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Handy with Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2: The Battle Begins

When Need for Speed ​​Unbound launched in late November, it heralded the return of Electronic Arts’ long-running open-world driver series to its former glory.

But something felt a little off. Prior to the launch of the $80 Palace Edition, there were no ratings, which struck players as a bit of a shot in the dark and hinted at a possible lack of trust from the California HQ.

Then, since its inception, there has been a tiny game update focused on stability. That was it in almost three months.

But we needn’t have worried. Not only is Unbound good, really good, but there will be a number of content additions and game improvements throughout the year. It all starts here with Volume 2, which includes must-have features, new cars and fresh modes.

We were active prior to release with the biggest change to Unbound yet. The uprising begins here…

Networked Cops

Lakeshore Online makes up a big part of Unbound’s appeal, but so far it’s lacked a key competency: cops.

Police chases are the draw of this franchise, which has been present since 1994’s The Need for Speed, the very first entry. They also feature prominently in the latest version’s single-player campaign, patrolling the streets and adding to your heat.

This was contrasted with the quiet streets of the cross-platform multiplayer world where they were completely absent.

A blatant omission that is now thankfully fixed with Volume 2.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Online Cop Coop Chase

The flashing Dodge Chargers and Ford Explorers roam the streets of Chicago as you would expect, just like offline, and also appear on your minimap. Crash into her and the chase begins.

Well, why could this be a good addition, you might ask? It makes the two worlds of single player and multiplayer seem more cohesive. It also adds variety to the gaming experience.

But the main bonus, of course, is the money, or bank in Need for Speed ​​terminology, that you earn by taking out a lawman.

Dollars are sometimes hard to come by in Unbound – although we think the grind is part of the appeal once it “clicks” – but taking out a cop nets $200, and that’s handy for car mods or cosmetic items. The money will soon begin to add up.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Online Cop Takedown

There’s also a collaborative element – if you’re being tracked and someone else runs into the tracking on your server, they can join and help you decimate your law enforcement opponents.

Teaming up with a bunch of friends to take out cops between playlists is ridiculous carnage. Next, we hope their presence can be added to some of the actual multiplayer races sooner rather than later. A feature that is missing in contrast to single player.

Here we go

Another thing that you can now participate in together with friends is rumble races. Featuring two online playlists that place three events in a row to crown an overall winner, a Rumble is usually a short track race riddled with hairpins and ridiculous jumps.

They’re the kind of layout a racer might call “technical,” with narrow and curvy formats.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Rumble Races

The result is an action-packed race in which, in the first lap, the direction in which the route will lead next is worked out hectically. On the second and third laps, you decide which turns to drift in and how to maximize your thrust.

It’s all too easy to waste it just before a hairpin bend and hit a parking lot wall head first. You can’t afford to make a mistake because time is even more precious here.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Online Multiplayer Rumble Racing

It’s frenetic, becoming by far the wildest format in the game and ideal for those looking for short, sharp, competitive races. A welcome addition, ideal for those who want to get in, run door to door and have fun.

It’s all about cheddar

If this sounds multiplayer-heavy in Focus, then yes, you would be correct.

This continues with the redistribution of wins that have been tinkered with throughout the networked experience. During playlist reordering, payouts have generally increased and top-level earnings are now mostly similar across car classes.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 increased playlist rewards

Hopefully that means more people will be entering lower category car races more often. You can now also switch between cars in the middle of the playlist. This was already possible in multi-class events, but is now also the case when the class remains constant over the three races, allowing you to mix them up should one of your cars suit a particular layout.

In addition to Rumble Races, there are also two new playlists and fresh endurance events.

All remarkable, but the higher bank premiums are the main bonus here. For example, the Revv’d Up playlist used to pay out a maximum of $21,000, but that’s now up to $38,000 for the winner, an 81 percent increase.

Hot splashing of the ‘Bach

Right, time for some single player improvements, we’re starting with new cars. For those, and only those who subscribe to EA Play, there is the Pre-Modified and Customized Nissan Fairlady ZG 1971 Epic Custom.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2, New Customization, Nissan Z

There is also the fashionably bound Balmain Edition Lotus Emira. This is already in the game powered by the character Eléonore, but now it can be yours. It is unlocked when you win 3 online playlists driving a Lotus.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2, Balmain Lotus Emira

These are just side shows to the main business. A brand new car for the game that is touted as “The Ultimate Luxury” and is secret until now.

In the words of Drake in Dreams Money Can Buy: “I send the Maybach to the neighborhood, they never saw it.”

Yes, it’s the rather incongruous Mercedes-Maybach S 680 sedan. This luxury ship sails the way you imagine it. Very powerful, stable on the Autobahn, but due to its gigantic length about as manoeuvrable as a cruise ship.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 2021

We have to admit, though, that it looks particularly menacing with a body kit, even in the otherwise tacky Mansory design. Certainly more sophisticated than Jay Z and Kanye West’s attempts to modify Bach in the Otis music video. Perhaps this monstrosity will be found in Volume 3 of Unbound…?

How you unlock the Maybach is crucial, as a new activity type has been added – Hot Laps.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Hot Laps

These join speed traps, drift zones, and jumps as optional purple icons on the Lakeshore map. Each is a tiny loop circuit with a target time. The faster you go, the more Stars you can earn, up to three per Hot Lap.

It’s not an easy ride to get a three star result, it takes practice, determination and learning the layouts to the millimeter. Then you also need a car that is tuned for agile handling, but which is also not boring when driving straight ahead.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Hot Laps gameplay

We regularly chased the best times and got sucked into the hunt for the elusive stars. You must collect 30 exclusively from Hot Lap events, and the Maybach will unlock for purchase for $230,000.

A brighter future

Along with the new content and modes, a number of smaller quality of life changes are also welcome. You can no longer demote Ferraris multiple levels to gain an unfair advantage, but you can now skip tracks mid-race using the d-pad, and most importantly, there are three new daily challenges that can earn you extra cash.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Daily Challenges

A feature that reminds us of some previous Need for Speed ​​titles, a welcome addition to the ways to make money and in our experience most are completed naturally. For example, in our testing, we had four and five seconds of air after jumping and completing a Tier A+ playlist.

The total of bank receipts over the three was $60,000. This is updated every 24 real hours.

Arguably more important than these changes, however, is that EA, Criterion Games, and the subsumed team at Codemasters Cheshire appear to be in it for the long haul.

Developers working in silence, waiting for the opportune moment to release an update once it’s ready and massive, as opposed to a constant drip of minor changes. We admire the chutzpah.

Need for Speed ​​Unbound Volume 2 Mercedes-Maybach S 680 jump 02

Now that we’ve tried Volume 2 and are seeing significant changes, anticipation is growing for what the rest of the year has in store for Need for Speed ​​Unbound.

Volume 2 of Unbound will be available to download on March 21st as a free update for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Will you download it? Let us know in the comments below!

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