Need for Speed: ProStreet is the 11th installment of Electronic Arts' popular racing gameseries Need for Speed. On May 21, 2007, Electronic Arts published a teaser trailer ofProStreet, and officially announced it ten days later. It was released worldwide in November 2007. Its action footage was used in American Le Mans Series. ProStreet was the first PlayStation 3 game with DualShock 3 rumble support.
The demo, featuring two races, one speed challenge and one grip race, appeared on Xbox Live on October 26, 2007, on PlayStation Store on November 1, 2007, and on PC on November 2, 2007. The PC version is the last in the series to use CD-ROMs, which are succeeded by the usage of DVDs for the rest of the series. ProStreet is preceded by Need for Speed: Carbon and is followed by Need for Speed: Undercover.
The game begins where a former street racer known as Ryan Cooper enters a challenge day and wins it with a Nissan 240SX. Ryan is mocked by Ryo Watanabe, the Showdown King Edit
He then moves on to Battle Machine, a famous race organization, and dominates it. He then moves onto Showdown Chicago, promoted by Super Promotion and the best organization is introduced, the Super Promotion; there are other organizations in each specific event such as the Noise bomb for drift, G Effect that are a circuit crew, ROGUE SPEED which is for drag, and Nitrocide for speed runs. Each organization has a top race team, Apex Glide,Touge Union, Grip Runners, Aftermix, and Boxcut, respectively. Ryan dominates the showdown and moves onto React Team Sessions. He then moves onto another Showdownagain promoted by "Super Promotion" and dominates it. He then receives invites to elite organizations of the four Kings of Drag, Drift, Grip and Speed challenge after breaking a certain amount of specific records in each race mode. He beats them and earns their crowns and dominates enough organizations and showdowns to face Ryo who drives a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Ryan beats him and the Apex Glide team leaves Ryo. Ryan then becomes Street King by beating the kings and Ryo.
Need for Speed: ProStreet has taken the series in a different direction of gameplay. All racing in ProStreet takes place solely on closed tracks, making ProStreet the first game in the series since Need for Speed II that doesn't animate illegal racing. Rather, the type of racing appears to be Clubman Racing. The performance tuning feature is enhanced, compared to previous versions, especially Autosculpt. Unlike Carbon, where only certainbody kits can be autosculpted, this can now be applied to all body kits, including stock bumpers and wide body kits. Furthermore, some adjustments through autosculpt impact the car's aerodynamics.
In ProStreet there are four different game modes: Drag (a race in a drag strip, point to point), Grip (similar to Circuit races but with four different types of Grip races available), Speed (similar to a Sprint race) and Drift.
- Drag race is a simple straight away race that has three heats. There are three types of drag races, 1/4 and 1/2 mile drag races where the fastest time, out of three runs, wins. There is also a wheelie competition where the longest wheelie on the 1/4 mile track wins.
- In Grip races, there are four different modes (Normal Grip, Grip Class (all versions except for the PS2 and Wii versions), Sector Shootout and Time Attack), the player has a choice to race rough, such as ramming, smashing, or blocking the opponent in order to win the race, or race cleanly and follow the given racing lines. Normal Grip races feature 2 to 4 laps around a circuit track with up to 7 other racers. First driver to cross the finish line wins. Grip Class races take 8 racers and divide them into two even groups. The racers are placed into the groups based on their vehicles performance potential. Group A starts about 10 seconds ahead of group B, both groups race on the same course but are only competing against the 3 drivers in their group. In Time Attack, the driver with the fastest overall single lap time wins the event. In Sector Shootout the track is divided into several segments, with drivers attempting to complete these sectors in the shortest possible time. Extra points are awarded to drivers who 'dominate' the course by holding the fastest time for every segment of the track.
- In Speed Challenge races, players must cross the finish line first to win the race. Players have to be cautious in Speed Challenge at speeds exceeding 200 mph.
- In Top Speed Run races, there are 3 to 9 checkpoints and at the instant a player crosses a checkpoint their speed is clocked and added to that player's score, the player with the highest cumulative speed wins. This is similar to the Speedtrap events in Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
- In Drift, players drift to emerge as the driver with the most points scored in the event. Points are scored based on speed, angle, and how long the drift is held.
Other than game play itself, ProStreet features detailed damage modeling, unlike previous Need for Speed games (except for High Stakesand Porsche Unleashed) where damage is relatively little or non-existent altogether. The new damage system introduces more depth of damage (except on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Wii versions, where the damage modeling has been scaled down due to the limited processing power, so the damage is similar to the previous titles) where any object in the game world has the potential to inflict cosmetic damage breaking off pieces of the car such as the hood,bumpers,side view mirrors, light damage, or heavy damage which reduces performance of a car, and even has the potential to total a car immediately after impact.
ProStreet features customization of cars. The changes affect the aerodynamics of the cars, and players can test them in an enclosed chamber called the "Wind Tunnel" (all versions except the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions).
The Speedbreaker does not return for ProStreet (as the game lacks a police presence; the Speedbreaker was mostly intended for police evasion, however it returns for the Nintendo DS version of the game).
Players have a wide variety of decals, vinyls, and paint colors, all very similar to the previous games in the series. Additional extras have been added as well. Players have a huge variety of body modifications, such as rims, hoods, body kits, exhaust tips, spoilers and roof scoops. TheAutosculpt feature, which was first introduced in Need for Speed: Carbon, is featured in ProStreet and plays a significant role in terms of car performance. Although there are more parts to autosculpt in the car, the autosculpting method is for the most part the same. The hood, roof scoop, front bumper and spoiler can all change how a car performs in a race. Autosculpt can affect everything, from a car's handling to its downforce. ProStreet now allows you to modify stock and wide body kits as well as hoods, roof scoops, wheels, spoilers etc. A new feature called the Windtunnel is introduced on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. It is not available on Wii and PlayStation 2versions. The Windtunnel, along with Autosculpt, can affect a car's performance.
Many of the races take place on well-known roads. Locations include Chicago (Meigs Field Airport; now disused), Nevada, Europe, Tokyo Docklands (Daikoku Futo parking area), and the Autobahn (A100 Berlin ring road). The Texas World Speedway, a real track in Texas used by the SCCA and in the 70s NASCAR, and also the Infineon Raceway, available in the NASCAR configuration as "GP Circuit" and AMAconfiguration as "Long Circuit". The game also includes many other real world tracks such as Portland International Raceway and Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in the USA, Autopolis and Ebisu Circuit in Japan, and Mondello Park in Ireland. The tracks are the same in all versions of ProStreet.
Online modes are not featured in the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions. However the PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC versions feature online mode. Unlike previous Need for Speed titles, it is much more integrated into the game; as long as a player is connected to the Internet and logged in, his/her in-game progress is recorded for the purpose of online leaderboards. A player's custom-built car can also be shared online via blueprints, with the creator being given credit whenever their car setup is used for a leaderboard.
The official title was leaked several months before the official announcement. Soft Club, the Russian distributor of the game, unveiled the name and release date of the game in February 2007. EA had not until the official announcement on May 31, 2007, given any clue about the game's title.
There are a total of 55 driveable cars in ProStreet (76 with add-ons). Like previous iterations, the cars are organized into 3 categories: Tuners, Muscle and Exotic. Cheats can unlock 4 more.
The Collector's Edition for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 adds another 5 new cars. It is available via download. In December 2007 EA released a booster pack (expansion pack) that added another 16 cars that were made available via download. The Booster Pack was a free download available for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. On NDS version, muscle cars will be generic cars.
- Kumho Tires
- Dunlop Tires (not available on PlayStation 2 and Wii)
- Hankook (not available on PlayStation 2 and Wii)
In ProStreet, the player is Ryan Cooper, a former illegal street racer and a newcomer to the legal side of racing. He is seen only in the very beginning, during showdowns, and after defeating a King; however, his face is never seen, as he wears a helmet all the time in the footage. He also never speaks, much like the main character in the games from Need for Speed: Underground to Need for Speed: Carbon. Ryan Cooper is also mentioned in Need For Speed: Undercover, where a police officer claims to have Ryan in his car, but he will not speak or take off his helmet, like in ProStreet.
ProStreet features some girls cast as characters in the game:
- Krystal Forscutt, a former Big Brother Australia contestant,
- and Sayoko Ohashi are starting girls.
All three announcers voices heard throughout ProStreet's career mode are real-life, professional race commentators :
- Jarod DeAnda (Big-Jay Battle Machine & Noise Bomb) is an announcer Formula D events,
- John Hindhaugh (Roger Evans from R3act Team Sessions & G-Effect) is the long-term host of Radio Le Mans,
- JBird (J-Mack from Super Promotion, Noise Bomb & Rogue Speed) is the official voice of NOPI.
In ProStreet, there are five Kings that Ryan must defeat in a set of challenges to become the Street King.
The Collector's Edition is available at the EA Store for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 unlocking 5 more cars and 4 more career race days.
An expansion pack branded by Energizer Lithium is also available. It adds 16 cars (2 free and 14 purchase) and 2 tracks. This also disables all cheats for the game.
The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions were also criticized due to missing content, downgraded graphics and frame rate issues.ProStreet has received mixed reviews from critics. Game Informer and GameSpot have cited the lack of police in the game, the handling of cars being unrealistic, and the fact that ProStreet strays away from its traditional roots of street racing as reasons for the ratings, as well "an overload of in-game advertising and a higher hardware requirement (causing poor sales on the Windows version)." IGN.com mentioned the common complaint that all of the cars had shoddy performance and terribly unrealistic handling. videoGaiden lambasted the game in its 2007 Christmas special, having harshly criticised its predecessors in the previous two years. The main criticism was that the game was as lacking in substance as the previous installments, but also lacked the high production values of those titles. These were the lowest ratings ever in the series despite higher sales of the next game, Undercover.
On September 7, 2007 DJ, record producer and Musician Junkie XL released a single entitled "More" in conjunction with EA's Need For Speed: ProStreet videogame. JXL was asked to compose the score of the game, the game also included 34 songs as part of its soundtrack. The soundtrack included the song Atlantis to Interzone by The Klaxons.
The advertisement of the game has recently come under critical fire for featuring topless models in certain ads. UK promotional material for the game featured in The Sun advertised the game with itsPage Three Girls, Becky Rule and Amii Grove posing topless. Electronic Arts claims that the ads "slipped through the proper EA approval process." As a result, the ads have been removed.