Need for Speed: Rivals might be one of the more impressive looking next-generation launch titles, but EA’s banner racing franchise still has a lot of room to grow on PS4 and Xbox One, according to games Ghost Games creative director Craig Sullivan. Speaking with EGM at a press event last week, Sullivan noted that Rivals only represents the very start of the developer’s efforts on the new hardware.
“Yes, the game is going to look good. Yes, we get the video sharing functionality and all the bells and whistles that come with next-gen, but I think, going forward, we want to fully embrace next-gen a lot more,” Sullivan said.
A large part of embracing next-gen, according to Sullivan, will come from expanding on Rivals‘ AllDrive concept, which seamlessly inserts other players into your game session, blurring the line between single- and multiplayer.
“All of that new power and the fact that more people are going to be connected suits us really well,” he explained. “We would not have done AllDrive if we didn’t know so many people were going to be connected. I think connected is the future for us. And I think we’re going to see way, way better visuals. I think we’re going to see way better AI. I think we’re going to see way more creative thinking to do with what a group of friends can do together in a game. I think AllDrive is the start of that. Next-gen is definitely going to be more about friends playing the same content together more of the time.”
Sullivan also commented on EA’s recent decision to move Need for Speed under the EA Sports umbrella, noting that his team at Ghost Games can learn a lot to learn from the developers of annual sports franchises like UFC, FIFA, and NHL.
“I think the level of polish those guys get to and the slickness in presentation is something we’ll be influenced by a lot,” Sullivan said. “I think their ability to deliver consistently high-quality content, too. Those guys are really looking forward to next-gen and ready to embrace it. It’s the same thing with the Battlefield guys as well. It’s that forward-thinking, that presentation, that slickness in execution that I think is where Need for Speed is going to go as well. I think we’re just going to leverage everything we can—Sports, Ghost, Frostbite—to take Need for Speed back to where I think it should be, and that’s the absolute must-have driving game on every console.”