When last I wrote about the new Need for Speed it was a bit messy -- rubberband AI and stuttering made racing frustrating and the in-game mobile phone was annoying as hell. With today's "Legends" game update, all of my major gripes have been addressed.
The biggest issue with Ghost Games' reboot of EA's racing franchise for many Xbox One players, myself included, was a regular stuttering that caused the entire game to briefly pause, throwing off the racing rhythm and generally being annoying as hell. You can see it in action in the video below.
This issue was addressed last month, and I've been stutter-free since. I still had to deal with the all-too-frequent phone calls from the in-game characters inviting me to race and the frustrating rubberbanding AI that miraculously caught up to me every time my lead got too big, but at least the game was doing it smoothly.
Today's big "Legends" update, the first major update in what Ghost Games is calling its "Living Game" approach, takes care of both of those problems.
I've been sitting idle in my car for most of the morning, picking up the controller to tool around during occasional downtime, and I've barely been bothered by the phone ringing. Hell, my real phone has rung more than the in-game one. All Need for Speed needs now is an option to use the mic to shout "WHAT?" when I answer and it will be just like real life.
The update also promises tweaks to the game's AI racers, and so far it's so good. I'll need to play some more before I get a real feel for how things work now, but they're definitely better than before.
So my problems seem to be over, and besides that the Legends update adds a bunch of fun new stuff, including a special series of missions featuring Eddie and his girlfriend Melissa from Need For Speed Underground that culminates in scoring his ride.
What else? There are new collectibles, which is nice. Several cars scored new customisation options and parts. We've got some iconic wraps from previous Need for Speed games, along with 19 new music tracks culled from series' history. All that, a Rep level increase from 50 to 60 and a whole lot more. Check out the official update post for more details.
I liked Need for Speed a lot when it came out last month, but it had some problems. Now it has a lot fewer problems and a lot more fun. All I really miss now is the sunshine.