Massively multiplayer online games aren't only "massive" because thousands of people play with each other at the same time, but also because of the immense game worlds that they offer. Need for Speed World, an upcoming PC-exclusive racing MMO, is no different. EA showed off a closed beta version of the game at a recent press event in New York City, and when I asked producer Marc De Vellis about the game's main draw, he proudly proclaimed, "It's the biggest Need for Speed arena ever."
The game world in NFS World is an amalgam of new areas and of cities from the Need for Speed franchise's greatest hits: the beta I saw included such places as Palmont (from 2006's Need for Speed: Carbon) and Rockport (Need for Speed: Most Wanted, 2005). The regions are connected as one seamless entity; you can race from one end to the other without any loading screens. And when the game launches this summer, EA expects tens of thousands of players to be driving around at once inside it.
But NFS World will grow still larger. De Vellis assured me that its developers, EA Black Box and EA Singapore, will continually expand the game post-launch, periodically bolting on additional fan-favorite locales from other Need for Speed titles. With fourteen distinct entries in the long-running franchise, they've got plenty of varied settings to choose from.
Need for Speed World is due out this summer for PC. Check back soon for a full hands-on preview.