release.
A few more things I didn’t like about the game was that although it followed Underground 2’s style of having a girl at the starting line, the developers seem to think it’s alright to have the same girl over and over again. Yes, same face, same clothing – and she’s not even a hottie!!
Then there’s this UNLOCK thing again, every race you play unlocks something. Unfortunately the developers seem go with the idea of having a marquee slowly revealing the unlock item – it’s annoying, every time I wish to see what a race unlocks I have to mouse over and even and wait for the marquee. To make it worse, some items like the Toyota’s AE86 (the car in Initial D) could only be unlocked in Online mode.
Besides Career Mode, there’s also the Challenge Mode where you are presented with a series of challenges to test your skill. This part is very straight forward, finish some, unlock more, and try to finish the rest.
Graphics & Display
Despite getting myself a 6800 Ultra to prep my machine to play this game, it crawls at maximum setting even on 1024×768. I managed to get decent framerates by lowering the shader details.
Sadly, the graphics on Carbon wasn’t ground breaking. Considering the game came after Most Wanted, it actually doesn’t look good at all in terms of graphics. It’s dark, the cars are all too shiny, the details of the city and surrounding isn’t any much better from Underground 2.
It was disappointing, considering the fact that the game is graphically more demanding yet on the game itself, it doesn’t make itself stand out better even when compared to NFS series a few generations back.
The game is also sorely lacking in the sound department, while the sound effects were fine the soundtracks were horrible. Those of you who played the previous 4 releases – Hot Pursuit 2, Underground, Underground 2 and Most Wanted, you’ll know how great were the soundtracks. There were more than a few memorable soundtrack for those releases and had at least 1 soundtrack that identified with the game, but for Carbon? Hah!! It’s a joke really, I finished the game and played a second round on a different car for about half the game, I still couldn’t remember any of the soundtrack.
Alright, this game sucks so bad I didn’t even bother to try online gaming.
This game sucks. I’m saying this as a reviewer and a fan of the NFS series which has time and again surprised me with great new features, nice soundtrack, exciting races with great surroundings. This one brings the NFS name to shame.
PC Specifications Used
Processor : AMD Athlon64 2800+ @ 2.3ghz
RAM : 1GB DDR 400
Graphic Card : BFG 6800 Ultra 256MB
Monitor : 15″ Samsung 151S LCD
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