EA Games Need for Speed Carbon

Fulfil your need for, uh, speed.

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EA Games Need for Speed Carbon
  • EA Games Need for Speed Carbon
  • EA Games Need for Speed Carbon
  • EA Games Need for Speed Carbon

Pros

  • It will fulfil your need for speed

Cons

  • Sixaxis-specific control additions are laughable

Bottom Line

If you have a Xbox 360 console, stick to that version of Carbon. But if you were somehow lucky enough to get a PS3 and you need a speed kick, Need for Speed: Carbon is a worthwhile investment.

Would you buy this?

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For me, choosing between EA's top two racing franchises, Need for Speed and Burnout, has always been easy.

Burnout hits me like no other racing game and the reason is two-fold. First, the folks at Criterion are developmental wizards of console technology, and second, Burnout plays more like an action game than a racing one, fuelling competitive nature on par with multiplayer matches of Halo 2.

Speed Kills

But while the Need for Speed series and its latest instalment Carbon shares the same speed-infused pedigree, it never grabbed me in the same visceral way that Burnout did. I guess I just prefer the balls-to-wall action and slick crashes of the Burnout series more than I liked the silky yet not as satisfying flavour of NFS. I'll just leave it up to my therapist to sort it all out. Carbon still has a lot to offer racing fans, though, and it's a nice mix of fantasy and reality that will probably fulfil your need for, uh, speed.

Now comes the part when I wish I had a dollar for every time I had to write that the PS3 version of a game is the same as the Xbox 360's, because, guess what? The PS3 version of Carbon is blah, blah, blah. I did notice that the 360 version looked noticeably better in terms of graphics. When Carbon on PS3 was first shown running on the PS3 last summer at EA Studios in Redwood City, jaws dropped...in horror. It looked like a late-generation PS2 game, at best. Thankfully, things were tightened up before launch, but Carbon on the PS3 doesn't quite meet the technical standards of the superior Xbox 360 version.

Letting Go Of The Wheel

And once again, the Sixaxis-specific control additions are laughable. Rather than remap the game to be able to drive with the tilt-sensing controller, EA uses it as a turning enhancer that, when the control is jerked to one side during a turn, gives the car an extra little bit of turn juice. The only other difference is the lack of the Xbox 360's photo mode.

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