If you’re on my Xbox Live friends list or have been following my Flickr activity, you know I’ve been logging some decent hours in Need for Speed Carbon. I actually had no intentions of picking this game up until post Emergence Day. But when I saw them stocking the shelves at EB with it, I just had to have it. For the first couple evenings, I was having an absolute blast! I’ve been uploading lots of screenshots using the in-game Photo Mode and even started a NFS Carbon Flickr Group specifically for them. By the time I reached about 50% completion in the single player career, the awesomeness was starting to wear thin and tediousness was creeping in. WTF happened?

NFS Carbon

Some quick background on the basic gameplay structure – There’s a “world map” divided into quadrants. Each quadrant is controlled by a rival “crew” and has it’s own segments which contain 2-3 events. As you complete races and “take-over” segments, you unlock upgrades and new cars become available for purchase. Unfortunately, car unlocks are few and far between until you reach about 65%. So much so, that I’ve ended up using my RX-8 (picture above), which was the first car I was given until I reached 60%. At which point I purchased a VW Golf R32 simply because I wanted a change. Shortly after, the Lotus Elise, Aston Martin DB9 and Porsche Cayman were unlocked within a 4 event span. Needless to say, unlocking new cars is hardly balanced. While this is something I found annoying more than anything else, it’s not enough to make me hate the game at times.

I started to feel the hatred when I opened up the fourth quadrant. All of the sudden I’m up against tier 3 cars and all I have available are tier 2 cars and tier 2 upgrades. You have to beat the events in quadrant 4 to unlock the tier 3 cars/upgrades. So these races are pretty challenging. Definitely not impossible, but a definite jump in difficulty. I tried my hand at one event in particular a half dozen times last night before retiring for the evening. First thing this morning I picked up where I left off and was determined to beat it. Sure enough, within only a couple tries with my recently purchased Lotus Elise, I beat it. Awesome, now I can move on! When I return to free roam, a message pops up stating “your territory is under attack!” This means that an event I’ve completed is being reclaimed by a rival gang and I can either defend it by doing the event over and winning, or decline and give it over. This is a little tedious as you’re simply re-doing races you’ve already won, except this time you only get 5-10% of the cash you initial took for the win. I’ve come to expect this as I seem to be re-doing events after nearly every newly completed event. Problem being – this time the event I have to re-do is the one I just finished! The same event I couldn’t complete last night and the same event I had to purchase a new car to win. I couldn’t believe I got shafted that bad. I jumped into the event figuring I could whip it off again no problem, except this time the cops intervene almost immediately, making it near impossible to complete – it’s a Speedtrap, for those wondering.

At this point, the fun meter is nearly empty and all I’m left with is a tedious experience of having to struggle with my inadequate car and having to constantly re-do events. So, where am I going with this? Checked the Xbox Live Marketplace lately. Never one to disappoint, EA has released another batch of cheats, this time for NFS Carbon. Among the cheats are all of the performance upgrades and 3 cars. At least one of them being a tier 3. Could it be that the lack of car unlocks early on in the game and the sudden increase in difficulty is a ploy to get people to buy this “downloadable content?” I’ll let you decide. But I’d love to hear from someone who’s been playing NFS Carbon on another platform. I’m curious to see if it all pans out the same. I guess that would be the deciding factor.

I wonder if EA is paying attention or if they’re going to just keep on with this nonsense? Just read the first dozen or so comments on Major Nelson’s post. These are the die-hard fanboys of the Xbox 360 and they don’t seem to be too stoked on these moves by EA. I think it’s total bullshit and I’m completely disgusted by it. I can see where this would come in useful to some, but the fact that some of these cheats that you have to pay $4-$10 for are included in the same game on other platforms in ridiculous. Pure gouging. I don’t know if this is the case with NFS Carbon, but I know it is with The Godfather.

Anyway, it’s starting to feel like the gaming experience is suffering so the publisher can make some extra coin. And that my friends, is where the line has to be drawn. It’s almost to the point where I’m not going to purchase EA games and simply rent them instead.

22 Comments

I thought about buying the Skyline when I was at the Tier3 brick wall too. However I found a quadrant that had 3 events, one of which was a check point and I did that one easily, and for the other I used the "Drafter" chick and I made it.

That unlocked the WRX which I used to unlease hell on those bastards:P

But yea, bang on I was feeling the same thing at the end. If it got like that at around 50% through the game (constantly defending) I probably would have given up.

That reminds me of something I read a while ago about game publishers stinging out on game testers, then throwing the game straight onto the market. Using the comments (and complaints) of the gamers to patch the game. So really, the fans of the game end up getting a sub-standard game and a job which they aren’t paid to do.

hey! i think that this is the first time i’m commenting here, so here we go.

i’m about 70% (playing the pc version, 512 ram only, takes 2min to get back to windows after i quit haha) but i think that now that the fun has begun, it was too easy until now!!!

i started with the rx8, got eclipse, clio (yeah baby, my car is in the game, and it fucking rocks), mustang (sucksss, i hate muscle cars..) and now evo9 (i so want this car, freaking beast).

about the car unlocks, i thought that they were rare too, so i’ve got in a car lot and saw lots of new cars, so or the game didn’t warned me of them or i missed 😛

in my opinion, it’s the best nfs since underground1, the crew thing and the music are shit but it got back the balance that it was lost in underground2 (too easy) and most wanted (the races were still easy and the police was a pain in the ass appearing everytime).

EA has always been a sub-standard developer. I can remember so many times incompatibilities with nhl games on PC that were never fixed or patch no matter how much their customers bitched. Not to mention their support/suggestions are just garbage. Go play with their support troubleshooter on their website, no matter what you pick pretty much it says "buy a new video card"

damn newbs.

I used to love just racing, all the driving between events, chases and raising bounty (god I hate that in most wanted) really puts me off. At the moment though I’m playing double agent and deciding where to place it against the others in the series.

@Andrew: I totally stopped defending and doing the police chases when it was clear to me that they were only there to extend the career. Luckily, you can still beat it without defending and that’s exactly what I did. Now that I’ve got all the rad cars unlocked and my 350z is performing quite nicely, I’ll go back and beat all the other events.

@mienta: Worst! Did you cry? I would have for sure.

@Justin: Yes sir, EA are garbage without a doubt. I bitched at them personally nearly a year ago about the lack of widescreen resolution support and they still haven’t been including them in new titles. Neither Battlefield 2142 nor NFS Carbon support widescreen resolutions on the PC.

@Luke: Totally. I actually felt like I was playing a fucking demolition derby at times in NFS Carbon. Dudes will actually drive straight into you off the starting line just to screw you up. Worst. And the police chases are just lame. I stopped doing them about half way through when I had collected 2 impound cards and 2 get out of jail cards. I would just stop when a raced finished if cops were on me and in most cases the fine would be $0. Heh.

I had the exact same experience with Most Wanted, in that the gameplay got tedious about 50% of the way through. I found myself going into auto-pilot, completing the minimum amount of races on the same old tracks, buying the odd car with what I made and crawling through the stages. I kept playing purely because I have a thing about leaving games uncompleted. Getting stuck on the final pursuit milestone before Razor did it for me. I gave up finishing the career having lost interest long before.

EA is getting a little too greedy for me. First they buy up certain licenses like the NHL license or The Simpsons license (so now only EA can make those games).

Then there was that whole spyware thing that would install if you installed Battlefield 2145 (well, some people say it is spyware, while others don’t).

And now they constantly release these updates for their Xbox360 games and charge money for them. And it’s not like they are releasing a couple updates for a game a few months after it’s released. No. Instead they immediately release new content for a brand new game – content that probably should of be packaged with the game.

They seem to be doing all this just to make an extra buck. And I don’t think EA is hurting for money.

i didn’t cry just because my baby still has warranty. I sent it today to service so i hope in few days i will have it back … ;(

Carbon doesn’t support widescreen resolution on PC?

That fucking sucks, I’ve just ordered it 🙁 I thought it was just missing in the demo.

Screw you EA! 🙁

They’re actually selling cheats? Seriously, that’s just another reason why gaming = PC . If they tried selling cheats to PC users, we’d just find a loophole or using a hex editor, selling cheats is just BS. Plus I’m sure someone will post the codes anyways.

I just finished NFS Carbon Career (XBOX 360). I think this time the Career mode was very short,it took me 2 days to finished it. This game sucks. This isn’t the game I was expecting, I still believe that Underground 2 it’s the best NFS game they have released.

I have problems unlocking the rest of the cars.

Does anyone knows how to unlock them without paying in Live Marketplace?

Gaiming = PC ? In 2 -3 years no more friend. Why? Becouse making games on ps3 or xbox is more simple and effective then for PC. Coding something on PC you must think about five or six, not similar, procesors, and many defferent graphic cards. And for xbox. Hmmm there is always the same hardware that let’s developers optimize the code. PC gamer have always the same problem "Is it going to work on my PC", consols gamers have other problem "will i have time to play this great game". PC should be more and more only a toll for work.

MAN! I’v been on this damn computer ror like an hour just trieing to fing good tuneing advice for carbon. I just want to know what the best way to tune my carrera GT for best porformence, I can’t find anything, if anybody knows give me a yell

Hi! I’m Jorge from Portugal, and I’ve bought this game for PC 4 days ago, and I’ve just finished the carrear mode, with ALL the races won… I must say that I’m disapointed, because it was just too easy, and with no challenge at all. I mean, in NFS Most Wanted, it took me almost 2 hours to escape from Cross, in the last race, and now, it took me 20 minuts to end the last race… where is the rest of the game? I thought I’d still had to run away from a set up, or something else, but no… just "the end"(and a 5 minuts boring of credits, where no key quits!) The cars, ok, started with RX8, then CLK (I’m a big mercedes fan! I’ve finished most wanted with driving only them), then cayenne, Supra, and last but far from least, McLaren SLR. Ok, now I have the shelby 500, SL65 AMG and other cars unlocked, just for finishing, but I feel like if I’ve unraped a chocolate, and when I tasted, it has no flavour…

The game should be a little "longer"… I’ve only played an average of less than 3 hours a day, but I must say I’ve cheated a little… I play driving games with steering wheel and peddals, since 1998… it took me 1 year to finish Collin McRae at that time! but after that, NFS porsche unleashed, Hot Pursuit 2, underground 1 and 2, most wanted, and other collin McRaes (2, 3, 2005) only took one week to end, each… this last one, took half the time! so, it just sucks for no longevity… And the city, is so "deja vu"… They should make a "night and day" game, not one where is only night or only day… Or with different streets, or one where we could draw our own city, if we wanted to…

See ya!

I’ve taken a couple photos, and they’ve been uploaded, but I can’t access them thanks to an error I get trying to attach my new ID to my EA account. :'(

Yo some hints on how to beat tier 3 vehicles with your tier 2 vehicle. Get an Aston Martin early in the game and then soup it up by winning the races. You should then have no problems beating everyone until your career reaches 70%. Then you try to get the Lamborgini so that can unlock the Lamb M. in the canyon race. Good luck!

Playing nfs carbon on pc. Same problem! So I pay 40 for the game and another 3-5 now and how much later? I understand the enhanced feature but they could make it a choice?!?! They should update nfs porsche unleashed! That was an excellent game!

I just bought Carbon used. Tomorrow it goes back to the store, and I get my refund. This is without a doubt the worst game in the Need For Speed series. Give me my el Nino, please.

I’ve been a fan of the NFS games since I was like 13 (almost 22 now) but had to take a break from the game after NFSU2 cause my old computer wasn’t gonna handle it after. I picked it up again with Most Wanted (which I absolutely hate) and Carbon (which I adored until I reached the 4th sector). I beat Kenji with the RX7 and took on the other 2 crew members with Kenji’s RX8.

I got to your page cause I started googling when I realised all the car lots are locked in my game. I completed 3 races (hardly) with the Aston Martin (it has poor handling compared to the Mazda I’m used with but better speed and acceleration)I won off Wolf, with a 130k upgrade to the car, and wanted to sell some of my old cars (tuner tier 1, tuner tier 2 and the muscle got off Angie) to buy a tier 3 one but there’s no where I can do that. So yeah the game sucks for this because it lets you go through the game easily for about 70% of it (minus the canyon drifts which I avoid) and then it makes it really hard to finish. I’ve been reading up on it to know what to expect and I hear beating Darius in the Canyon is almost impossible, like barely scratching a wall on a turn can make you fall back and lose O.O

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