A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There is a disclaimer when the game loads about if the players wishes to indulge in real-world racing, that they do so at a track with appropriate safety equipment in a car cleared for that experience. The game itself, though, is about illegal racing on streets at high rates of speed. It even encourages the ramming of police cars to launch the pursuit element, and then rewards avoiding road blocks or ramming through intercepting law enforcement vehicles. Players earn reputation and monetary rewards for effectively outrunning the police.
Positive Role Models
The game is intended to be a fun racing game but it is full of negative behavior. Players race at high rates of speed, damage other cars and property, and evade the police when identified as a traffic violators. Players are rewarded for the number of road blocks avoided and for the amount of violations they can rack up in pursuit mode. Additionally, there are power-up skills available at certain levels that supplement the ability to ram harder, endure it when other cars try to knock the player's vehicle off the road, boost your speed, and so on.
Ease of Play
Need for Speed World is a PC-based game, with the default controls using the WASD keys (and the space bar for the hand brake) on the keyboard. A USB game controller can be used and may appeal to players more comfortable with that type of controller. The various racing formats, though, need no instruction -- it is simply a matter of knowing how to brake heading into a turn, accelerate out of corners, and finding shortcuts through the tracks.
Violence & Scariness
The violence is linked to car crashes and the damage is to vehicle bodies. Players can drive their vehicles into other automobiles, or through certain elements in the environment, like barriers, trees, light posts, and so on. There are non-player controlled cars that can be slammed into -- such as passenger vehicles and police cars -- and the results of those impacts can be spectacular but the damage is limited to cars and property and nothing is permanent in the world.
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The game itself does not present any language issues, but this is a community-driven game with global and local chat generated by players -- all of which means that players can use language creatively to get through the language filters in place. Players generally, though, maintain a level of courtesy and seem friendly enough.
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Products & Purchases
Players can download and play Need for Speed World free up until level 10. At that point, to continue on to level 50, players will need to buy the $20 US Starter Pack. This is what is referred to a velvet rope game -- it sucks you in with the offer of free play, and then after you are hooked, requires you to pay to go on.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Need for Speed World is a massively multiplayer online game about illegal, reckless street racing. Players race against other players, trying to crash into opponents or have them crash out of contention in races. It is also a game that rewards property destruction and evading law enforcement. If you gain the attention of the police and then outrun them over a period of time, you crank up reputation points and earn in-game money. The game is played online with open, filtered text chat.
Is It Any Good?
The game is enjoyable and challenging, with sharp-looking graphical elements. There is always the challenge of the next race, but once shortcuts on each track are discovered, it simply becomes a matter of finding the quickest path to the finish line. The arcade elements -- like speed boosts, traffic magnets, or adding a lap to the course -- offer a strategic element. Kids may be disappointed to discover that this free game isn't free beyond level 10. If you want to keep leveling up and opening new tracks, you must pay a $20. They may find that the game can become repetitive.
Online interaction: There is online filtered text chat available to talk to other players. Since this is a game about community-generated events, this interaction with other players is necessary. The potential for creative cussing that circumvents the filters it there.
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Our Editors Recommend
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