Review by Warhawk
"Hot Pursuit is back baby"
Need for Speed has gone back to the roots of what made the series so great and bringing back the cops again. Although there's been many Need for Speed games in which featured cops such as Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed: High Stakes, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Need for Speed: Carbon, and finally Need for Speed: Undercover. With each of those games featuring cop chases only a select few of them had cop chases in which you could take part in, each time allowing the player to do a little more than that of the previous time. While Criterion Games has come on board to bring us the new Need for Speed games and I figured that when I heard that, that I would be expecting them to add their own touch to the franchise even if it meant having like a Burnout' touch to the game. One thing that I was surprised to know about for this game was that for the cops, being able to use things such as deploying Spike Strips, Helicopters, EMPs, let along being able to call in for a roadblock without having to wait for one. While at the same time I like how you can get your equipment upgraded for the cops along with being promoted the more that you do while playing as a cop and the variety of the cop cars that are unlocked throughout the game.
Although if anyone that thinks that cops isn't the only thing you can play, you can still play as a racer like always in these pursuit' games that's in the franchise. There is one big change that's been done with this game is that you as a racer is allowed for some events to use things such as what cops do with the Spike Strips or EMPs, but having things like a Jammer or Nitro. Though I have heard that people complaining that there isn't no free roam in this game, but I can say that there is free roam in here and that's where I feel that the game isn't the strongest in is with the free roam. It could be due to the fact that Criterion Games have decided to try something new with their first entry in the Need for Speed franchise by introducing a feature known as Autolog'. The Autolog keeps tracks of your progress offline as well as online but the only problem is that not everyone has the online feature to take the game online to play against friends or challenge others to whatever records they set. While I'm one of those people that enjoy doing things in offline modes after hearing many things about people online but if I were to be able to I'd be able to comment more about the whole Autolog online.
Enough with that let's get on with some of the other things of the newest addition to the Need for Speed franchise. First off the presentation of the graphics which I have to say is near perfect for a Need for Speed game. While Criterion decided to go with what they know about the Burnout games and trying it with Need for Speed Hot Pursuit like for example the map like in Burnout 3: Takedown. Being able to choose your events on the map is a nice touch though like in some of the previous Need for Speed games, but I feel that this way is a lot nicer than like that of Most Wanted or Carbon. The environments in the game are nicely done, and for example you get to drive up around the mountains see snow, to even go about driving about on a beach but good thing there aren't any people around when that happens. As it comes to the cars, each of the cars look to be modeled just right and almost looks like they're from Gran Turismo, but the cars in a Need for Speed game can't match how cars look in Gran Turismo.
Now let's talk about gameplay of Need for Speed Hot Pursuit for PlayStation3, while I'm sure it's the same as the Xbox360, or PC versions of the game as well. Each of the cars featured in the game whether it's the racing or cop version of the vehicle each of them handle different than the other which is a good feature to have for any racing game. Also when doing pursuits in this game, Criterion decides to make it where you have to figure out what's the best car to use for each of the pursuits whether it's the Rapid Response, Pursuit, or even something like Interception. As for the racer point of view, I have only like one small little problem is that I've come across so far in this game. That's with a couple races that I have done is that I have to push down on the acceleration button a little harder but not too hard making it a bit difficult to keep up. One thing that I like is that unlike Need for Speed Shift or Burnout: Paradise, you couldn't change controls I like that Criterion allowed to change controls. Other than that the gameplay of this game is the best I've seen of a driving game delivered from Criterion.
When it comes to difficulty of the latest Need for Speed game, I have to say that it can be good challenge for most of what I have done. Most of the events can be easy to normal difficulty to get through them, but there are others that seem to try to test the patience of some players which I'm not sure that I can agree with trying to do that. Though the strategy of what to do for each scenario that you are put in throughout the game whether or not you're cop or racer, this game will put you to your limit for sure.
Overall I feel that Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, for PlayStation3 is one of the best entries that I've played so far on the PlayStation3 console beside Need for Speed Shift. As compared to the other Hot Pursuit' related Need for Speed games, this one manages to top those, or come close at least. I would suggest that if you want to try this game before buying it I would not suggest renting nor buying the game unless you want to rent before buying the game. This game I'd have to say will differ for those who are die-hard racing people like myself, though this game I just can't get enough of playing it when I get a chance to. This game I feel deserves a 9.0 out of 10.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/19/10, Updated 11/22/10
Game Release: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (US, 11/16/10)
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