'Need for Speed Unbound' revives the racing series on December 2nd

Street art and A$AP Rocky collide in this title for next-gen consoles and PC.

Criterion Games/EA

The Need for Speed series hasn't been heard from since 2019's so-so Need for Speed Heat, but Criterion and EA are ready to bring it back — and they're tinkering with the formula once again. They've revealed Need for Speed Unbound, a follow-up to the fantasy racer that melds elements of street art (such as cel-shaded graphics and graffiti flourishes) with realistic-looking cars and a gameplay system that promises "true consequence[s]" for your decisions. And did we mention that A$AP Rocky plays a prominent role?

You play a new racer who has to rise to the top of a street racing league to recover a "priceless" car stolen from a family auto shop. A$AP Rocky will lead the Takeover Scene, a "precision driving" mode that rewards style. His music (along with other hip-hop artists) will soundtrack the experience, and the trailer hints that you might even get to drive his custom Mercedes 190E.

Unbound will include familiar Need for Speed mechanics like police "heat," but you'll also get nitrous-fueled speed boosts in return for stylish driving. To no one's surprise, you'll have virtual currency-based customization that extends to elements like clothing and license plates. Free updates will include new features, modes and raw content.

The new title will be available December 2nd for PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. Sorry, you're high and dry if you hoped for a PS4 or Xbox One release. The bigger question is whether or not Unbound will accomplish what Heat didn't — that is, restore some of the excitement from Need for Speed's glory days.