Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Review
- Posted November 23rd, 2010 at 01:13 EDT by Adam Dolge
- 12 Comments
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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit speeds past the arcade-racing competition with its deeply connected Autolog system, breathtaking visuals, and the thrill that comes with driving exotic cars at 200 mph while chasing, or escaping, your fellow racers.
- Beautiful graphics, even at full speed
- Playing as both cops and racers creates diverse gameplay
- The Autolog system offers enormous connectivity
- The AI is a bit predictable
- The game modes may become a bit repetitive
Screeching around a turn in a Porsche Boxter Spyder, we swept past our closest opponent and overtook first place. The competition was fierce from the other drivers, but with a tap of nitrous we were firmly in the lead. We stayed in the wrong lane, deftly avoiding the sparsely-placed oncoming traffic to build up more nitrous. Ahead of us, the Seacrest County Police Department deployed a roadblock, and before we knew it, a decked-out Lamborghini cruiser was smashing us from side to side, trying in vain to run us off the road. We crouched ahead ever so slightly, deployed a spike strip to eliminate the cruiser, and narrowly found the sweet spot of the barricade to ultimately win the race, netting us thousands of bounty points and another new car.
It took plenty of practice to get that course down properly, but it's just a typical race you’ll encounter in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. This open-world arcade racer is up against some stiff competition this year, but it’s clearly the new front-runner. You likely know developer Criterion Games for its highly successful Burnout series. Though Hot Pursuit shares some similarities with Burnout Paradise, it distinctive enough to bring arcade racing to a new level, not just in gameplay, but in the way it connects you with other players online.
Racing fans typically judge a game on a few basic elements. First, the game must have good controls appropriate to the style of game (arcade vs. simulator). Second, the game should provide an extensive garage of authentic cars. And, finally, the game must look, sound, and play great. On those very basic levels, Hot Pursuit takes the top prize this year in the arcade racing genre.
Hot Pursuit allows you to play as either a racer or a cop in fictional Seacrest County, a remarkably diverse locale filled with relatively empty roads—except for all the adrenaline-junkies in blazing fast autos. The setting is diverse and gorgeous; even when speeding 200 mph down a wooded country road, you can pick up little details everywhere. We swear that at times we could smell the burning of asphalt as we sped past the competition. Weather, location, and time of day all play a significant role in the game’s presentation, too. One race will have you climbing steep hills in snowy mountains, while another will bring you through what appears to be redwood forests with tight turns. Plus, there are plenty of side routes, which allow you to escape the police or get a leg-up on when pursuing racers. It’s this diversity that helps push Hot Pursuit into a new league of arcade racers.
While some racing games require you to ingrain every small turn in your muscle memory, Hot Pursuit requires you to think on your feet; you typically need to pay as much attention to other racers (or the police) as you do the actual racetrack. You’ll maneuver your assortment of exotic muscle and sport cars with swift and agile controls. This is not Gran Turismo 5, it is an arcade-style racer and plays as such. At first the controls felt a bit heavy, but after some time with the game, we found all you needed was a tap of the brake to perform a nice long drift. The controls are extremely precise, just as you’d imagine from the Burnout crew, and if there are any complaints about handling, it’s probably the fault of our insatiable need for speed; sometimes we drove too fast and didn’t have enough time to react to even very slight turns, leading us straight into a nice crash sequence.
The over-the-top crashes are breathtaking. It’s hard to get too miffed about wrecking when you get such awesome looking segments. This is especially true for when you play as a cop and have to eliminate racers, which make for some of our favorite segments in the ... (continued on next page)
- 10:44pm EST - November 22nd, 2010
i love this game!!!
- 11:27pm EST - November 22nd, 2010
- 11:37pm EST - November 22nd, 2010
I'm not buying any racing game or FPS for that matter that lacks 4-player split screen.
Gameoholic007 | Demented007
- 3:46am EST - November 23rd, 2010
@#3- Your gonna be waitin a while!
- 4:39am EST - November 23rd, 2010
It's burnout, with need for speed label on it.
- 9:10am EST - November 23rd, 2010
@4 Yeah he'll be waiting for awhile alright...one day. Boy, I sure don't envy that wait.
- 10:08am EST - November 23rd, 2010
I may have to wait a while for a driving game, but COD:MW2 although I didn't like the game very much, I do own it because it includes 4-player split screen, Resistance had 4 player split screen, and Blur had 4 player split screen, I own all of these games.
- 2:09pm EST - November 23rd, 2010
Play online if you want 4 player, or 8 player :) Great fun!
- 2:22pm EST - November 23rd, 2010
split screen!! Why does nobody make mention, especially the reviewer? This is the game to play with friends at home. It should have been noted that it was at least a dissapointment not to have that included. Just catering to the companies to continue to dumb down the games they make and be lazy. Take split second for example! Great game that does not lose its quality by having option. I will buy before this.
- 8:51pm EST - November 23rd, 2010
I want to be able to play online and offline, is that really so much to ask? So that when my friends and I are having a LAN party and we want to fire up the PS3 when we're taking a break from the computers, we want a game that we can all play together. Not that I have to whip out all three of my PS3's to play with two other people.
- 11:36pm EST - December 4th, 2010
I'm surprised Sony doesn't mandate split screen. If they really wanted to sell consoles they would do this. With the PS1 and PS2 all my friends bought their own after we would get together and play on one. This time around my friends aren't buying PS3s and the only real reason is that they haven't seen a reason to do so. Split screen is the ultimate demo. You not only get to try out the system but you have a blast with your friends and these fond memories are frequently that little bit that nudges someone into getting it. This generation of gaming is so lacking of true social gaming that they're missing out on a lot of sales. True social gaming began with and continues to be getting together to play games. Online is social to a bit but it's mostly strangers meeting strangers to play games which is little different then playing a bot. Playing together in one room is much more then just talking there is a physical interaction that can't be replicated online.
dcalhoun93 | (none)
- 1:37pm EDT - July 2nd, 2012
That's why Madden and NCAA Football and FIFA all ROCK!! I don't even watch futbol, but I love to play against my friends!
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