Need for Speed Hot Pursuit was revealed a few months ago at E3. In addition to reviving the Hot Pursuit license, the excitement for the game increased exponentially when it was revealed that Criterion Games was the development studio behind it. As most, if not all, of you know, Criterion has an amazing pedigree when it comes to driving games with them being the studio behind the popular Burnout franchise. Well, Criterion has done it yet again and have created one of the best Need for Speed titles that has ever been released. The development team had a lot of ideas and the way that they executed on them is just brilliant. The Autolog feature is fantastic and will give competitive gamers that added incentive to keep playing “one more game” as they try to beat the time their friends just posted.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a game that allows you to pick the side that you are on. You can go through your career as a racer tearing up the streets or as a cop who is trying to bust those same racers. One of the nice things about Hot Pursuit’s career mode is that you are not locked in to a decision. If you want to participate in three races as a racer and then switch over and feel what it is like to be a cop then you can do that. As a racer you have a wanted level that will continue to go up as your bounty goes up. As a cop you have your rank on the force will continue to go up with the more busts that you get and how you look while performing those busts. There are some instances, for example, where if you stop a racer under a certain time limit you will get more of a bonus and you might even get recognized for your accomplishment by earning even more points and potentially a raise in rank. Picking one side over the other might have its advantages as well. As a cop you will have access to certain weapons such as a road block, spike strip and more. There really isn’t a story in the game per se but you can sort of make one up yourself as you continually try to get a better time or a better score than your friends. As you progress throughout your career you will unlock new cars that should help you out in your fight for roadside dominance.
As I have mentioned above, one of the more brilliant things that Criterion came up with is the Autolog. Just sitting in the main menu as you decide what you want to play is interesting because you are constantly shown what your friends have done and where you are in your career. If your time has been beaten in a race by one of your friends then it will more than likely be shown here. There is even an “Autolog Recommends” mode where you can quickly jump into any challenge that your friends have issued. If you have a race challenge it will give you your friends leaderboard and tell you who you have to beat to raise in rank. If you are currently in sixth place then it will inform you of who is in fifth place and what you need to do to bypass your friends and overtake that position. It will even tell you what car your friend used to perform their feat so you know exactly what you are going up against. You are constantly bombarded with information all the time so you always know where you stand whether it is in career mode, a specific challenge or whatever. If you want to keep up to date with what is happening with Hot Pursuit there is also the “NFS News” option where you can see what is currently taking place in the world of Hot Pursuit. It will inform you of things like logging on to the autolog website so you can view your stats when you are away for the game or tell you about the new Autolog app for the iPhone. Utilizing this new app you can get the most recent Autolog news, speedwall updates and recommendations on your phone which will motivate competitive gamers to immediately play some more Hot Pursuit once they get home and back to their console.
Of course if you want to directly compete with your friends Need for Speed Hot Pursuit features a really fun set of online modes as well. One really nice feature that Criterion put in is that any bounty that you accrue online will transfer to your bounty in career so even if you aren’t playing in the career mode you are still working towards achieving your goals. Once you go online you can choose whether you want to want to participate in the Hot Pursuit mode, Interceptor mode or a standard race. Hot Pursuit will allow up to eight players to team up and compete as either a racer or a cop. One of the drawbacks for some people will be that there is no split screen multiplayer. I’m not exactly sure why this feature was left out because it seems like it would be a great mode for someone who might not always have access to Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network. You will also need to keep in mind that you do need an online pass to play this title online. If you purchase a brand new copy of the game then the codes comes with the instruction manual. If you purchase a used copy of the game and the code has been used you will then need to purchase a license to play online with your friends.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a fantastic game. Once everyone learned that Criterion was the development team behind it the anticipation and excitement for the game grew exponentially and deservedly so. It is a fantastic over the top arcade-y racer that has you either racing down the highway in one of the world’s fastest cars or as a cop trying to prevent someone from doing just that. Some people might find some of the races a bit repetitive as they get further into the game, however, this is where I would simply change up what I was doing for a while to keep things interesting. This is where having the ability to do so is a great thing and, fortunately, it is done well. If you are a Need for Speed fan you definitely need to be playing this game. If you are new to the series you should still check this title out and I’m sure you’ll get hooked by the autolog system if nothing else. In my opinion Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is 2010’s best racing title and the team over at Criterion should be recognized for putting out such a great title.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network