The first significant post-release update for Need for Speed Unbound, Volume 2, will be released for PC, PlayStation and Xbox players this month.
Released in November 2022, Unbound is seen by many as a return to form for the long-running open-world driving series. However, its ponderous progression ark and youthful aesthetic perhaps aren’t to all tastes.
Thankfully, developer Criterion Games – these days with the additional assistance of several former Codemasters employees – is continuing to support the game, with Volume 2 set to be the first of a ‘series’ of updates that deliver more ways to earn that lucrative commodity: cash.
A suite of new challenges
40 new challenges will be added in Volume 2, with one of the main changes being the creation of Rumble Races. A new event type, alongside the existing point-to-point, circuit races and drift events, for example, we’ll hopefully see how these play out before the update launches. They will see you battle it out on the city’s Takeover circuits against friends.
Additional Endurance Events will also be added to the roster, with a bit of luck helping you to earn more cash at the end of each day.
Also aiding that cause is the addition of 30-second time trial-style events calls Hot Laps and Playlist Events, which are online events that combine three challenges back-to-back.
One feature of Unbound is the inclusion of character customisation with real-world fashion brands, which we feel mostly ambivalent to. Balmain is one such fashion house, and completing a new Playlist Event unlocks a uniquely styled Lotus Emira, representing the Parisian style icons.
This is in the game already, driven by the character Eléonore, but now it could be yours. There’s also a stylised Nissan for those who subscribe to EA Play, and something new teasers as “The Ultimate Luxury.”
Reminding us, on the surface at least, of the network-connected events within the 2015 Need for Speed reboot (or was it a requel? Yes, we watched Scream VI last night, okay…), Daily Challenges will now feature within Unbound.
We believe these aren’t to do with the game’s own daily time cycle, but rather real-world timing. In theory, every 24 hours, three new events will appear in the game to earn extra XP and money, or ‘Bank’ in Need for Speed parlance.
Hopefully, this is something that helps you save up for that first body kit or crate engine in the early stages that bit quicker.
For those racing online, there has been a curious omission of the police up to this point. Offline, through the main career, the cops have a strong presence, with you trying to shake them off after most events and keep an eye on your heat level.
Following the Volume 2 update, however, players will be able to dice with the cops when online and engage in multiplayer chases.
Further rewards, map unlock DLC
For those who dig the visual trinkets, further driving effects, character victory poses and stickers will be added, and the option of a paid DLC unlock called ‘Key to the Map’ which reveals the location of 260 collectables on the map for $4.99.
We enjoy trying to find them myself and exploring the area, but understand that trying to do that with a higher heat level can get frustrating, so the option is there if you’d like it. Think along the lines of the optional Treasure Map DLC for Forza Horizon 5.
What doesn’t appear to be included at this time is any new vehicles to the roster, but we’ll be sure to go hands-on when the update lands next week.
Need for Speed Unbound Volume 2 release date
Volume 2 for Need for Speed Unbound will launch on 21st March 2023 for PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.