Review by Talann
"One of the best, if not THE best, game of 2010"
I have every single Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit all the way back to the original Hot Pursuit. Every single one of them deserves to have the Need for Speed title. They're all fun to play. Dodging traffic with Lamborghini Cop cars chasing your beautiful Ford Mustang is just pure fun, which is what makes this the best Need for Speed game to date. Now it's time to get into the littlest of details in this game.
The graphics are the best I've seen on a computer game. With the exception of only one minor problem, they are the very definition perfect. What is this problem you ask? It's the pixels being noticeable. It may just be my computer, but they can sometimes be an annoyance if you pay attention to it. But, thankfully, you really don't because you're trying to pay attention to either getting away from the cops or chase the racer too much to really notice it. It's only truly visible during free roam when you are on a straightaway with little to no cars that you notice it.
Just one other complaint, and I'm finished! The grass/dirt textures appear to be tiled, instead of being smooth, like other video games. It's minor, so I will not let it count against it too much. Especially since it's only noticeable when you're looking for complaints.
Now enough of the complaints. It's time to talk about the positives.
The graphics are, as I mentioned before, purely amazing. You truly feel like you are there. From the blistering heat of the desert sun to the cool crisp air of the coastal area. From the chill of the desert night to the wetness of the rain. You almost feel all of the things that I described; it truly can't get any better than what this game offers. Unless, of course, you actually go to a desert or somewhere like it in real life. One little detail I noticed in this game that I like is that during the night, you can see the reflection of your car shining off the road. Not only that, but it details roads that are freshly paved, an older road that hasn't been paved for a while but is still in good shape, and rough roads that need to be repaved.
But, the environments aren't the only detailed things. The cars are absolutely stunning; it animates everything right down to the slightest detail. Emblems, door handles, and others. When you hit the boost, you also see some realistic flames come out of the exhaust pipes. It's amazing how this game can actually run on computers with all this in it. But, this isn't a Criterion game without the crashes, right?
I'm sure you're wondering what I'm talking about with the crashes. Well, Criterion brought in a bit of Burnout with the crashes. The crashes are cinematic; when you hit something, it immediately goes to a cinematic camera view. There is just no way to describe it. The only complaint I have about it is how the only damage is the car gets all scratched up. The headlights actually stay on and work just fine after smashing into a semi truck head on at over two hundred miles-per-hour! Probable licensing issues, though. Luckily, they are only minor complaints.
The sounds are perfect. The engines sound extremely powerful and realistic and, as I said before about the car details, are the best of any game ever. I shall get into the smallest of details in sound now.
Imagine driving along a dark highway in your Ford Mustang. The engine is roaring loudly as you zoom down the road at over one hundred miles-per-hour, you hear the rain hitting the windshield and all of a sudden you hear this eardrum busting loud boom of thunder. You have now imagined what the sound is like in this game.
Yes, the sound is really like that. You can also hear jets soaring across the sky no matter where you are. You hear it even more often near the airfield which adds a bit of realism and depth to the game. While it is a little annoying, you may be thankful if you enjoy a little bit of realism in a game.
I suppose you are wondering why I gave the sound an eight when it's like that and I even said it's perfect. Well, the music is extremely annoying. I'm talking about making you mute your speakers when it's playing. The only decent song I heard was in the main menu. Luckily, you can turn the racing music off.
====Game play: 10/10====
The game is perfect in this area. You have some extremely addictive races and to top it all off is a free roam with a HUGE explorable area. Over one hundred miles of roadway! The best way to say how large it is is that it's four times as large as Paradise city from Burnout: Paradise.
I'll start with the races. They have a good amount of difficulty. It's not so hard that you'll scream at your computer in anger and spend hours on the same race, while not so easy that you'll beat in about ten minutes. It's right in between, offering the perfect difficulty. While there are some races that are very hard, they are very few.
The variety is very nice: Interceptor, Rapid Response, and Hot Pursuit for the cops, and Hot Pursuit, Race, Time Trial, Duel, and Gauntlet for the racers. To keep you in the game, there is the Auto log. Which is basically what you'll be using for all the on-line gaming in this. It's truly one of the most advanced features in all of gaming history.
The handling is also excellent. The cars are responsive and fast. The cars respond like you'd expect them to. You see a small light car, you'll expect it to be responsive and fast. It does that. The only real complaint I have is that it's hard to control with a keyboard. It tries to be responsive, but it does it to well. You're, truthfully, better off with a steering wheel or regular controller for this game.
I didn't cover everything about the interface and I'm wanting to try to cover it here. The interface isn't exactly great. Truthfully, it's a bit on the bad side. While it's responsive and self-explanatory, it is a bit confusing. I'll provide an example:
You go into free roam to test a car, so you choose one environment, you are provided with a few options: Sport, Performance, Super, etc. But, you don't know what each one contains, it could be in Sport for all you know. Another thing is that in on-line play, you, to my knowledge, can't choose whether you're a cop or racer, it's like it's randomly assigned. There may be a way to choose it.
It's frustrating on how confusing it is. Besides the confusion from it and little information on what each of the types contain, it's a decent interface. Hopefully, since Shift Two will use the same on-line feature this does, they will fix it.
====Re playability 9/10====
With all the variety of races and being able to do both the cop and racer careers, you have a lot to do. Throw in an on-line feature and many people competing for the best time, score, and highest bounty, you'll have your hands full for a while. Only the music and interface is hurting it. The amount of cars you have to tear up across the game's town is HUGE, which adds a nice touch also.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/13/11, Updated 11/23/11
Game Release: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (US, 11/16/10)
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