Game Review: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Release: November 16, 2010
Developer: Criterion Games
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Players: 1 (offline) 2-8 (online)
MSRP: 59.99 (right now it’s on sale for 39.95 on Amazon.com)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the 16th iteration into the Need for Speed franchise, the first however, by Criterion Games. It’s published by EA, features up to 8 players online and a single player mode that should take you around 16 hours to unlock everything, more or less depending on how great of a driver you are.
The single player mode has 2 sections really, one where you are an outlaw and one where you are the police. As an outlaw you can do 5 different events, the gauntlet, duel, time trail, race and the hot pursuit mode (my favorite). For the most part, they are all just a race, depending on the event though, you will get to use your special equipment. As an outlaw you will have access to the Jammer, spike strip, EMP and turbo, each of these vary on the event and the more you use them, the more powerful they become because you are leveling them up based off of successful uses of them.
My most enjoyable part of the single player though had to be while I was part of the SCPD, the police. Same type of thing here, you have a few type of events here, the rapid response, the intercepter and again, my favorite, the hot pursuit mode. In the hot pursuit mode as a part of the SCPD, it’s your job to take out a group of racers using your special equipment or by just taking them out, Burnout style. We have some of the same equipment here, the EMP and the spike strip return, but the cops also have access to the roadblock and a police helicopter that drops down spike strips.
There is also one more part of the single player mode, the free drive mode where the name pretty much says it all. It’s all about having fun, taking “Dreamshots,” and exploring Seacrest County.
Now for the multiplayer, there really isn’t much to see here. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has 3 modes, online hot pursuit, online interceptor and the online race. All the modes are a lot of fun, but the game does feel a little shallow here. You can keep doing the same things with your friends and while that might be a lot of fun, the fun won’t last forever, luckily for us gamers, the single player experience offers a whole lot and isn’t just a 5-6 hour playthough.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit has so many great things going for it. From the social side of things, the Autolog is extremely impressive. Think of it as a NFS only Twitter account. Your pictures go there, your times go there, when you best your friends, that goes there. It’s just a fun way to interact with your friends while doing most of the single player portion of the game. Hot Pursuit features over 100 miles of pavement for you to travel on and explore (there are shortcuts everywhere to find). And the car selection is huge, Hot Pursuit doesn’t just feature exotic cars though, they also have SUV’s. The online modes are pretty fun, not as in-depth as I would have liked but there’s hours and hours of exciting driving waiting to be had there.
Now I know this isn’t Burnout but I miss some of the drop-in, drop-out multiplayer action that Burnout offered. When you would be just screwing around your friends could join you in anything and while you were just screwing off, you could still be unlocking things, owning street times and while I know this is a different game, it would have been nice to see those features in the game. A few more modes in the game would also have been a nice addition, while at first there seems to be many different things, they are all slight variations of each other and by the time you have unlocked everything, you’ve done everything over and over again, just with different cars.
Steve’s final say: Despite being made by Criterion Games, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is not Burnout, don’t think it is. That being said, this game is tons of fun! The cars are all pretty awesome, the feeling that you get when you are balls to the wall while chasing down racers or being a racer yourself is amazing. Anyone that is looking for an arcade type of racer should really go pick this up, it’s well worth the price and it will keep you having a blast with it the whole time you are playing it.
+ Extremely fun
+ The in-game and online Autolog feature is great for some friendly competitiveness
+ The cars feel remarkably fast
– Separate online and single player modes
– Only a few multiplayer options
Final Score: 8/10