Need for Speed: Rivals PS4 Review: The next generation of multiplayer
- Posted November 25th, 2013 at 19:02 EDT by Ernest Lin
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Need for Speed: Rivals delivers a satisfying foray into a new generation for the racing genre with impressive, integrated multiplayer and sleek graphics.
- Pretty visuals with dynamic weather and lightning
- Seamless AllDrive multiplayer
- Combat racing gameplay
- Uninteresting plot
- Interruptions from transferring multiplayer hosts
- Pop-in graphics
Gameplay is easy enough for anyone to pick up and have fun, as it’s very much an arcade-style racer, yet takes some time to master. The controls feel tight and intuitive, and I found myself getting better at handling my vehicle quickly. The open-world map is filled with several different locals with a variety of curves in the road and scenery to see. Rivals is also part combat racer, with each vehicle able to equip two weaponized abilities called Pursuit Tech. The choices for your Pursuit Tech feature fantastical spy gadgetry such as an EMP field to stall opponents or deployable spikes to knock out your adversary’s tires. For me, Pursuit Tech made the game much more enjoyable compared to others in the genre. A new menu in the top left of the screen named EasyDrive is controlled using the D-pad during gameplay and features common menu selections you will use often without having to pause the game to go to the full menu. For example, EasyDrive has a GPS category with selections that can take you to the nearest repair center or home base.
A reason why racing games are common at a console launch is so the new generation hardware can show off its graphics capabilities by rendering realistic-appearing cars, a common machine in our lives. Need for Speed: Rivals looks great thanks to its use of the Frostbite 3, the same engine powering DICE’s lifelike shooter Battlefield 4. Dynamic lighting and full high-definition resolution make the cars and environments breathe with life. With the variety of scenery comes changing weather, so you may find yourself drifting on the mountainside roads during sunset one moment then cruising through forests in the rain. The shifting weather effects assist in keeping Rivals from becoming a boring ride. Sadly, the visuals in Rivals aren't perfect all the time. If you look too closely, some textures and surfaces in the environment can look a bit flat, but thankfully are not noticeable while speeding along. However, when driving at higher velocities, I would sometimes notice textures and even whole object pop-into view late.
Despite its minor problems, Need for Speed: Rivals is a worthy purchase for your PS4 this holiday season. There won’t be many other next-gen games that can give you a rush as it does, while being fun for all ages also. Pursuit Tech weaponry adds a small touch of demolition derby into the mix. The near seamless AllDrive is an example of how multiplayer should and will be handled in the future of gaming. Many elements of Rivals came together to make my experience varied and encounters with other racers or cops unique. I’m generally not a fan of racing games, but it seems I’ve grown a need for speed.----
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