Need For Speed Carbon Review

The Need for Speed series debuted in 1994 and has spawned 12 (or 13 if you count the ill-fated Motor City Online) sequels.  The original creator of the series, Distinctive Software, was purchased by Electronic Arts, morphing into EA Canada to produce titles up until 2002.  At this point, Black Box Software (later purchased and changed into EA Black Box) took over development of the series starting with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.  Need for Speed: Carbon spells the development teams 6th title in the series, releasing on the PSP, Nintendo DS, GBA, Xbox 360, Xbox, PC, Wii, Gamecube, PS2, and PS3.  We got to take the PS3 version of the title out for a spin on the freshly-launched console.  While it does take some steps in the right direction, it also loses a little traction in some of the turns.  Let

One of the cool things in Need for Speed: Most Wanted was the use of actors with computer generated backgrounds to tell the game story.  While some of the acting was laughable, it was still better than an all CG cast.  This trend continues with Need for Speed: Carbon in more ways than one.  Actors and actresses like Emmanuelle Vaugier (Detective Angell from CSI: NY), Tahmoh Penikett (

Need for Speed: Most Wanted had some great sound work.  Using the surround sound system to its maximum, you could clearly hear the nitro valve unseat, the pavement give way, and the tires ripping your speed up to the cars maximum speed.  Well, why fix it if it isn

The controls for Need for Speed: Carbon are very easy.  The new triggers on the PS3 controller act as you might expect, with the right trigger acting as a gas pedal, and the left trigger acting as a brake pedal.  The L1 button looks behind you, and the R1 moves between the usual racing view options.  (up close, over the hood, no hud and ground level, slightly behind, and further behind)  The left analog controls your steering, and your right analog can shift up or down.  You can shift up and down at any time, even if you are otherwise driving with automatic shifting.  Just as in Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the X button is your handbrake, the Square activates your slow-mo Speedbreaker, and the O button activates Nitrous if your car has it.  What is new is the Triangle button.  This button tells your wingman to move into action and do whatever they are designed to do.  (We

Need for Speed: Carbon brings a few new things to the table.  The first, and probably the most notable, is the addition of a wingman.  These wingmen are split into three categories

There is a lot to like in this package.  The game looks pretty good (motion blur notwithstanding) and sounds fantastic.  The actors turn in some over the top acting to keep the pace of the game moving, and the addition of wingmen is a great idea.  Once I cleared the single player game it was time to go online and try my luck.  As we are still in the

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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