Need For Speed World Starts Its Engines In July

EA's massively-multiplayer online racer goes live on July 20, giving PC drivers a chance to experience the mix of open world driving mixed with role-playing game style progression completely free, to a point.

Need for Speed World is free-to-play, meaning that anyone with a PC strong enough to handle it can download the game, setup an account, and experience all the races the sprawling world has to offer. It's sounds like fun, and looks rather gorgeous to boot. What's the catch?

Well there really isn't a catch, per se. More like a level cap you can buy your way out from under. Players can reach level 10 in the game without ever having to spend a dime. Gaining power and prestige past level 10 requires the purchase of a $19.99 starter pack, available at the EA Store, as well as GameStop, Impulse, Direct2Drive, and Best Buy.

The starter pack scores you an exclusive ride, beta access, a one-week early start (beginning on July 13), VIP status, and the ability to progress past level 10.

All-in-all, it's not a bad deal. Most MMO games opt for the free-to-play model with a subscription model option. A one-time payment doesn't seem like too much to ask, does it?