Electronic Arts released Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, a game I was really excited to play when I first saw it revealed at E3 last year. While the game is fun, I found it too much like an arcade game and too un-Need for Speed like, it feels and plays a lot like Burnout.
The graphics are okay, not really the best I’ve seen for a Need for Speed game, the career mode has you playing both sides of the law, either as an underground racer or as a specialized law enforcement agent in a high speed police car unit that exist to bust high speed underground racers. I am hoping the story or what traces of a story line that are running through the career mode will lead to a point where I am actually playing both sides for myself in some weird, egotistical plot to rule the world, but I digress.
The real bright point in this game is the multiplayer, which is also the darkest low-point since Electronic Arts wants to punish game players who merely rent their titles instead of paying $60 for a glorified update every 3-4 months, by either making renters pay $10 to play online or not play online at all.
If you do buy this game, then you’ll definitely get the most enjoyment from the multiplayer, the single player becomes drab and repetitive fairly early on, but the variety of folks online to crash into and bust or escape from is almost worth buying the game for.
What ultimately makes me not recommend you buying this game, is that if you are a fan of the Need for Speed series, you expect some standards that have been a part of the franchise for over 15 years, those standards are car modifications and upgrades, a cockpit view with windshield wipers and light switch, handling and performance differences between cars and reality.
In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit you have none of those, you can literally drive 200 miles per hour around a two lane hairpin turn and not die or even crash, completely insane and unrealistic. Another thing that really stinks is that every car pretty much handles and drives the same; some just go faster than others, once again making this game feel more like Burnout than a Need for Speed title.
I give Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit a, 4.1/ 5, and recommend renting it and only buying it if you are going to play online a lot.
4 – Graphics
4 – Sounds
4.5 – Controls
4.75 – Multiplayer
4 – Replay Value
3.75 – Video Game Magic*
*Video Game Magic is the video game’s ability to transport you the player into the game experience – usually the effects this has on the human condition are, severe loss of time management, extreme video game jonesing, and an extended altered state of reality.