Need for Speed: ProStreet is the 11th installment of Electronic Arts' popular racing game series Need for Speed. On May 21, 2007, Electronic Arts published a teaser trailer of ProStreet, and officially announced it ten days later. It was released worldwide in November 2007.
The game starts where a former street racer known as Ryan Cooper drives into a race day with a Nissan 240SX and dominates it. The player, as Ryan Cooper, then moves to the first proper race day: Battle Machine. Ryan wins and dominates enough race days sponsored by Battle Machine to move onto a showdown at Chicago Airfield sponsored by Super Promotion. After dominating that, he moves onto the next sponsor: R3act Team Sessions and continues to do what he did in Battle Machine. After breaking enough records of a certain race mode, he moves onto elite organizations in order to challenge that mode's King. As he defeats each King, he rises in rank. Finally, the Showdown King, Ryo Wantanabe, who drives a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X , challenges Ryan and is consequently defeated. Ryan becomes the Street King, the best racer in the world.
Need for Speed: ProStreet took the series in a different direction of gameplay. In previous installments, racing scenes are set around streets with moving traffic. However, all racing in ProStreet takes place solely on closed tracks, making ProStreet the first game in the series since Need For Speed II that doesn't animate illegal racing. Rather, the type of racing appears to be Touring Car Racing. Performance tuning feature is enhanced, compared to previous versions, especially Autosculpt. Unlike Carbon, where only certain body kits can be autosculpted, this can now be applied to all body kits, including stock bumpers and wide body kits. Furthermore, some adjustments through autosculpt impact the cars' aerodynamics.
In ProStreet there are four different game modes: Drag (a race in a drag strip, point to point), Grip (similar to Circuit races but with four different types of Grip races available), Speed (similar to a Sprint race) and Drift.
- Drag race is a simple straight away race that has three heats. There are three types of drag races, 1/4 and 1/2 mile drag races where the fastest time, out of three runs, wins. There is also a wheelie competition where the longest wheelie on the 1/4 mile track wins.
- In Grip races, there are four different modes (Normal Grip, Grip Class, Sector Shootout and Time Attack), the player has a choice to race rough, such as ramming, smashing, or blocking the opponent in order to win the race, or race cleanly and follow the given racing lines. Normal Grip races feature 2 to 4 laps around a circuit track with up to 7 other racers. First driver to cross the finish line wins. Grip Class races take 8 racers and divide them into two even groups. The racers are placed into the groups based on their vehicles performance potential. Group A starts about 10 seconds ahead of group B, both groups race on the same course but are only competing against the 3 drivers in their group. In Time Attack, the driver with the fastest overall single lap time wins the event. In Sector Shootout the track is divided into several segments, with drivers attempting to complete these sectors in the shortest possible time. Extra points are awarded to drivers who 'dominate' the course by holding the fastest time for every segment of the track.
- In Speed Challenge races, players must cross the finish line first to win the race.
- In Top Speed Run races, the course is divided into 3 to 9 sections (just like that of Sector Shootout in Grip races) and at the instant a player crosses a checkpoint their speed is clocked and added to that player's score, the player with the highest cumulative speed wins.
- In Drift, players drift to emerge as the driver with the most points scored in the event. Points are scored based on speed, angle, and how long the drift is held.
Other than gameplay itself, ProStreet features detailed damage modeling, unlike previous Need for Speed games (except NFS High Stakes and Porsche Unleashed) where damage is relatively little or non-existent altogether. The new damage system introduces more depth of damage (except on the PlayStation 2 and Wii versions, where the damage modeling has been scaled down due to the limited processing power, so the damage is similar to the previous two games) where any object in the game world has the potential to inflict cosmetic damage, light damage, or heavy damage on a car, and even has the potential to total a car immediately after impact.
ProStreet features customization of cars. The changes affect the aerodynamics of the cars, and players can test them in an enclosed chamber called the "Wind Tunnel" (not available in the PlayStation 2 and Wii version).
The Speedbreaker does not return for ProStreet (as the game lacks a police presence; the Speedbreaker was mostly intended for police evasion, however it returns for the Nintendo DS version of the game).
All versions of the game feature an online mode except for the PS2 and Wii versions. However the PSP, DS, X360, PS3 and Windows versions still have online mode, unlike previous Need for Speed titles, it is much more integrated into the game; as long as a player is connected to the Internet and logged in, his/her in-game progress is recorded for the purpose of online leaderboards. A player's custom-built car can also be shared online via "blueprints", with the creator being given credit whenever their car setup is used for a leaderboard.
The official title was leaked several months before the official announcement. Soft Club, the Russian distributor of the game, unveiled the name and release date of the game in February 2007. EA had not until the official announcement on May 31, 2007, given any clue about the game's title.
There are 76 cars (55 in the normal game, 5 are added in the Collector's Edition, 16 are added in the Energizer Lithium Extender Pack) (46 on PS2 and Wii) from 26 manufacturers in the release edition. Eight of these are supercars.
Electronic Arts released a Booster Pack for download to Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. With the Booster Pack, two more cars are made available for free and 14 more for digital purchase. However, with some computing skills it's possible to unlock all 76 cars available without buying either the Collector's Edition upgrade or the Booster Pack.
In Prostreet, the player is Ryan Cooper, a former illegal street racer and a newcomer to the legal side of racing. He is seen only in the very beginning, during showdowns, and after defeating a King; however, his face is never seen, as he wears a helmet all the time in the footage, much like The Stig. He also never speaks, much like the main character in the games from Need For Speed Underground to Need For Speed Carbon.
ProStreet features some girls cast as characters in the game:
All three announcers voices heard throughout ProStreet's career mode are real-life, professional race commentators :
- Jarod DeAnda (Big-Jay Battle Machine & Noise Bomb) announces live at all Formula D,
- John Hindhaugh (Roger Evans from R3act Team Sesssions & G-Effect) is the long-term host of Radio Le Mans,
- JBird (J-Mack from Super Promotion, Noise Bomb & Rouge Speed) is the official voice of NOPI.
In ProStreet, there are five kings that Ryan must defeat in a set of challenges to become the Street King.
An expansion pack branded by Energizer Lithium is also available. It adds 16 cars (some of which must be purchased) and 2 tracks. .
The Autosculpt feature, which was first introduced in Carbon, is featured in ProStreet and plays a significant role in terms of car performance. Although there are more parts to autosculpt in the car, the autosculpting method is relatively the same. The hood, roof scoop, front bumper and spoiler can all change how a car performs in a race. Autosculpt can affect everything, from your cars handling to downforce. ProStreet now allows you to modify stock and wide bodykits as well as hoods, roof scoops, wheels, spoilers etc. A new feature called the Windtunnel is introduced on the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 versions of the game. It is not available on Wii and PS2 versions. The Windtunnel, along with Autosculpt, can help you alter and refine your car's performance.
Many of the races take place on well-known roads. Locations include Chicago (Meigs Field Airport; now disused), Nevada, Europe, Tokyo Docklands (Daikoku Futo parking area), and the Autobahn (A100 Berlin ring road). Also EA makes a clear reference to its NASCAR series by including the Texas World Speedway, a real track in Texas used by the SCCA, and also the Infineon Raceway, available in the NASCAR configuration as "GP Circuit". The game also includes many other real world tracks such as Portland International Raceway and Willow Springs International Motorsports Park in the USA, Autopolis and Ebisu Circuit in Japan, and Mondello Park in Ireland. The tracks are the same in all versions of ProStreet.
While NFS ProStreet has been given a rating of 7.0 (good) by Gamespot for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, a 6.5 (fair) for Windows and Wii and the PlayStation 2 and PSP as well as a 7.0 rating by Game Informer for all platforms, both reviews have cited the lack of police in the game, the handling of cars being unrealistic, and the fact that ProStreet strays away from its traditional roots of street racing as reasons for the ratings, as well "an overload of in-game advertising and a higher hardware requirement (causing poor sales on the Windows version)." The IGN.com review of the PC version seems a bit more realistic as far as the list of complaints goes. The rating was a 6.9 (passable) but it mentioned the common (at least among people who bought and played the game) complaint was that all of the cars had shoddy performance and terribly unrealistic handling. videoGaiden lambasted the game in its 2007 Christmas special, having harshly criticised its predecessors in the previous two years. The main criticism was that the game was as lacking in substance as the previous installments, but also lacked the high production values of those titles. Game Center gave the game a 2/5 on the Xbox for repetitive modes and unrealistic gameplay.
In September 7, 2007 DJ, Producer and Musician Junkie XL released a single entitled "More" in conjunction with EA's Need For Speed: ProStreet videogame.  JXL was asked to compose the score of the game, the game also included 34 songs as part of its soundtrack. 
|Junkie XL Need for Speed: ProStreet Score listing |
|6.||In The Trunk||3:19|
|9.||327 - V8||3:26|
The advertisement of the game has recently come under critical fire for featuring topless models in certain ads. UK promotional material for the game featured in The Sun advertised the game with its Page Three Girls, Becky Rule and Amii Grove posing topless. Electronic Arts claims that the ads "slipped through the proper EA approval process." As a result, the ads have been removed.
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