Impressions from the closed Need for Speed Underground 3 beta are… Bad…

After a disastrous number of years dealing with an identity crisis, the reboot of Need for Speed set for release later this year recently entered closed beta – and it ain’t pretty now that the community has gotten their hands on it. While popular YouTubers have demonstrated the game earlier this year as an extension of EA’s third party marketing tactics, the current closed beta is really the first time the average Need for Speed fan has gotten a chance to dick around with what Electronic Arts hopes will revive the franchise.

However, the initial impressions paint a grim future not just for the impending release, but for Need for Speed as we know it. Judging by community feedback, this may possibly be the last NFS title ever. This game is about a month or so from release, and it’s pretty much done at this point – the close beta being used for finding bugs and other oddities before the game ships.

It’s not good.

mapsThe game’s environment draws heavy inspiration from Need for Speed Underground 2 with distinct Canyon, Heights, Industrial, and Downtown settings, while drawing design cues from the ill-fated Need for Speed Undercover by separating each territory with a large body of water and lengthy highway. There are two distinct Canyon/Beacon Hill-like territories, as the portion of the map cut off above can be seen below.
zitTUD5But the map appears to be the game’s only strong point so far.

4chan4Chan may not offer much in terms of descriptive criticisms, but Reddit sure as hell went to town on the game. I’ve hacked some of the harsher criticisms up and put them all in one place. For a game whose deluxe edition retails for $90+, you should probably know the bad aspects of what’s coming along with your purchase.

nfs1Already, there are complaints of extreme rubber banding. Every race is essentially scripted by an omniscient AI, something that most racing game fans, whether they’re on an arcade title like Burnout or a hardcore simulation like rFactor, universally loathe.

nfs2Despite the game’s huge push for a proper story mode, with celebrity cameos and a cohesive cast to tie the massive career mode together, people already can’t tolerate it.

List1The game is a month off release, and one user describes it as “not there yet.” Spoiler: Electronic Arts can’t do much in the final weeks before release.

Untitled-6There are no online lobbies, nor is there any matchmaking-like feature. Similar to Need For Speed Rivals from 2013, you’re sent into a free roam session with a few other players, and you can race against them if you both team up and drive to the exact same race location at the exact same time. Given how many people are off doing their own thing, there’s basically zero chance you’ll race against anyone online unless you jump on the headset and beg people to play with you.

Untitled-7This guy says the driving model alone makes the game a chore to play…

cons…and the same guy lists basically everything except the customization as being a negative aspect.

So, in conclusion:

  • It’s not fun to drive.
  • The AI cheats. A lot.
  • The Story Mode feels awkward and forced.
  • Online Racing is Dead On Arrival thanks to the Free Roam-focused lobbies.
  • Visual Filters make the game look worse, not better.

It’s not fun to play offline due to numerous design choices, and nobody plays online thanks to the counter-intuitive Free Roam-based gameplay that not a whole lot of people liked in Rivals.

Say goodbye to Need for Speed.


13 thoughts on “Impressions from the closed Need for Speed Underground 3 beta are… Bad…

  1. Lel, everything that I predicted a few months ago and people told me to fuck off because “hurrrrr not finished product” is becoming true. Top fucking kek.

    “There are no online lobbies, nor is there any matchmaking-like feature.”

    Good. Multiplayer is the cancer that is destroying good video games.


    1. Apparently project cars has dreamy multiplayer, but people are mostly playing offline. Aren’t need for speed games specialized on single player experience? Any time I played NFS a decade ago I never felt I needed to go online.
      Perhaps if EA wants longevity with this NFS game, they have to make a good experience where people can race together or against, and put some use to their tuned cars. And that is after people play most of the single player campaign.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been playing it for the last 4-5 hours now and I actually really like it. Aside from the crashes and the rubber banding AI there is a fun game underneath. Customisation is insanely expanded as well.


  3. The last time I played a NFS game, I was in a Bugatti Veyron, pegging it in to gear and a Police SUV overtook me, Not touched NFS since


  4. Last great NFS was Porsche Unleashed. Last NFS I enjoyed racing online was NFS HP2.

    Needless to say, I wasn’t very confident in the upcoming title.


  5. As with pretty much any game release within the last year, I’m just waiting for the public general consensus to see how a game is before getting it, and this might be a ‘nope’ as well.

    Shame, I’ve been wanting a good ‘couch’ racer I can just pick-up and play with a controller, for nights where I don’t feel like setting my wheel up, and seeing NFS ‘Underground 3’ get leaked/annouced had my hopes up.


  6. A good NFS game can be a lot of fun. Too bad there hasn’t been one in a long time. I can’t say anything about this is surprising.


  7. This article is pretty one sided to say the least. You haven’t even played it yourself and form an opinion on the beta version of the game while there are just as many positives as negatives to be found about the beta, even more positive actually. The map is great for most people, as is the customisation. Need For Speed is mainly solo play anyway for most people and there has been talk about the multiplayer aspect of the game that is nowhere near full in the beta. The rubberbanding should be an easy fix as this is just statistics for Ghost to fix, as there is a lot of negative feedback on this I’m sure it will be fixed, if not full, just adjusted. I actually like the fact it’s competitive as you have to have some sort of competition in game. Underground 1 and 2 also had huge rubberbanding, but we forget this as those games have legendary status. I have the beta and it’s actually fun to drive if you invest some time in it, adjusting your tuning sliders and customizing your car. The Mazda RX-7 is stunning to drive. I advice you to form an opinion for yourself next time and don’t base it on 4chan and reddit pages, it will give you a lot more insight. If you don’t like it after playing it yourself, fine, than you at least gave it a chance.


  8. Oh, and I do agree with you on the story, it’s a little cheesy to say the least, at least it isn’t taking itself to serious though, that would be worse. They really have to limit the number of calls they make to you!


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