In lists: 2
EA returns to the flashy urban nights of Underground with a robust next-gen effort.
Need For Speed Carbon isn't a revolutionary game and it's far from a stinker. Instead, it's what EA does best, usually. It creates pretty good games with lots of features. Carbon switches out drag racing and Pacific North West backgrounds for drift racing and inner city urban streets. The freaky FMV filtered stuff is back and there seems to be more than ever (too much?). The drifting is an acquired taste (but it's good), the canyon duals are decent changes (though not great), and the crews...well, they suck. Of the myriad new features, the addition of muscle cars and the online functionality are the best. The muscle cars bring real challenge and change to the races and the online games (when lag isn't hampering you) are great cop-chase endeavors.
More trippy-dippy FMV-treated cutscenes and sadly, more cutscenes filled with geekier FMV actors. A great map system, good GPS, and good progression structure.
EA returns the series to the flashy streets of the city, like in Underground 1 and 2. Great looking cars made better by Autosculpt.
Great sound effects nicely split in 5.1 plus the least obnoxious EA TRAX songs ever.
The muscle cars are the biggest change the series has seen in years. The canyon duels are OK (kinda easy actually). The non-career mode mini-races are startlingly deep.
Lasting Appeal (7.5/10)
There is the meaty 12 hours-ish Career mode, but neither the Xbox nor the PS2 versions have online modes, sadly.