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Make side bets while you toy with the cops in Need for Speed Unbound

F— (with) the police

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Need for Speed Unbound’s latest, 90-second gameplay trailer shows fans how the series’ usual risk-reward dynamic — whereby continually toying with the po-po ramps up your cred and your gains, unless and until they throw you in the slammer — will play out in Electronic Arts’ latest street racer.

There’s a good reason racers will want to hang out and grab as much cash as they can: The Grand. This is the boss-level race in Lakeshore, Unbound’s all-new city and setting. Players have to bank money to buy into qualifying races as well as the main event. To do that, they can do more than just torment Johnny Law. Players may also make side bets with NPC rivals, increasing (or decreasing) their cash flow commensurately.

The trailer also gives fans a closer look at the visual style Criterion is going for with the colorful, street art/anime motifs shown two weeks ago when the game was first announced. Cars leave neon trails as they drift and boost, wings briefly appear when they catch air, there’s bloom and super-saturated color galore. The cars are all realistic, but the drivers are stylish, cel-shaded models.

Need for Speed Unbound launches Dec. 2 on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X. In Oct. 6’s announcement, Criterion promised the game would support 4K and 60 fps racing on all platforms, with cross-platform multiplayer support.