A further night of restless sleep, rhythmic sound of keyboard strikes ring softly in my ears, sleep takes me at last and all is darkness. A moment passes.
And yet what is this? A whisper in the night? Distant but then growing stronger, louder, closer till I wake in panic, is it noon? What have I missed? Am I late? But no, just in time my trusty alarm has pulled me into a new day, despite my subconscious protestations, and we are away, flying back into the world of screens, controllers, soundtracks and neon imagery which yesterday seemed so much calmer, smaller and more conceivable, but is now beset by myriad other voices, footsteps, hopes and expectations.
A digital nomad in an fierce glittering ocean I follow our pack to the safety of our temporary hideout carved out below the eager feet of all the fellow entertainment enthusiasts who busily bustle from stand to stall and back again, their own internal gaming world crashing against that of countless others, fully focused on their goal, fighting the tide to reach their long imagined destination, to catch a glimpse of that rarest of things, their dearest wish, crystallised before them into an alternate life they can inhabit, become… be.
If religion is the opium of the people, then we must bear witness to the global cult, for the gamer’s cathedral sprawls before us and we can but awe at the flyers, freebies and code slips blowing like poppies in the wind amongst the trample of the legion mass.
The ravenous horde consume all footage before them, greedy insightful eyes glean the knowledge of the master gamers, designers and developers who hold the keys to their better lives, gatekeepers of the modern age and messengers of a future full of challenge, reward, adventure and high drama.
But what of us, charged with divining the truth to be provided to those eager to learn the mysteries of the new worlds in creation as we watch. It is a weighty task we feel and bear the responsibility keenly of. We understand our privileged place and each know, regardless of any other visage we choose to portray, that we must faithfully sort wheat from chaff and strip back the veneer of the silver-tongued to reveal truth to those whom so diligently seek it.
So what can we speak of this day? What can we reveal? Well amongst the many sights and sounds of this third eventful chapter a starting point is hard to find, but find we must, and so I do, but first I shed this coat of broken prose…
Need for Speed World is the de facto persistent driving MMO right now, with no likely challengers in sight, and today we were treated to a number of insights which definitely mean that this is not going to change. With the development process explained to us the real advantage of World’s position was abundantly clear, their position within the Need for Speed family allows them to leverage all other Need for Speed assets and their dedication to the World community ensures these swiftly make their way to playable experiences, be they cars, tracks or modes. With the continuing expansion of the Need for Speed universe this relationship will continue to reap rewards for World players well into the future. All this paired with the Free2Play / micro-transactional cost model means that every racing fan can enjoy these benefits, alongside the core, much-praised, Need for Speed driving experience itself. I would argue that every gamer should be having a look at this; it’s fun, it’s huge, and all your friends can join you… for free! Come on in… this garage is definitely big enough for everyone who ever harboured a racer at heart!
From the World we swiftly move on to the latest and greatest offering of this ever growing portfolio; Need for Speed: The Run. Building on the latest tech developments out there and featuring the highly lauded Frostbite 2 engine, this game has its pedal firmly to the metal, with sharp, clean driving feel, lightning fast tracks and roadway, sumptuous visuals, heart-stopping environmental interaction and a tangible story and characters it really does have it all. That’s before we even touch on the genius of the Autolog system and the epic story challenge ahead of those who take it on. But I am short on space and this one’s a biggie, so why not check out mine or indeed Mat Jones’previews of this adrenaline packed super car of a game, right here on the EA site.
Richard "Rax / Raxous" Burley