This was originally meant to be a review of Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf. It’s a fine game, looks and handles well, and is built around a decent free-to-play structure. Unfortunately, after not playing it for a few weeks, the game glitched out when I returned and became a broken, unplayable mess. Reinstalling didn’t help. I’m sure it’s a rare case for the game, but needless to say I’ve had to ditch the review. Luckily, Need for Speed: No Limits was released recently.
Racing has always been more my brother Wesley‘s thing, and I usually stick to other genres. Regardless, Need for Speed has always been a franchise I’m peripherally aware of. Many years ago, the series made its first forays into the street racing scene with the obsessively loved Underground and Underground 2. The games have since rebranded a few times, explored new avenues and have garnered mixed receptions with each iteration. Most fans seem to agree that the series’ heyday was during the Underground era. No Limits is reminiscent of those games and taps into that style very easily.
No Limits casts you as a nameless rookie racer who is fresh on the scene. You run some jobs for your crew, deliver cars and compete in breakneck street races. The story is clearly not the highlight of the package and is quite cheesy, but it’s the right kind of cheesy and never becomes invasive. The game is divided into chapters comprised of several events. Some are time challenges, others are regular races, and some are 1v1 duels. There isn’t a great deal of variety here and the tracks are extremely short, but the sense of speed is exhilarating enough to make racing enjoyable.
The game handles really well, making use of minimalist touch controls. Accelerating is automated and driving is reduced to just steering, triggering nitrous boosts and drifting. Even casual racing fans may find the game too simplistic, but it’s highly accessible to noobs like me. It also looks and sounds good in action. The screenshots don’t do justice to what is actually a rather pretty game. The 18 vehicles available are impressively detailed, and there’s an extensive upgrading mechanic as well. New cars are unlocked by collecting all of their blueprints (the high-level cars require more than 20) and new upgrade components can be won in races or purchased in random loot boxes.
No Limits is enjoyable and plays well, but it does have a few issues. One is the monetisation system, which isn’t awful, just ever-present. See, this game has you managing more numbers than a mob accountant. There’s fuel, currency, reputation, gold, materials, blueprints, and… have I lost you? That might be the game’s intention: encouraging microtransactions out of sheer confusion. I won’t detail what each of those numbers entails, because that would require thousands of words that Dane would need all day to edit (thinking of you buddy!). Another minor issue is that No Limits requires a constant Internet connection, but this is becoming standard practice with mobile titles.