If you‘re a racing game fan, you‘ve probably heard the buzz around Need for Speed Unbound, the latest street racer from EA‘s long-running NFS franchise. With its stylized graffiti aesthetics and emphasis on car customization, Unbound looks to reinvigorate the series.
Now you may be wondering: can I access this exciting new racing game for free through my EA Play subscription?
The short answer is: kind of. Let me explain in more detail how EA Play members can get NFS Unbound, and whether the subscription is worth it for fans of fast cars.
Free Trial Access – But Limited
As an EA Play member, you do get free access to Need for Speed Unbound through the Play List game trials. However, this is just a 10-hour trial of the Standard Edition.
While 10 hours is decent to get a feel for the gameplay and see if Unbound clicks with you, it‘s barely enough to scratch the surface of everything this street racer has to offer.
Unbound‘s single player campaign is structured around a 4 week narrative where you undertake events to build rep and bankroll. With so much ground to cover in the story mode alone, you‘ll likely hit the 10-hour cap before getting too far.
The trial also doesn‘t include the additional content that comes with the pricier Palace Edition, like exclusive unlocked cars and customization items.
So while nice for a free sneak peek, the EA Play trial for NFS Unbound is quite limited. To properly experience this stylish street racer in all its graffiti-tagged glory, you‘ll need more than 10 hours.
Full Game Access – For a Price
Now, EA Play does offer another path to unlocking the complete Need for Speed Unbound experience: upgrade to EA Play Pro.
The Pro tier is priced at a slightly steeper $14.99 per month. But in return you get unlimited access to the full version of Unbound, including Palace Edition content, for as long as you remain a member.
This is an excellent value if you anticipate playing regularly over a longer period of time. When you consider Unbound retails for $69.99, you‘d recoup the cost in just 5 months of Pro subscription.
So if you want to fully immerse yourself in the game‘s story, explore online multiplayer, and take advantage of upcoming DLC drops, go with EA Play Pro.
What About Xbox Game Pass?
If you‘re playing on Xbox and already subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate, you automatically get all the benefits of a standard EA Play membership at no extra cost.
This grants you access to the 10-hour Unbound trial. To upgrade to the full game, you‘d need to pay the additional fee for EA Play Pro just like on other platforms.
So Xbox fans aren‘t getting any special freebies for Unbound itself, beyond the limited trial. But Game Pass Ultimate does give you plenty of other EA titles like FIFA, Madden, and Star Wars: Squadrons to enjoy.
NFS Unbound – Key Details for Newcomers
In case you‘re not caught up on what sets Need for Speed Unbound apart, here‘s a quick rundown of the game‘s key features:
Signature graffiti art style – Cars can be adorned with colorful decals, patterns, stickers, and license plates reflecting urban street culture. This is a unique visual departure for the NFS series.
In-depth customization – Not just cosmetic additions, but fine-tuned performance upgrades to suspension, brakes, gears, and more that impact handling.
4 week single-player campaign – Win races and build rep over 28 story missions to qualify for a major event and reclaim your impounded BMW.
Refined driving physics – Gameplay is more grounded and simulation-based than the exaggerated "drift everything" arcade handling of titles like Need for Speed Heat.
16 player online modes – In addition to solo play, take your custom rides to seamlessly integrated multiplayer races and meetups.
If you‘re new to NFS, Unbound represents an inviting entry point with its vibrant style and focus on personal expression through car modifications and decor.
EA Play – Value for Racing Fans?
Stepping back to look at the bigger picture, is an EA Play subscription valuable for fans of Need for Speed and other racing titles?
The short answer is yes, absolutely. Here‘s a look at some of the key benefits:
Access to new releases – Try hot new titles like Unbound or F1 22 for 10 hours free, or get full unlimited gameplay with EA Play Pro.
Discounts – Members save 10% on EA digital and physical purchases. This discount applies to NFS Unbound too.
DLC included – Upcoming add-ons like new Unbound cars and modes will be free for all EA Play members.
The Vault – Play an array of older racing games like Need for Speed Rivals, Heat, Payback, and many more as part of the Play List.
Additional perks – Early trial access, challenges, member-exclusive content, and more.
When you consider everything included for a monthly fee as low as $4.99, or $29.99 annually, joining EA Play seems like a no-brainer for racing enthusiasts.
You get to try new releases before you buy, fill out your library with The Vault, and save money on purchases. For speed freaks, it‘s a value-packed subscription.
Expert Tips – Making the Most of EA Play
For some pro tips on maximizing your EA Play membership, I reached out to Michael Merchant, a veteran gaming industry analyst with over 20 years covering major publishers. Here are Michael‘s top suggestions for racing fans joining EA Play:
"Take advantage of the 10-hour trials to thoroughly test new releases before buying. Don‘t feel pressured to rush out and purchase the full game afterward. EA Play lets you preview titles like Unbound in nearly their entirety."
"Check The Vault frequently for new additions. EA just added Star Wars: Squadrons, so keep eyes peeled for fresh titles including racing gems from the past."
"If opting for EA Play Pro, try to take in as much content as you can month-to-month to get the most value. Stuff your play queue with games when joining, as you never know when titles may leave the service."
"Pay close attention to EA Play member-only perks like DLC, Ultimate Team content, challenges, bonuses and more. Read emails and check the EA Play hub religiously so you don‘t miss out on special benefits."
The Verdict? EA Play Worth It for NFS Fans
At the end of the day, is EA Play worth it for Need for Speed fans eager to check out Unbound?
For hardcore NFS devotees who will be playing the game long-term and want access to all DLC, the EA Play Pro tier is a great choice. You get full unlimited gameplay of Unbound for an affordable monthly rate.
More casual players should find plenty of enjoyment from the 10-hour trial via standard EA Play. It lets you take the new NFS for an extensive test drive.
And thanks to EA Play‘s additional perks like discounts and The Vault library, Need for Speed buffs will find plenty beyond just Unbound to love in the subscription.
So if you dig speed, custom cars, and racing games in general, EA Play offers loads of high-octane fun for one of the best values in gaming. Consider a membership essential for fans of Need for Speed.