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Free Game Weekly: Need for Speed World

We’re all excited about Need for Speed Most Wanted hitting stores this week. But you might not be able to jump into the hottest cars just yet—maybe you spent your holiday money on other games and you’re waiting to buy it later, or maybe your console of choice broke down. No matter the reason, if you’re not quite able to play Most Wanted just yet, there’s another way to get your racing fix with little-to-no monetary investment: Need for Speed World. Among the library of free games on Origin is this free-to-play racer that also serves as an online massively multiplayer RPG (MMORPG)–if we were in a genre-name-coining kind of mood, we might call this a “MMO-CaR-PG.”

With Need for Speed World, you basically get some of the best aspects of arcade racing and MMORPGs simultaneously. The core gameplay feels a bit like Need for Speed: Most Wanted (the 2005 version) and Need for Speed Carbon—you race online in either Rockport (from the former NFS) or Palmont City (from the latter) with your buddies or improve your racing time on the global leaderboards. The MMORPG comes from developing and customizing a persistent lineup of cars in your garage; customization options for your cars include paints, liveries, and tuning options. You can earn and use in-game currency to purchase cars for your garage; or if you have a bit of change lying around, you can outright purchase cars with real money as well.

Another benefit of this being an online game is its continued development; recently the developers added Drag Mode to the array of events that you can race around in. Besides adding Drag Mode, the developers also update the roster of possible cars--this week will see the inclusion of the Lamborghini Mucielago LP 650-4 Roadster, The Plymouth Road Runner, the Scion tC, and the Mistubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. The Lancer Evo VIII particularly evokes nostalgia for the furor that my former colleagues had over said car finally hitting the U.S.

Finally, now’s a good time to jump in, as this week kicks off NFSW’s Halloween Extravaganza. If you race (and complete) the new “Ghostwood” race event, you’ll be entered into a draw for prizes such as vinyl packs, license plates, and neons for your cars; and even a whole new car for your garage such as a Cadillac CTS-V or a Battlefield Heroes “Nationals” SUV (to tie into last week’s free game recommendation).

Learn more and jump into some races today at world.needforspeed.com/.