Slightly Mad Studios wants to tell us about "the journey".
Once every 18 months or so, fate dictates that I get to sit down in a small room at EA's Guildford headquarters to talk about the latest Need for Speed game with producer Jesse Abney. He's friendly, quick-witted and throws around phrases like, "At heart, we're a phototropic species, right?" so I tend to enjoy these meetings.
And all of a sudden the simulation racing genre is pretty competitive. Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 3 was released last year, Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5 launched last week, and next spring will see the game EA hopes will trump them both: Slightly Mad Studios' Shift 2: Unleashed.
You're probably done with congratulating developers just for sticking an XP system in their game. And with good reason; applauding the insertion of statistical progression is like celebrating the creativity of whoever puts MSG in Pringles.