Criterion Games’ debuted some new gameplay for Need for Speed Unbound yesterday, highlighting the various effects that players could equip on their cars. Referred to as Tags, these accentuated actions like boosting, smoke trails, and more. In a more in-depth post, art director Darren White went into more detail on Tags and other customization aspects.
“We wanted to deliver an art style that matters for gameplay, one that celebrates player actions, enhance the player experience, and rewards them along the way. We wanted to take players to that next level in Need for Speed Unbound with our driving VFX, which we call ‘Tags.’” Tags emerge when boosting, which you can earn through drifts, jumps, near misses, and more.
“Need for Speed Unbound’s realistic-looking world and cars help ground the visuals. Taking inspiration from street art and other media, we creatively subvert the characters and visual effects, turning them into expressionistic illustrations of ‘you’ and ‘your actions.’ It’s literally ‘graffiti-coming-to-life.’ It is an incredibly creative form of self-expression, and like street racing, it represents unruly freedom to express yourself against rules and restrictions,” said White.
Tags further lean into the street culture aspect of the title by having different art styles from artists like Sentrock and JC Riviera. Their artworks exist as backdrops in-game, and can also be applied to a car as Wraps. There are also new full kit selections, and one can remove entire parts that expose a car’s innards.
The player’s wardrobe also receives new features like customizable poses and “additional cosmetic changes.” “Need for Speed Unbound’s characters are unapologetically expressive with new fashion collaborations. Character self-expression in Need for Speed Unbound goes beyond just the clothes you wear; with additional cosmetic changes and customizable poses, you can truly show off in key moments, like race wins, creating characters that are brimming with attitude.”
Need for Speed Unbound launches on December 2nd for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. For more details on its campaign structure and cops, head here. It will have over 140 cars at launch, with more likely to come through free post-launch updates. Stay tuned for more gameplay in the meantime.