Electronic Art’s Need for Speed is due for a launch later this year, but you will probably not be surprised to learn that you won’t be able to play the game offline. According to Ghost Games, who answered fan questions via Twitter, the main story campaign will use the connectivity to allow your friends to participate in the story with you, presumably playing as one of the other characters in the storyline. So, a similar concept to the one Ubisoft tried out with Unity, but one that might ultimately impact the main campaign as a whole.
If you recall, Ghost Games’ previous title in the series, Need for Speed Rivals, didn’t have a pause menu, and also relied on peer-to-peer connections, something which ruined many a race for a lot of people. It seems that Ghost Games has taken this to heart for this year’s Need For Speed, but this might frustrate more people than they realise. More and more games are moving to an always-online approach and with Need For Speed, that may be to its detriment.
@DeanRheims NFS will require an online connection, but the benefits are nice. More variety and a more rewarding experience with friends.
One thing that may give you pause for thought is what would happen when the game’s servers are eventually turned off. If the dedicated servers are only used for multiplayer matchmaking, and the game still relies on peer-to-peer connections, then there should still be a way for you to play through the story even though your friends won’t be able to join you. However, if the game doesn’t function at all without the servers being online, that brings up questions about game preservation, and whether the industry should care enough about preserving the experience of older games for the sake of new players who are beginning to discover their older franchises.
So much of the content the game industry has created over the years is left in limbo as a result of server shutdowns and removing the games from online stores, creating gaps in their offerings to players and removing some of the benefits that an always-online title should be bringing to the table.
What about you, NAGlings? Will you be buying Need For Speed, knowing now that it’s an always-online experience with a set expiry date? Is long-term playability one of your concerns when purchasing a game today? Let us know in the comments below.