Need for Speed 2019 Wishlist Series: Online Multiplayer
In a generation focused on online multiplayer and live-services, Ghost’s Need for Speed titles have been particularly subpar in this area, especially when compared to titles such as The Crew 2 and Forza Horizon 4, and one they really need to address with Need for Speed 2019.
Need for Speed 2015 launched as a divisive always-online game, always putting you into lobbies with random players. This lobby system was and still is broken, with no way to set up proper private lobbies and requiring you to exit the game to join friends. They later introduced ranked PVP called ‘Speedlists’, a nice addition for competitive players but remained a very barren multiplayer experience outside of that.
Need for Speed Payback was even worse, launching with ONLY Speedlists and not introducing online free-roam until FOUR MONTHS after launch. Since online free-roam has been added, new updates have come and since improved the experience, cementing it into what it should have been at launch, but a very dull and basic experience at that.
Ghost NEEDS to place a much bigger empathsis on online multiplayer with Need for Speed 2019, as that is where the endgame experience will be for most of the player base. From launch, Need for Speed 2019’s multiplayer needs to include EVERYTHING Payback added and more, with a consistent roll-out of new content and frequent communication with the community, if it wants to keep people playing months after launch.
Here’s everything we’re hoping to see this time around:
Free Roam Challenges:
This has been a huge request ever since Need for Speed 2015, a free roam challenge system akin to Burnout Paradise and Most Wanted 2012. This alone would add a ton of replayability to multiplayer and is not only perfect for lobby engagement, but for streamers to complete live with their community (something we’ve attempted to do as we grind for the Diamond P12 on Burnout Paradise Remastered).
Rewards are a BIG factor to consider and should offer exclusive rewards for completing sets of challenges (something we mentioned in Part 1 of our Wishlist Series), and an even greater reward like an exclusive vehicle for completing all of them.
Online Crew System:
Plenty of online multiplayer and racing games have a system like this and would be a no-brainer for Need for Speed. However, games like Forza allow for thousands of people to join a crew which really affects the outcome of leaderboards if you’re a big-name content creator or celebrity, while Driveclub focused on a small group of up to six players with all your clubs’ actions working towards an online leaderboard.
The best way to make a crew system for Need for Speed, at least from my perspective, would be to take a mixture of these. Have a small focused Crew of around 20+ players or so but allow for people to follow your Crew, creating an almost in-game social community hub and the 20+ players in the crew are essentially the admins/moderators.
These 20+ crew members will work their way up the leaderboards, with milestones being shared on a community hub for followers to see your achievements. Followers could also represent your crew by downloading liveries, decals etc. which would give the crew members kickback bonuses.
Party Game Modes
Party Game Modes have been a long-requested thing and something I’m surprised didn’t make its way into Payback. Fun game mode alternatives to the standard PVP events to give players more to do such as Cops and Robbers, Hide and Seek, Infected, King of the Hill etc., hell why not an Infected like mode in a shrinking circle, could call it BATTLE ROYALE (my original idea, obvs).
A creative twist on some of these modes could be to allow players to use non playable character vehicles, such as traffic cars and police vehicles. Hide and Seek could see the Hiders all turn to traffic cars like in a Prop Hunt mode for the Seeker to find, while in Cops & Robbers, one or more players on the cop team could play as the Rhino while the rest are either in Crown Vics, Chargers or Corvettes.
Customizable Lobby Settings (Sandbox Mode):
Need for Speed multiplayer is the perfect sandbox for players to mess around in with their friends, so why not embrace this and add more options? One thing that would be extremely awesome is a Sandbox Mode, where players can host public/private free-roam lobbies with customizable settings, somewhat similar to Burnout Paradise but with far more options. These options could include say JDM cars only, no traffic, locked time of day, cop chases automatically start at max heat level etc. This in itself would be a perfect creation tool for content creators, allowing them to essentially use the tools to craft their own game modes.
In addition to giving players more options, an expanded event creator would be incredible and open an unlimited amount of online content for players to enjoy. Payback added a standard ‘point-to-point’ system in its final update but imagine the community’s possibilities with a dedicator event creator, where players are given the ability to place props, set checkpoints, triggers for cops to spawn etc. that players could then share online to the wider Need for Speed community to enjoy.
Live Activities in the World:
After beating a Need for Speed game, there’s usually not a whole lot more to do besides going online, mucking around and completing some PVP events. Suggested to me on Twitch by subscriber ‘Protatoes’, a good idea to help remedy this is having spontaneous/quickfire events or missions pop up around the map every so often.
While this is something that can be attributed to both the single player and multiplayer aspects of Need for Speed 2019, in multiplayer this could work similar to Forza Horizon 4’s hourly Forzathon events, where each hour a new event occurs in the world for players to compete in. Players could arrive at an objective, race to another, compete in an event then see who could evade the police the fastest.
These are just some of the biggest things we’d hope/expect to see in Need for Speed 2019’s multiplayer. Are some of these a bit too optimistic? Sure, but we’re hopeful that with Ghost’s fourth entry into the franchise, and with the rise of other online racers, Ghost has stepped up their online game.
Be sure to check out our other in-depth Need for Speed 2019 wishlist articles releasing over the next few days and weeks, and follow us over on Twitter to stay up to date with all the latest Need for Speed and racing game news!
MORE NEED FOR SPEED 2019 WISHLIST POSTS:
Need for Speed 2019 Wishlist : Live Service and Post-Launch Support (COMING SOON)
Need for Speed 2019 Wishlist : Cars and Customization (COMING SOON)
Need for Speed 2019 Wishlist : Soundtrack and Atmosphere (COMING SOON)