Review by Renegade39

"Need For Speed Carbon: The Breakdown"

Having played almost every need for speed title I was pumped when I found out that there was going to another Need For Speed after Need For Speed Most Wanted, possibly the best one yet in my opinion. Carbon does not dissapoint if you were a fan of basically anything since Need For Speed Underground, but there are parts about it that fall a bit short.

Gameplay: 9/10

Need For Speed has generally always had good gameplay, but Carbon goes up that one more notch from Most Wanted; it includes the styles of each car. Carbon breaks up the cars into 3 categories; Muscle, Exotic, and Tuner. Your Muscle cars consist of cars like your Camaro SS, your Dodge Charger SRT8; your Exotics consist of your Porsches and Lamborghini's; and finally your tuners consist of your Nissan Skylines, and Toyota Supras. This is a step up because each car handles pretty well to it's real life counter part; the muscle car will rip down the straight stretches, but struggle a bit in the corners, the Tuners won't be as fast but could pull a 90 degree turn on ice, and the exotics are well....just the best all around =P. Also you have your nitrous, and speedbreaker from Most Wanted as well. Then there is another new addition: you can customize how your car works. Like for example, you can tune your nitrous to either give you a large jolt of power for a small amount of time, or tune it to give you a longer but less powerful boost of power. You can tune your tires for more stick or slide, your turbo's and superchargers to kick in at higher or lower rpm's, but even if none of that interests you you can just put it to the middle and the car still performs pretty well. Also all your game modes are back from most wanted except drag, which has been removed for some reason. But you still have your basic Circuit, Sprint, Checkpoint(tollbooth), Speedtrap, and back from the Underground series Drift, and a new mode called Canyon. Before I get into the Canyon I want to talk about the drift, and how it lacks sometimes. For example, I was drifting with my car and doing fine, then all of a sudden out of nowhere it grips SUPER hard and shoots me into the wall and I lose all my points. Also, since when can't a muscle car keep it's rpm up while the wheels are smoking? Ah well, can't nail it all =P.
Now on to the Canyon, there are 2 type of Canyon races; a Canyon drift, and the actual Canyon race which consists of you starting off chasing your oppenent down the mountain trying to keep as close to him as you possibly can, then in the second segment they do the same to you. And if you manage to get down the mountain quicker than your oppenent, you win.
Another new addition to this years game is your 'crew' members. The crew members have 3 types of behaviors, blocker, drafter, and scout. Your blocker blocks for you, go figure, and he also can take out other cars and knock them way back. The drafter will pull infront of you and locks you into a sort of seam that increases your speed a lot (speedtrap anyone?). And finally the scout basically stays infront of you and tells you where all the shortcuts are, and I found this useful if you drive a Muscle car because then you can avoid all those nasty turns =P. At the beginning of the game the crew members are pretty useful, but near the end they are more of an annoyance sometimes, and get in your way more than are useful. It was a nice try, but some more work could have been done here as well. As I'm sure most people will wonder...what happened to the cops? The cops are basically just there to make it feel like your actually doing something illegal....because the cops have really nothing to do with the games story. Even still, the cop AI is much harder to escape from this time, and each area you race in now has a heat level ranging from 1-5. 1 being less, and 5 being the most, and the higher the heat level of the area you are racing in then the more likely the cops will come after you during a race. Overall the Gameplay is great, which I give 9/10

Graphics: 9/10

Not a whole lot to say here. The environment looks nice and crisp, the cars look realistic, and the paint, autosculpt, and aftermarket rims, bodykits, and spoilers look amazing. The game runs nice and smooth all the time, and even in the major police chases I found even on my first generation Ps2 it doesn't slow down at all, unlike Most Wanted where the latency kind of chopped on the major police chases. Overall the Graphics are great, which I give 9/10

Sound: 10/10

This does NOT include music, this just includes the sound from the different cars, skids, etc. The cars sound pretty realistic; the muscle cars have that rumble that everybody loves, and when you upgrade your turbo/supercharger you can hear it engage, and when you upgrade your engine the sound of your car changes. All the sounds are nice and clear, and never seem to have an off beat. Overall 10/10

Music: 5/10

After the absolutely amazing sountrack that was on Most Wanted, what the heck happened to this game? The soundtrack is terrible, minus 1 or 2 songs you hear maybe once or twice in the entire time you will play the game. Once again VERY dissapointing. Overall 5/10

Story: 7/10

Yes, this game has a story that continues after Most Wanted, but is rather confusing and the game randomly reminds you of the day you left this city that you used to come from. Though the story is rather intruiging, which may have some people keep on playing just to find out what it's about....
Overall 7/10

Replay Value: 9/10

After you complete certain events in the game you get 'rewards' for doing so, which help you unlock some bonus cars like the M3, the Firetruck, and Cross's Corvette. Also the game has a similar challenge series that Most Wanted did. This will keep you amused after the Career mode, and even after you've finished those there is always the customization part of the game that can keep you amused for hours on end. Overall 9/10

In conclusion to this review, Need For Speed Carbon is a great addition the the Need For Speed series, and although it isn't as good as most wanted in some area's, it definatly bests it in others.

Rent or Buy? I'd say buy, I picked this game up for $49.99 and still havn't regretted it yet, this game is great for having at your buddies place, and great for just yourself at home when you're bored and have nothing else to do.

Final Score: 9.0/10

Also...this is my first review, so hopefully you guys arn't to harsh on me =P

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/28/06

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