Need for Speed: Carbon
Need for Speed: Carbon is a 2006 racing video game developed for several platforms by EA Canada, Rovio Mobile and EA Black Box. It is published by Electronic Arts. It is the tenth installment in the Need for Speed series and a sequel to Need for Speed: Most Wanted.
|Need for Speed: Carbon|
EA Black Box (PC)
Rovio Mobile (mobile)
|Series||Need for Speed|
|Platform(s)||Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, mobile phone, Zeebo, arcade|
The PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance versions of the game are called Need for Speed: Carbon – Own the City, set in a fictional city named Coast City with a different storyline and also featuring different AI teammate abilities. In 2009, a version of Own the City was also released on the Zeebo as a pre-installed game. It was followed by Need for Speed: ProStreet in the following year.
The gameplay of Need for Speed: Carbon is similar to its predecessors, Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Underground 2, but based upon rival street racing crews instead of individuals. Players run a crew and can hire specific street racers to be in their crew and the active friendly racer is known as a wingman. Each employable street racer has two skills, a racing skill (scout, blocker, and drafter) and a non-race skill (fixer, mechanic, and fabricator). Each skill has different properties from finding hidden alleys/back streets (shortcuts) to reducing police attention. Cars driven by the wingmen are also different; blockers drive muscle, drafters drive exotics and scouts drive tuners (although the first two unlockable wingmen (Neville and Sal) drive cars according to the player's chosen car class at the start of the game). Car classes are Tuners, Muscle, and Exotics, and are associated with their own borough and Boss (Tuners/Downtown/Kenji, Exotics/Fortuna/Wolf, and Muscle/Kempton/Angie).
Players must choose a class when starting Career Mode, which will be permanent throughout the career. Each choice starts in a different district, with corresponding initial car choices and unlocks as the game progresses (there is a test drive option at the beginning). Players may ultimately choose from any class of car, and can also unlock cars that are reserved for Quick Races as they earn Reward Cards.
In Career Mode, races cannot be redone for the same purse; if won, the purse is only $500. It is necessary for players to plan carefully which cars they will buy and upgrade, to avoid running out of money. There are phone calls, texts and emails to go along with the storyline. Winning races causes new races to show up on the map. All gameplay takes place at night. As in Most Wanted the player can use Nitrous Oxide and Speedbreaker, which accumulate simply from driving, not from specific skill use to earn them.
Gameplay control methods vary from console to console. In PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, control steering through the control pad, while acceleration, braking and other controls can be configured and mapped to the different buttons on the controllers. The Driving Force GT and G27 racing wheels can be used, and this is the first Need for Speed title to implement force-feedback and the 900 degree turning radius. In Windows version, joysticks and wheel controllers are supported, as well as those that support force feedback. Wii version lacks online play, but fully supports the use of the Wii Remote.
Carbon features some online exclusive game modes, such as pursuit knockout, somewhat similar to lap knockout from Need for Speed: High Stakes. Players can upload in-game screenshots to the Need for Speed website, complete with stats and modifications. The Pursuit Knockout and Pursuit Tag game modes are modes that allow the player to play as either a racer or a cop. Pursuit Knockout is essentially a lap knockout with a twist. The racers that are knocked out of the race come back as cops and it's their job to try to stop the other racers from finishing the race through any means necessary (in High Stakes, those racers end up driving large dump trucks). The player that finishes the race wins. Pursuit Tag begins with one player as a racer and the rest of the players as cops. It is the cops' job to arrest the racer. The cop that makes the arrest then turns into a racer and has to try to avoid the cops. The player who spends the most time as a racer wins.
Unlike Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Underground, Carbon has no drag racing. However, Carbon features the return of drift racing, a mode that had been included in two previous installments Need for Speed: Underground and Underground 2, but omitted from Carbon's predecessor, Most Wanted. Other familiar race forms return, such as Sprint, Circuit, and "Tollbooth" (renamed "Checkpoint"). There are no Street X or Knockout races. A new mode named "Rival Crew Challenge", consists getting a rival challenge, the player selecting a target spot on the map, then it's a race to the target spot.
Most of Carbon's focus lies through various Canyon Events, based on Japanese Touge races. There are four types of Canyon Events: Canyon Duel, Canyon Sprint, Canyon Checkpoint and Canyon Drift. Canyon Duels have two stages: In the first stage, the player chases the rival and accumulates points faster the closer they stick to the opponent. In the second stage, the roles are reversed and the player's points decline faster the closer the opponent is. If anyone falls behind or is overtaken and passed, without regaining the distance, after ten seconds they lose. Players can also lose by going off the cliff edge. Some races have destructible, lit-up guardrails players must be careful not to crash through, and some have solid walls. The Canyon Drift and Canyon Duel race modes are based on the final race taking place at a touge, featured in the 2006 film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
In Career mode, players have to win races throughout the city to conquer territories, and then face off against bosses to conquer the first three boroughs. To challenge Darius (Boss of the fourth borough) and win the game, players must defeat the three Bosses in two final races and defeat Darius in a Circuit race and a Canyon Duel. Throughout the game, as the player accumulates territories, the minor crews (Black Hearts and Kings, who drive exotics, Inferno and Los Colibres, who drive muscles, and Rotor 4 and Scorpios, who drive tuners), might attack the player's owned races/territories. The player can then either accept the challenge, and keep the race if they win it, or decline, in which case, the minor crew will automatically retake the race, and the territory if too many races are lost.
Carbon also features Quick Races modes (including 2 players) and Reward Cards, in which card pieces are won by achievements in and out of Career Mode. Once a card is fully won, new cars, parts, or other features are unlocked. The Challenge Series is a set of 36 events (12 categories with 3 difficulty levels). Finishing a Challenge category also unlocks features.
As with Most Wanted, police is a key mechanic in Carbon. Police chases can break out at any time, including when in Free Roam mode, when racing, or just after a race is completed. However, during a race, the player can not get busted, the police can only impede the players car. The background music and most of the radio dialogue is similar to Most Wanted, with the main difference being the names of locations or streets mentioned during a pursuit. Canyon Races and Checkpoint Races have no risk of police pursuit. As with Most Wanted, there are 5 conditions/heat levels and players should be careful to avoid getting pursued by state or federal authorities. The Collector's Edition features additional heat levels for specific challenge events.
Although the pursuit system is similar to Most Wanted, this feature has been reprogrammed in Carbon to ensure that police are not too dominant in arrest tactics in high pursuit levels. Unlike in Most Wanted, it is possible to evade the police after running over a spike strip by using nitrous. At the same time, some of the police tactics (such as the spike strips) are used in ways that make pursuits much harder to escape, and the police cars are much harder to disable. Using Pursuit Breakers no longer guarantees the blockage/destruction of every pursuing vehicle. However, police can be seen patrolling the map and won't engage in a pursuit—unless the players have a warrant (evaded a previous pursuit) or committed an offence in sight of the police.
Need for Speed: Carbon features a new car customization option called "Autosculpt", enabling players to utilize aftermarket car parts and shape/mold the parts to their liking. Players can also have multiple customized vinyls as well, which can be moved, resized, or skewed, The layering system of vinyls returns after having absence in Most Wanted but limited to 20 layers. Autosculpt was also used in Need For Speed: Prostreet, Undercover and World Online, though it played a large role in aerodynamic capabilities of the car.
Performance tuning has been redone so that players, as upgrades are purchased, can tune the car for a number of different properties, such as higher top speed or higher acceleration. Unlike Most Wanted, all of Carbon's performance tuning/enhancing and car customizing is done inside the Safe House(In Most Wanted, fine tunings done through pause menu). A new "optimize" feature has been added for players this time also for career mode who just want the best options without spending too much time tuning and configuring.
Players can choose from many licensed cars divided into three classes as follows: Tuners, Muscles, and Exotics. Each car has its own characteristic ranging from easy cornering to well-balanced road performance. For example, Tuners are good in handling and tight corners, Exotics have high top speeds, and Muscles can accelerate fast in a short amount of time. In Career Mode, players must choose a class at the beginning, but are ultimately free to purchase and/or use any vehicle throughout the career.
Own the CityEdit
For portables, the Own the City version has many differences. There are new game modes, like Escape where the player must escape from a rival crew's territory, Delivery where the players and their crew have to deliver a package to a designated area in first place to win, and Crew Takedown, where players have to eliminate a set number of rival racers to win. Crew management allows hiring of up to 5 wingmen per crew, with 2 active for racing. Players can use the crews for all races except for Lap Knockout, Escape and Crew Takedown modes. The city is also divided into many areas, some together into a district owned by one crew, with a total of 6 districts and 13 areas. Every area conquered gives new unlocks and new wingmen. Wingmen also have three different classes; a brawler that takes down racers, a drafter that drafts racers to give speed boosts, and assassins that deliver spike strips the player needs to avoid that can blow a car's tires, aimed for enemy cars. Own the City also allows free roaming with crates scattered throughout the whole city that when broken, give special unlocks ranging from cash to game art. Police chases are only available in free roam, and are not available in races.
The game is set in the fictional city of Palmont (with the exception of NFS: Own The City.). There are three major canyon areas: East, West, and Carbon Canyon. The southwestern border of the city features a sea coast. The city also includes several rivers and a lake near Carbon Canyon. The career mode introduction takes place in San Juan, which along with the canyons and drift courses, is disconnected from the main map, although these areas can be reached using a glitch to go off the main map. Once the career mode introduction is completed, there are four boroughs: Kempton (southwest industrial area), Downtown (east metropolitan area), Fortuna (west residential area) and Silverton (north casino & resort area) ; one for each of the major crews. Career mode includes canyon based events, which are accessed using "links" located on the main map. A highway system extending through the middle of the city is the main connection between the boroughs. Palmont's design is based on cities in California, Nevada, and New Mexico. Days are skipped in the game and it is always night time in Need for Speed Carbon. All boroughs except Silverton are initially accessible to the player; access to Silverton is unlocked only after beating the crews in the other three boroughs (the off map glitch can be used to go there before it's unlocked). Palmont was also featured in the massively multiplayer online racing game Need for Speed: World, along with Rockport of Most Wanted, but drift arena, San Juan and the canyons were not included in Need for Speed: World.
Need for Speed: CarbonEdit
After escaping from the authorities in Rockport, the player drives in a BMW M3 GTR on a canyon route to Palmont City. A flashback to several years prior, before the events of Most Wanted to what seems to be a race against Kenji, Angie, and Wolf comes to the player's mind. A police incident at the end of the race forces the player to make a hasty escape from Palmont with Darius's Toyota Supra, leaving Wolf, Angie, Kenji, many bystanders and then girlfriend Nikki who was unable to be rescued to be arrested by the Palmont SWAT units. In the present day, the player is nearing the city limits of Palmont, when is rammed from behind by a driver in a 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. The driver turns out to be former Rockport Police Sergeant Nathan Cross (played by Dean McKenzie), now a bounty hunter. After a high-speed chase down the canyon, they both run into a construction zone, where Cross then corners the player who has just totaled their car. Shortly before an irate Cross (who is still upset about the incident in Rockport City) can arrest the player, Darius (played by Tahmoh Penikett) and his crew arrive. Darius pays off Cross, and the player meets up with ex girlfriend Nikki (played by Emmanuelle Vaugier), who is now dating Darius and is apparently outraged about the player's return after leaving Palmont with what she thought was the prize money for the race (the bag was switched and only had paper, not cash), but Darius asks her to help the player, introducing crew members Neville and Sal and providing the crew with a safehouse/workshop.
Darius tells the player to regain control of the different territories in Palmont. Winning races one by one, the player acquires territories and ultimately districts from the major crews, before beating the bosses of those crews. The 3 major bosses are:
- Kenji (Bushido) - controls Downtown
- Angie (21st Street; played by Danielle Kremeniuk) - controls Kempton
- Wolf (T.F.K.) - controls Fortuna
There are various other smaller crews, such as 4Rotor (who use Mazdas with rotary engines), Black Hearts, and Los Colibres (The Hummingbirds). After beating each crew boss, the player meets up with a former member of that boss's crew: Yumi (Bushido; played by Melody Miyuki Ishikawa), Samson (21st Street) and Colin (T.F.K.), who want to join the player's crew and reveal their observations regarding the night the player took off from Palmont.
After gaining control of all three districts, Darius asks the player to meet up with him. He reveals that he was just using the player all along to get more territory, and that he has brought Cross along to arrest the player. Darius leaves the player at the mercy of Cross, but the player is saved by the arrival of Nikki (who made a secret deal with Cross), who tells him that she now realizes everything that happened years ago after piecing together her view of the night and the viewpoints of the other racers, revealing that Darius was the one who tipped off the police, switched the money bag and let the player escape. Nikki reconciles with the player and joins the player's crew. After Darius finds this out, he hires the three previous bosses (Kenji, Angie, and Wolf) into his new crew, Stacked Deck. The player then attempts to conquer Silverton, and oust Darius and his Stacked Deck crew, to exact revenge for Darius' actions.
The player begins to win races against the Stacked Deck, and gets his chance to beat Darius for control of Palmont and to accord justice. After finally defeating Darius, Darius surrenders his Audi Le Mans Quattro to the player. Before he leaves the city, Darius tells the player to "...enjoy it while it lasts. There's always someone out there who's a little faster than you are...and sooner or later they're going to catch up.".
Need for Speed: Carbon – Own the CityEdit
In this version of the game, The player has flashbacks to a race where he, and his brother Mick and a couple of other racers are racing to decide who owns the city. But a terrible car crash ruins the competition - leaving the player in the hospital with amnesia and Mick dead. His death also made the city divide back into different crew territories. Upon waking up, the player is greeted by Mick's girlfriend named Sara, and Carter, Mick's wingman, as they visit Mick's grave and help the player regain his memories.
The player is set to find out who killed Mick, and goes on different races to beat different crews, regain territory and see if they know anything about the accident, where each crew boss then describes what they know about the accident that killed Mick - as well as unlocking more crew members from the respective rival crews. The player soon finds out that the crash was caused by a kid named Buddy, and after a visit to a crew boss called EX - who explains to player where he can find Buddy. However, before EX could finish explaining, Sara is seemingly caught in an explosion. The player is driven further to find out who caused the trouble - and soon confronts Buddy. He then reveals that he was hired, and hands the player his phone. The player then continues to complete more races. shortly afterwards, he meets and encounters an undercover police racer named MK, who, after being defeated by the player, then helps him with MK’s police abilities to find out who planned the murder, through Buddy's phone.
It is revealed that EX was the one who planned the crash, and the player goes after him, with MK's police forces in the end apprehending EX after defeated by the player. Sara appears, and tells the racer to race her, which she in the end reveals the truth: the player hired EX to get rid of Mick due to Mick's monstrous personality that hurt Sara and the player, and EX, in turn, hired Buddy to crash Mick's car causing the "accident" resulting in Mick's death. It was all following the player's plan. Sara then hands the player Mick's watch, saying that he is different from Mick, and that she is free together with the player.
By default, hip hop/grime songs are played when the player is driving an exotic car, electronic songs are played when the player is driving a tuner car, and rock music is played when the player is driving a muscle car, though this setting can be turned off. These songs were released by EA in very limited quantities on a special edition disc. The songs played within the safe house and other game menus, as well as a small number of races were composed by London electronic act Ekstrak, and was released widely by EA, and is available from online retailers such as iTunes, as well as hard copies. Other music, most played in major races, such as Race Wars and Canyon Battles have been widely released akin to the Ekstrak release. This actual soundtrack consists of music composed by Trevor Morris, who has gone on to work with Steve Jablonsky for the 2007 EA RTS game, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.
Need for Speed: Carbon was first shown in EA's montage at Nintendo's E3 2006 conference and booth and was the cover story in the Game Informer magazine issue of July 2006. In the early development stages, the graphics had more detail and the city was planned to be bigger. Also found in the game's files show that many of the game's features were scrapped such as being able to drift with other A.I. players, similar to Underground 2. What may appear to be an entire crew called "LeSamurai" was found in the game's files. "LeSamurai" may have taken a huge part in the game's plot as their crew logo is found in many various places in the city. However, the crew logo is not found Downtown. "LeSamurai" may not be the official crew name, but it's the name of some of the contents in one of the game's files. Carbon is the first in the Need for Speed series to be released for PlayStation 3 and Wii seventh generation consoles and also the final in the series to be released for Xbox, GameCube and Game Boy Advance. Carbon features some of cars of its predecessors; namely Need for Speed: Underground 2 and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but also incorporates many new additions including the Audi Le Mans quattro, the Chrysler 300C SRT 8, Chevrolet's Chevelle SS and the Alfa Romeo Brera. Carbon features the Canadian actress and model Emmanuelle Vaugier as Nikki, the player's main source of help and ally in the Career storyline. The game is available for use with Mac OS X. Need for Speed: Carbon debuted at number one on the UK All Format Gaming Chart on its first week of release, beating Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer.
Carbon was also the first game in the series to feature detailed character animations for the Windows and seventh-generation releases using facial motion capture, where ingame models of characters such as Neville, Wolf, Angie and Kenji appear in realtime cutscenes taunting or remarking the player in a race or at certain points. This has however been omitted on the sixth-generation and Wii versions due to platform limitations.
The Need for Speed: Carbon – Collector's Edition features 4 exclusive cars, 10 pre-tuned cars, 6 new races, 3 unique challenge events, 10 unique vinyls and a Bonus DVD showing the making of Carbon and showcasing all the cars used in the game. The Collector's Edition also features alternate box art and a metallic-finish sleeve encasing the case of the game. Although the Mac edition doesn't display the Collector's Edition title, it contains all Collector's Edition features. The downloaded version of the game features the Ultimate Performance Kit, 2006 Pagani Zonda F and the 1971 Dodge Challenger. An arcade version of the same name was released by EA Arcades in 2008. The Collector's Edition is not available for PS3.
Need for Speed: Carbon was met with generally positive reviews. IGN gave the PC version an 8.2 out of 10 and the PlayStation 3 version a 7.9 out of 10 citing "It's not revolutionary, it's not brilliant, but it's good, deep racing,". GameSpot gave praise for adding more movie clips, customization and solid gameplay but was critical about frustrating boss battles and under utilizing police chases.
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game an average score of 8.0. Hyper's Daniel Wilks commends the game for its "large gameworld" but criticises it for its "easy, drift course mechanics suck [and] cutscene 'actors'". The Australian video game talk show Good Game gave the game a 5/10.
Need for Speed: Carbon has sold 3.2 million copies in the United States. Its PlayStation 2 version received a "Double Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
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Need For Speed Carbon - various cutscenes after unlocking Sal, Colin of TFK, Yumi of Bushido, and Samson of 21st Street.
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Need For Speed Carbon cutscene after beating the last crew.
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Need For Speed Carbon Cutscene after unlocking Nikki.
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Need For Speed Carbon Cutscene after beating Darius.
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