Electronic Arts Need for Speed: ProStreet review
Some episodes in Need for Speed's history have been outstanding.
Need for Speed: Most Wanted, for example, had thrillingly fast cars and a whole city's worth of streets to cover with burnt rubber. Sadly, many games bearing the title have been less than stellar, and ProStreet is one of these.
In an attempt to shake up the franchise, ProStreet has done away with the seedy background of illegal street racing. Instead, the action has been transported to a variety of characterless racecourses, and the arcade thrills have been supplanted by a touch of realism. That's not to say that much of the typical Need for Speed swagger isn't in evidence - the soundtrack is still punctuated by instantly forgettable teen-angst rock and rowdy hip hop. The ever present, and deeply aggravating, commentator patronisingly insists on repeating just how 'rad' your character is at driving, which grates after mere minutes.
Recent Need for Speed games have paid little heed to realism, but while the vehicles have handled more like jet-powered shopping trolleys than cars, ProStreet's vehicles are more challenging to drive. However, the result sits uneasily between arcade and simulation, and we doubt it'll please devotees of either school. With the extra realism comes cars that get damaged when you crash - so there's no more driving into a corner at 130mph and merrily bouncing off the crash barriers.
ProStreet's problem is that it's just too serious. There's little motivating you to even bother completing the seemingly endless series of inanely easy races. The drag racing is boring, the circuit racing tedious and the presentation is embarrassing compared with the likes of Colin McRae: DiRT. Stripped of the thrills of illegal racing, this is one Need for Speed you certainly don't need.