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Need For Speed’s night-through-to-dusk set­ting is ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing mo­ments of beauty, and the con­stant driz­zle en­sures that the daz­zling light­ing is dou­bly show­cased. But the veil of gloom that lingers be­yond the street­lights means that the world’s best vis­tas are cur­tailed and the con­stant yel­lows and blues melt Ven­tura Bay into an in­dis­tin­guish­able, samey whole. The art di­rec­tion does a good job of cap­tur­ing the at­mos­phere of il­le­gal street rac­ing, but a lit­tle more va­ri­ety would have been wel­come – es­pe­cially given the ab­sence of Ri­vals’ breath­tak­ing weather ef­fects. Mean­while, Ri­vals’ big­gest as­set – the risk-re­ward setup of its Racer ca­reer, in which you have to bank Speed Points at hide­outs – is limply reused for the Out­law mis­sions.

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