There’s no denying it. First-person shooters have taken over the mobile scene and popular run and gun franchise, like Call of Duty, have proven that they can deliver the same great console experience on mobile devices and it has opened up numerous avenues for the genre to expand for many years to come.
So, if first-person shooters could get it right, aren’t there any other genres out there that can succeed as a console and mobile franchise? I mean, there is an abundance of games out there with their own fan base that are dying to take the experience on the go, so hasn’t anybody else gotten it right yet?
That’s the question I tried to ask as I dove back into the Google Play Store to try and find the hidden gems that easily deliver an authentic experience just like their console cousins and I thought that there would be no better place to start than with some good old fashioned racing.
Need fo Speed has been a long-running franchise with the first few games being released on the PlayStation 1 and they have released a new game fr us almost every year. I’ve been a big fan ever since I was younger so there’s never been a more perfect time to see whether or not EA’s game-winning formula could carry over onto my smartphone.
So, after many years on the market, is Need for Speed: No limits still good in 2020?
NEED FOR SPEED: NO LIMITS
So…What Is It About?
While most racing games, like Gran Turismo, were focusing on hyper-realism and real-world driving physics, the Need for Speed franchise went in an entirely different direction in the late 2000s. Inspired by the popularity of the Fast and The Furious movie franchise, EA brought the controversial street racing culture to life.
They’ve been doing things this way for years so it’s no surprise that Need for Speed: No limit carries on with the same style and aesthetic that these games have become known for. I mean, I didn’t think they would try and fit in a narrative as well but there’s actually somewhat of a plot in this game.
You’re an up and coming street racer that has just arrived in the city of Blackridge and your goal is to make a name for yourself as one of the fastest in the city. The campaign is divided up into chapters and each chapter provides several races and challenges to complete before you can take on the crew boss and move on to the next chapter.
You progress by winning races and earning cash, blueprints, and materials that are used to upgrade your car and take on faster racers. The characters that you go up against do have a bit of dialogue before each race but, otherwise, the overall plot is all about being the best. It’s not much but it’ll do.
How Does The Gameplay Work?
Need For Speed: No Limit manages to strike a great balance between casual mechanics and skillful gameplay. Players get an opportunity to time the revs and get a good launch but, after that, all the acceleration is done for you. Everything else is all in your hands and it’s refreshing to have so much control in a mobile racing game.
The fact that you can’t brake yourself means that you’re constantly accelerating and going faster, which makes navigating the turns a bit of a challenge. There are moments where you have to drift around a corner in order to maintain your speed and stay ahead of the other races which gets more and more difficult the faster you can go.
Dodging traffic, getting air on the many jumps, and sliding through the nitro zones all add to your boost which can be activated at any time to get an edge and secure the win. But, in many cases, it’s not enough just to come in first place. You will also have to drift a set distance, land in a set amount of nitro zones, or stay in the air for a set time.
What Else Is There To Do?
The campaign races may be fun and necessary to unlock many of the racing options on the map but it’s not the only place to race your car and earn a few upgrades. Across the Blackridge map, there are Tuner Trials, Car series’ and Special events that allow you to unlock some truly unique rides.
Each car series provides a unique set of races and challenges that can only be completed with a specific set of wheels. Some barriers require your car too have a specific Performance Rating to continue but each race gives you the chance to earn rewards and materials to upgrade your car and keep making progress.
Tuner Trials are daily races that you can take part in to get your hands on some rare parts. You will need a specific vehicle to enter but these rewards offer the most value and can hold the key material needed to upgrade your parts effectively. There’s a new race every day so it’s worth it to take a look every day and earn those parts.
Special Events give you even more races to conquer and are played out over a few days with each new set of races and challenges being unlocked day by day. The only catch is that you have to use the car that they provide you with for this event but, on the plus side, you get to keep the car and all the parts you put in it when the event is over
Underground Rivals is a set of week-long events that also require a specific car to enter. There are 3 divisions, Driver, Speedster, and Breakneck and, as long as you’ve got the car they need you to drive, you can enter and compete. The best part is the fact that you’ll be racing against the ‘ghosts‘ of real-life players from all around the world.
Is It Worth It In 2020?
Without a doubt in my mind, EA has pulled it off and brought a pretty decent mobile version of one of their most popular franchises and I’m honestly surprised at how addicted I am to this game. I’ve spent hours grinding away, trying to progress and upgrade my cars, and there’s still a ton left for me to do.
I’m usually not a fan of these simple diving mechanics but I found that there was a fair balance with the A.I. competition. If you’re willing to race when the difficulty rating is on “Hard or “Xtreme” you’ll find a good amount of challenge and it’s the thing that keeps me interested in playing a racing game that’s this casual.
There would often be moments where one little mistake put me so far behind that I just couldn’t catch up, so perfecting my technique and finding the right angles to glide through all the traffic with ease has really got me hooked. Not to mention the epic amount of customization you have at your disposal to create a ride you truly call your own.
I also like the fact that you get Kent Block’s very own “Hoonigan” Ford Mustang right at the start of the game to balance out the fact that acquiring parts, in the beginning, can feel a bit daunting but I was able to make significant progress without getting behind the wheel of that drifting monster.
Arcade Racers are usually a grind-fest, no doubt, but the downside to all this here are the annoying mobile cliches we’ve all become too familiar with. There’s an enormous amount of in-game currency needed to keep upgrading your cars and it can feel like nothing more than an incentive to spend real-world currency to keep progressing.
This wouldn’t be too much of an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that you need “Fuel” to enter every race. I’m at the point where my fuel is long gone before I can get any kind of instant refill and it’s brought my playing time to an astonishing halt. It’s annoying to have my play sessions broken up when all I wanna do is keep racing.
Still Worth Playing Though
I’m probably going to be playing this game for a while since I’m absolutely hooked, to say the least. I’ve already got my favorite car and I’m determined to make it as fast as possible and hopefully test it out in the Underground Rivals series. Plus, there’s an old skool Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R up for grabs in the special event that I’m dying to get my hands on.
Do you play Need for Speed: No limits? What are your thoughts on the racing genre and its impacts on the mobile scene? Let me know in the comments section below.