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Everything you need to know about Need for Speed Unbound

Buckle up.

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screenshot from Need for Speed Unbound

Racing sims deliver some of the biggest pure adrenaline boosts in gaming, but they can be a bit unapproachable for players who aren’t already motorheads. That’s where arcade racers like the Need for Speed series come in, letting anyone feel the rush of blazing down a track at breakneck speeds without all the fussy physics simulations getting in the way. The recently unveiled Need for Speed Unbound looks perfect for anyone who wants the sheer thrill of racing, with a unique style that might draw you in even if the idea of spending more time on the road isn’t your usual idea of a good time.

When is the Need for Speed Unbound release date?

Racers don’t need to wait long to play Need for Speed Unbound. The game’s very first public showing revealed its launch date just a few months away. Need for Speed Unbound is set to be released on December 2, 2022. Anyone who’s subscribed to EA Play will get access to a 10-hour demo a few days earlier, on November 29.

Need for Speed Unbound brings a whole art style to the series.


What are the Need for Speed Unbound platforms?

Bad news if you’re using a last-generation console: Need for Speed Unbound will only be playable on the latest hardware. It hits PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC simultaneously. Publisher EA says it will target 4K resolution at 60 FPS at launch. On top of all the wild visual effects going on, it’s not too surprising that only current-gen hardware can cut it.

Is there a Need for Speed Unbound trailer?

So far, there are two trailers for Need for Speed Unbound. The game was announced with a reveal trailer that showed off its new visual direction and a hint of its soundtrack in October 2022.

Need for Speed Unbound makes a great first impression in its reveal trailer.

Just a week later, the Need for Speed Unbound gameplay trailer debuted on Twitter. This brief video offers a better look at the racer in action and shows off some of the street art-inspired driving effects you can use to customize your car.

Need for Speed Unbound’s eye-catching visual effects look incredible in motion.

What is Need for Speed Unbound gameplay like?

Like other recent games in the series, Need for Speed Unbound takes place on a street racing circuit, where you’ll need to win races and avoid cops looking to bust drivers. The story mode takes place in Lakeshore, a fictional version of Chicago. You play as an up-and-coming street racer who starts climbing the ranks to win back a priceless car after it’s stolen from your family’s auto shop.

In addition to its single-player campaign mode, Need for Speed Unbound features multiplayer races and a mode called Takeover Scene. The full details of Takeover Scene haven’t been revealed yet, but EA describes it as “a new replayable precision driving mode.” The mode will challenge drivers to take over certain parts of the city, and it’s said to focus on tricky driving more than just winning races. Takeover Scene is hosted by an in-game version of rapper A$AP Rocky, who also appears on the soundtrack.

Need for Speed Unbound’s most notable new feature comes from its unique art style. Skillful driving and pulling off maneuvers like jumps and near misses will provide power that you can use to boost your speed. Each time you use a boost, it also triggers stylish visual effects that explode around your car. Colored exhaust, neon lights, and bold decals fill the screen, with a style that looks like graffiti or some of the gorgeous animation from Into the Spider-Verse.

The graffiti-inspired effects in Need for Speed Unbound set it apart from any other racing game.


You’re able to unlock and choose which effects you want for your car, along with typical customizations like car wraps and other parts, or you can turn off the flashy new effects entirely if you just want to focus on the road. Your character is also customizable with outfits and other cosmetic effects.

EA says new content will be added to Need for Speed Unbound for free after the game’s launch but hasn’t shared any further details yet.

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