Our first look at next-gen Need for Speed gameplay has seemingly leaked online, giving us our best look yet at the next installment in the series and the first one on PS5 and Xbox Series X. As you may remember, back in June, EA shared our first look at a next-gen Need for Speed game during EA Play, but this "first look" didn't include gameplay. Since then, we haven't seen or heard anything about the game. Until now that is.
A very early look at some prototype gameplay footage of Criterion's new Need for Speed game has leaked online via YouTuber "BlackPanthaa" and a few others, who shared the look at what appears and is allegedly a very early build of the game, featuring a lot of rough visuals and placeholders.
According to the leak, the gameplay footage is of a PC build of the game, and is what the title looks like as of June 2020. In other words, it's not very far along in development, which explains we got the type of unrevealing teaser during EA Play 2020.
Some are speculating the footage confirms the game will be open-world or at least have open-world elements, but this may be an example of the Internet looking too deeply into things. What the footage does seem to confirm is the game will continue to combine simulation with arcade racing.
The most interesting part about the footage though is how early it is. This is certainly pre-alpha footage. And if it is, it means the game is likely a 2022 release, though a late 2021 release isn't completely out of the realm of possibility depending on the size of the development team and the ambition of the project.
Below, you can check out the footage for yourself:
Like any leak, this should be taken with a grain of salt. While BlackPanthaa is a popular YouTuber with over one million subscribers, it's important to remember that nothing here is official.
At the moment of publishing, neither Criterion or EA have commented on the leaked footage, and it's unlikely either will. EA and its studios typically do no comment on leaks of this variety and it's hard to imagine that changing now.