Last week’s revelation of just what the next Need for Speed would be didn’t exactly answer a lot of questions fans had. Namely: is this just Underground with brighter colors? It seems it’s not…at least not intended to be anyway. 1UP has conducted an interview with Senior Producer Mike Mann about the game where he talks a little about it, including the title, which expresses a desire to chart the “evolution of professionalism within street racing.” He goes on to explain a bit more about how the game will be played:
The whole game is wrapped around multidisciplinary race weekends, which have more of a festival vibe. It’s like a big show. These weekends are focused on four types of racing: drag, drift, speed, and grip. Drag racing was switched out for drifting in Need for Speed: Carbon because we felt we’d done everything we could do with that particular gameplay mechanic at the time, and drifting was becoming increasingly fashionable. Now that we’ve had some time to work on it, we feel we’ve really found a way to handle drag in a different way. In ProStreet you’re really going to be able to feel what it’s like to put down all that power and blast away from the line.
So, it’s Carbon with drag racing, then? There’s more, too, including so-called “speed racing,” where racers head to deserted desert (irony) roads and see who can hit the highest top speed. And then there’s something they sadly call “grip racing.” This is what most people would just call “racing,” i.e. the sort of driving where you try to go fast using grip. It seems we’ve reached a point where, in an NFS game, any racing mode where you don’t drift needs to be explicitly differentiated from one in which you do.