Arguably the flagship of arcade driving games, Need for Speed has a long and successful history of combining luxury sports cars with sharp graphics and fast action to give bench racers the ultimate quick fix. Rather than just switch a car here or there and update the graphics and multiplayer options each time, Electronic Arts has begun to add new modes of play to offer something fresh.
Last time players were treated to dedicated police chase modes in NFS III: Hot Pursuit. High Stakes builds on the classic tournament and “hot pursuit” modes by adding a “career” mode in which players race for cash to upgrade their current rides or save for more exotic one in a series of races around the world. Capping off these circuits is the “High Stakes” race, where you and one other driver race flat out for pink slips. Career mode is a good addition, but an extremely grinding one – with races stretching on for six to eight laps, too many are a merely a matter of endurance, and they start getting repetitive real fast.