Just prior to E3 2015, EA confirmed, via twitter, the Need For Speed reboot in development by Ghost Games would require an always-on internet connection to play in all game modes; however, at their press conference and on the show floor, little assurance was made to quell the concerns of franchise fans. Come Gamescom, EA is finally ready to shed some light on the “rewarding experience” they have planned to justify a mandatory internet connection for both multiplayer and single-player gameplay.
@DeanRheims NFS will require an online connection, but the benefits are nice. More variety and a more rewarding experience with friends.— Need for Speed (@NeedforSpeed) May 28, 2015
EA has a history of requiring always on connections to satisfy their DRM protection and in many cases it has hindered the launch of otherwise highly-anticipated game launches, particularly when those games primarily offer a single-player gaming experience. Case in point: the reboot of SimCity. Gamers have previously reacted negatively to always-on internet connections due to the logistical realities of potential connection issues, accessibility concerns and data caps enforced by many Internet Service Providers.
For consumers to use their data on a game, it stands to reason the game should have features and functions that necessitate such a connection. Executive Producer Marcus Nilsson details several key reasons why Need For Speed needs an internet connection to provide a new generation gameplay experience in the latest issue of The Official Xbox Magazine, via GamesRadar.
“We’ve been pretty big with Autolog throughout the years and, as we know, it’s a really powerful feature. This time around we’re going to give it more of a human voice. It will treat your friend’s play as if it is part of the narrative experience.”
In addition to a “powerful” Autolog, Nilsson also mentions a robust image sharing system that makes use of the internet connection.
“We also have a new snapshot system as well, which is taking pictures of a lot of different moments – [they go] out to the Need for Speed network where people can ‘like’ them, and those likes are being pushed back into the game as currency. So you get progression from sharing your photos. The Xbox One has really good built-in systems to make videos and stream them, which we are also going to use.”
Although these features have been revealed, they still remain outside the spotlight. The official Gamescom trailer puts the graphics, characters and storyline front and center.
Need For Speed is scheduled for release on November 3, 2015 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Do you think these features are exciting enough to justify an always-on internet connection, even during your single-player adventures? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images courtesy EA]