It's disappointing that they didn't go to what Ricitello had talked about earlier this year (from http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3168293
We were torturing a very talented group of people up in Vancouver, which makes it harder to be as innovative every year. So, I think we are going to get better from here," Riccitiello said. "Last summer we added head count and split the team in two, so now there are two teams on a 24 month cycle. And this is sort of their first 16 and-a-half month game...Because we didn't do it far enough ago to give us a full two year dev cycle."
Now, if this had come to fruition, I think we might have seen a better NFS series. With two years (and likely a shared engine with shared team members who both add common code and unique features) we might even see a fork in the NFS series, to crib a quote from earlier, with one fork going more Fast and the Furious boy-racer-ish and the other taking a more Top Gear 'amazing cars on amazing roads with great scenery' tack. The best features from one would likely spill over into the other, so whatever flavor you prefer you'd have a great driving experience.
The last three games in the series seem like they've been unsure of what they were trying to do. Carbon was a halfhearted mashup of Most Wanted and Underground, and really felt rushed, along with the singleplayer being terrible (no money to really get a stable of cars, and tedious progression that made an open world feel more limited than a track select menu). ProStreet just didn't feel like a NFS game, and GRID did the same thing ten times better and with some real innovations. Undercover was, well, a mess. It's just like the 2Fast sequels, they just didn't know when to call it quits.
Ending on a funny note, did anyone else find it ironic that the EA exec quoted is named Colin Macrae? (Not exactly the late great, but still...)This comment was edited on Dec 15, 2008, 02:12.