In the lead-up to E3, EA has revealed that the latest addition to the Need for Speed franchise will be Rivals. In addition to coming to the current-generation platforms, such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, Rivals will make its debut on the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
The current-generation editions have been slated for release on 21 November, though EA says the next-generation versions will come "later this year". The game shares its name with 2005's Need for Speed: Underground Rivals on the PlayStation Portable, though it is unlikely to reintroduce the game's underground theme and setting.
While the last two instalments of Need for Speed were developed by Criterion, EA has handed over the reigns of Rivals to a new studio by the name of Ghost Games. DICE's Frostbite 3 game engine, commonly used in first person shooters such as Battlefield 3, will be used to power Rivals.
In Rivals, gamers can play either as a cop or racer, with each route coming with its own challenges and rewards. As a racer, the goal is to become infamous by collecting Speed Points from high-speed escapes, which can then be used to unlock new cars and items. As a cop, the player is in pursuit of racers and rises in the ranks of the Police Force with every bust, unlocking new police cars and pursuit tech in the process.
For the first time in seven years, Ferrari's range of cars, such as the F12berlinetta, will return in Rivals.
Rivals aims to blur the line between single player and multiplayer with AllDrive, an online feature that lets players transition from playing alone to playing with friends in a seamless manner. Ghost Games executive producer, Marcus Nilsson, said the Need for Speed franchise has always been at the forefront at bringing social competition to games. "In Need for Speed Rivals we are creating one game experience with one progression, where the freedom to play with friends is more fluid and accessible than ever before," he said.
In addition to AllDrive, EA's online Need for Speed community, Autolog, will make a return, letting players compare stats, challenge other drivers and share accomplishments.
The EB Games pre-order bonus for Rivals consists of the Ultimate Cop Pack for free, which unlocks the Nissan GT-R Black Edition cop car, advanced pursuit technology, and a custom livery.
The latest trailer for the game can be found below: