by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
Fast drivers, sleek cars
Need for Speed Carbon is the new racing game from Electronic Arts Black Box division, which hails from the picturesque city of Vancouver, British Columbia. NFS Carbon is expected to be released this coming fall and it sure is looking good. The game will take place on the winding and often times dangerous canyon roads that are located in most parts of the country. The action will certainly be fast and furious. In addition to the canyon roads the action will take place on most any road or street where street racers believe they will be able to practice their craft away from the watchful eye of the local Sheriff or Police officer.
This new racing game isn't actually a simulation as much as it is an arcade type of racing game. A simulation differs from an arcade game in that a sim requires the player to actually set up and tune the car by making adjustments to everything from the chassis to the tires. No worry about having to do that in this game. However the racing and car dynamics are top notch just like they have always been in this series.
Live-action stars of the show
As in previous games such as NFS Most Wanted or Underground, EA has always featured a starlet either from the movies, TV or other glamour publication. This time it will be the beautiful Canadian Star Emmanuelle Vaugier of the CBS sitcom 'Two and a Half Men'. Emmanuelle will play the role of the hero's ex-girlfriend Nikki. There isn't much that is known about the hero of this game except to say that he is one mysterious character that has come back to town in order to prove he still has it. That's all we really need to know in order to play this one. The fact that he has the stunningly beautiful leading lady Nikki on his side says it all as far as I'm concerned.
The acting is shot in full motion and processes the actors so they look like they are computer generated. You may think this will look cartoonish but let me tell you that it does indeed fit. This process maintains the actor's performances and facial expressions while making it look like it is a video game and not a TV movie that you are watching. This type of filming allows the game player to immerse themselves right in to the action.
How about the real stars of the show?
Talking about action let me say that this game is bubbling with action. If you like cars that look fast, go fast and indeed even sound fast then this game will be tailor made for you. There are 3 different types of cars that are featured. The first kind of car is what is known in the street-racing world as the tuner. A tuner is the smallish Honda Civic or the speedy little Toyota Supra that we might be inclined to have the wife drive each day to do her shopping. Only these vehicles have been tuned to perform quite well on the curvy and dangerous streets contained in this surreal world. The tuner is designed to provide the utmost in handling capabilities.
The second class of street racer in this game is the muscle car. These cars are the behemoths that were known to lay rubber a mile long back in the day of classic Mustangs and GTOs. They are quick off the line and fast on the straightaway. If you think you will be able to compete on the winding canyon roads then think again because these cars will get you killed as fast as you can say go. These are powerful beasts with an emphasis on the P.
The next class of car is the exotic car. An exotic car is the kind of vehicle that will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. They pack hundreds if not thousands of horsepower and they can handle and fit about as good as an expensive leather-driving glove. Suffice it to say the exotic car in this game will be the Lamborghini. These cars are fast and they are beautiful.