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Need for Speed

Timeline created by needforspeed in History
Event Date: Event Title: Event Description:
Nfs1test Need for Speed This was the game that started it all. With more than 100,000,000 copies sold worldwide, Need for Speed is the World’s number one racing series, but it all started here. Tracks in NFS were created with Soft Image, software that at that time was only available to the film industry. Need for Speed, which was released in 1994 on the fledgling 3DO console - and later for PC, Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn - was the first true 3D racing game, with some cars having as many as 70 polygons.
Nfs1test Need for Speed Features Police chases, full-motion videos introducing each car as well as traffic trying to make you wreck your dream machine pushed Need for Speed ahead of its competition. It had an impressive number of tracks for its day: seven, but there was also a hidden track called ‘Lost Vegas’. The car list was also distinguished, including many of the supercars of the day, such as the Lamborghini Diablo, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and Ferrari 512TR.
Nfs2test Need for Speed II Fans of the series would have to wait until 1997 for the next Need for Speed game and by then, things had changed slightly. Gone were the police chases and simulation-style handling of the first game, replaced with more accessible, arcade-style gameplay. One thing that remained the same was the ability to enter cheat codes to get special cars otherwise not available in the game. Some of the secret cars available included a school bus, Volkswagen Beetle and an old west-style wagon.
Nfs2test Need for Speed II Features Need for Speed II ratcheted up the caliber of its cars, moving its focus to supercars. Some of the cars in the game included: the McLaren F1, which at the time was the fastest car on the planet, Isdera Commendatore 112i and the Italdesign Cala, a concept car designed for Lamborghini that never made it into production. A feature that Need for Speed II had that made it ahead of its time was interactive music, which reacted to how the player was driving.
Nfs3test Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit The cops were back in Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, and they were looking to make up for lost time. Unlike the police in Need for Speed, these cops had a few tricks up their sleeve to keep the peace on the game’s eight tracks, as well as one bonus track. Spike belts, roadblocks and more aggressive artificial intelligence made getting by the cops in Hot Pursuit more difficult. They also had more powerful cars, including a turbocharged Eagle Talon coupe and Lamborghini LM002 SUV.
Nfs3test Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit Features The supercar theme continued in Hot Pursuit, with ten to choose from, including a Ferrari 355 Maranello, Aston Martin DB7 and Mercedes-Benz SL600. There were also two bonus vehicles, with the most interesting being the El Niño, a curvy two-door coupe that went like the wind but handled like a shopping cart. Hot Pursuit was the first Need for Speed game to go completely 3D in every scene, as previous games had a full complement of video.
Nfs3test Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit More Features Tracks were improved in Hot Pursuit, with the introduction of various locations from across the United States for players to race on. One other cool thing about the chases in Hot Pursuit was, as you tried your best to evade police, the cops would get on the bullhorn, trying to encourage you to pull over.
Nfs4test Need for Speed High Stakes Roman numerals were dropped for the fourth title in the NFS series, High Stakes, but the same racing experience was intact, with a cool new feature. The ability to race for ‘pinks’ was added in High Stakes, truly making the title live up to its name. In the new mode, if you lose to your opponent, they get your car, turning the pressure up past a boiling point. Also introduced in High Stakes were 3D car interiors, and vehicle damage, giving NFS racers a true driving experience.
Nfs4test Need for Speed High Stakes Features Running from the cops was more difficult in High Stakes, as a police chopper was introduced, along with country-specific police chatter to keep the boys (and girls) in blue aware of your whereabouts. If you plowed your supercar into a wall, an in-game currency system – from money you earned during your races - would determine whether you had enough money to fix it. Upgrades were also available for the first time ever, so you could tune your dream car to try and attain maximum output.
Nfs5test Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed The first, and to date, only, NFS game to feature the vehicles of one manufacturer, Porsche Unleashed featured models from the German performance automaker from 1950-2000. Its ‘Evolution’ mode, which allowed racers to buy and unlock Porsche cars from 1950 on in chronological order was also a genre first and brought many new fans to both Porsche and the NFS series. With a total of 86 cars available, for a true Porsche fan, there was no substitute for Porsche Unleashed.
Nfs5test Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed Features From the original Porsche 356 to the 911 GT3, the cars drove and handled closer to their real-life counterparts in Porsche Unleashed than any previous NFS game. Even the car James Dean once owned, the 550 Spyder – only 90 were ever built - nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’ was in the game. Porsche Unleashed featured 14 tracks that spanned all across Europe, from the legendary Autobahn to Zone Industrielle, a dilapidated industrial park. The tracks could be raced 56 different ways.
Nfs6test Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 It was back to basics for the sixth Need for Speed title, Hot Pursuit 2. The game was divided into two types of gameplay – World Racing and Hot Pursuit. World Race included three different race types that were slightly different from one another, whereas Hot Pursuit brought back the arcade-style racing that NFS fans fell in love with. The PlayStation 2 version of HPII was developed by Black Box Games, beginning an association that has spanned many titles and continues today.
Nfs6test Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 Features Chases were once again a focal point of gameplay, but for the first time ever, players were given the chance to ‘be the cop’. Players had to give out their 'quota' of tickets in a set time. More than 20 licensed cars were featured in HPII with more than 60 total racing events and for the first time, players had to deal with different weather on the tracks. Many tracks had elaborate shortcuts, giving players who found tracks confining a chance to be rewarded by cutting in front of the pack.
Nfs7test Need for Speed Underground In 2003, the NFS universe, and racing games everywhere, changed forever with the release of Underground. Moving away from the exotic supercars of the first six NFS titles, Underground focused heavily on illegal street racing and the import ‘tuner’ market, which had grown exponentially in popularity with the release of blockbuster film The Fast and the Furious. Underground was the final track-based NFS game until the release of ProStreet in 2007.
Nfs7test Need for Speed Underground Features Underground also featured a never before seen feature in the NFS series: a storyline. Players now had the ability to completely customize their cars with name-brand upgrades inside and out. Drifting was new in Underground, introducing gamers to a challenge that didn’t involve getting the best lap time. Due to potential backlash from the law enforcement community, there was a disclaimer when Underground is started, warning players not to street race.
Nfs8test Need for Speed Underground 2 With the resounding success of Underground – which sold more than 15 million copies worldwide – Underground 2 came out in 2004 and built on the success of its predecessor. The biggest change for Underground 2 was an ‘explore’ mode that allowed players to drive around the city, Bayview, in an effort to find races. Graphics were tuned up for Underground 2, with some cars featuring 5,000 polygons.
Nfs8test Need for Speed Underground 2 Features Customization was also tuned considerably, opening up even more options for players to create the car they’d always been dreaming of. Three SUV’s were also added to the game, and could be customized more heavily than the regular vehicles available. More than 30 cars were available, including the resurrected Pontiac GTO, Mazda RX-8 and Lexus IS300. Underground 2 was also the first Need for Speed game to be released on PSP, where it was called Underground Rivals and went platinum in Europe.
Nfs9test Need for Speed Most Wanted Need for Speed Most Wanted Continuing in the story-based, open world vein of the Underground games, Most Wanted was released in 2005 and added several interesting new types of gameplay to the NFS universe. Most Wanted was also a launch title for the Xbox 360. Most Wanted continued on the outstanding sales of Undercover and Undercover 2, selling more than 16 million copies worldwide.
Nfs9test Need for Speed Most Wanted Features Your car now has a ‘Rap Sheet”, keeping track of the coolest and most dangerous moves you’ve pulled off while in the driver’s seat, as well as any memorable police chases. Being chased by cops is a little different in Most Wanted, as a ‘heat’ system determines how much force the police use in trying to capture you an impound your vehicle. Get busted too many times and you’ll have to pay to get your car out. Roadblocks, spike strips and police helicopters made evading capture more difficult.
Nfs10test Need for Speed Carbon Need for Speed Carbon Released in 2006, Need for Speed Carbon took customization to the next level with the addition of the AutoSculpt feature that allows players to shape and mold exterior modifications on their vehicles to their liking, which brought a new dimension of fun and excitement to online races. Nighttime racing and drifting both returned in Carbon, returning to the dark and dingy backdrop of the city seen in Underground.
Nfs10test Need for Speed Carbon Features Carbon gave a larger role to muscle cars, bringing in several pavement-ripping monsters from the days when cubic inches were cool, including the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS and 1967 Shelby GT500. In Carbon, racers now had a ‘wingman’ along with them during races, with each having specific skills to help you win. Canadian actress Emmanuelle Vaugier gave some Hollywood glamour to the game, providing the voice of Nikki, an ally who helps racers complete the storyline.
Nfs11test Need for Speed ProStreet Need for Speed ProStreet Need for Speed ProStreet was released in 2007 and was a return to the simulation-style track racing that won fans over for the first time when The Need for Speed was released 13 years earlier. Speed Challenge races added another new wrinkle to ProStreet, making it the ultimate test of speed and control. ProStreet was a massive hit, selling nearly 9 million copies in its first 18 months of release.
Nfs11test Need for Speed ProStreet A full damage model, revamped physics and more than 70 cars available helped make ProStreet the most realistic racing game the series had seen. Autosculpt also had a larger role in ProStreet, with modifications helping - or possibly hurting, depending on how it was used - the aerodynamics of your car. Tracks were also improved, with 12 in total, including the legendary Autobahn, Willow Springs Raceway and Ebisu Circuit.
Nfs12test Need for Speed Undercover Need for Speed Undercover The Need for Speed series got another dose of Hollywood magic with the release of Undercover. Actress Maggie Q plays a federal agent and is your character’s only contact to the outside world as you go undercover to foil an international crime syndicate in Tri-City. Singer and actress Christina Milian makes an appearance as Carmen, a friend you encounter throughout your travels.
Nfs12test Need for Speed Undercover Features Undercover returns to the “sandbox” style seen in Underground, Most Wanted and Carbon, but increases the size of the world map to more than 100 miles of drivable blacktop spread across three cities connected by highways. New to online mode was a “Cops and Robbers” game, where one team would be “robbers” and try to grab cash that spawns, and the "cops" trying to stop them. With 350,000 polygons on screen at a given moment, the graphics in Undercover were the richest seen in the NFS series.
Nfs13test Need for Speed SHIFT Need for Speed SHIFT SHIFT was a real return to simulation racing for the Need for Speed series. Going back to a track-based format, SHIFT also re-introduced a full damage model to the game, making smart driving an important part of winning races. New to SHIFT was the Driver Profile, which keeps track of every race you do in the game and assigns points for aggressive or precision driving. Both styles are rewarded equally, with players getting points for moves such as ‘trading paint’ or ‘mastering’ corners.
Nfs13test Need for Speed SHIFT Features The cockpit camera view was brought back in SHIFT and brought with it beautifully detailed interiors for the game’s more than 70 cars, including the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, Bugatti Veyron 16.4 and Pagani Zonda F, just to name a few. Tracks were also improved, with Norschleife, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road America being included, among several others that went into making SHIFT the best NFS game yet. Upon its release, SHIFT received the IGN.com Editors’ Choice Award.
Nfs14test Need for Speed NITRO Need for Speed NITRO The first NFS title to be released exclusively on Nintendo systems - NITRO is available on Wii and DS - NITRO is a major change for the series. Large, colorful cars with oversized badging, power-ups and full customization make NITRO a winner for people who want to make the game their own. NITRO drops on November 17, 2009.