Need for Speed: Carbon for PC, PSP and etc. is another installment of one of the most popular arcade racing games. This entry is similar to its predecessors. The most notable feature that is well known from Need for Speed: Most Wanted is the presence of the very active police who should be avoided by the players at all cost. Inspired by entries of Need for Speed: Underground this game took the possibility to tune various vehicles. Need for Speed: Carbon of course also offers many completely new features like races that take place in canyons and the possibility for the player to lead his own team. The game was developed for all important gaming platforms.
The large carrier mode is the main part of the game. What is interesting, the protagonist is the same character as in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The main character returns to Palmont, his family town. Once he arrives, he learns that enemy gangs took full control over organizing illegal street races. The player is tasked with winning races and reclaiming further parts of the city. Similarly as in Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the progress is shown by using cutscenes with actual actors.
The map available in the game is even larger than previously. The player can freely move through the city. Taking control over a sector is usually available after defeating an enemy team. In order to do it, the player must create and then lead his own crew. It might contain both drivers and engineers or mechanics. Employees hired by the player have specific abilities that in most cases can be used during the race. For example, the player can ask his companions to block selected opponents. Beating all opponents who occupy a sector of the city unlocks access to the main race in which one of the elite drivers participates. These races take place in canyons. The challenges itself have rather uncommon rules. During the first race, the player must follow the car of the opponent. Points are gathered based on distance between the two cars. During the second race the player must remain far ahead of the opponent who will be trying to steal the points given to the player at the start.
The developers of the game created about 60 different vehicles. The cars were divided into three different classes – exotic, muscle and tuner. Differences between classes are significant. For example, muscle cars should participate in races on straight routes. Tuner vehicles can be useful on winding and challenging routes. The player can modify previously bought vehicles (optically and mechanically). Autosculpt module that allows manually modifying some parts of car’s body is worth mentioning. NFS: Carbon for PC, PSP and etc. offers many race types among which one can find drifting that wasn’t present in Most Wanted.
The differences between various versions of NFS: Carbon can be noticed mostly in the quality of graphics. In addition to that, Wii and PlayStation 3 versions fully utilize the motion-sensing abilities of console’s controllers. The sounds of the game mostly consist of voices of specific car’s engines. Well known actors such as Emmanuelle Vaugier and Shaw Madson can be seen during cutscenes.