Game Review of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

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Fans of Need for Speed have been clamoring for the old days, when the game was built upon a basic premise of eluding the cops. This addictive game mode has been noticeably absent from the EA racer of late, but now Burnout developer Criterion is on the wheel of Need for Speed. This studio knows how to present a core experience that will blow your hair back.

The premise of Hot Pursuit might be simple, but that does not entail the game is shallow. The game extends two separate career paths for the cops and the getaway driver. It’ll is interesting to see how these career campaigns try to keep the game’s chase essence saucy, and we hope that the two paths are unique enough for both to justify their own playthrough.

One distinguishing factor between the two is the assorted weapons each side has at its disposal. In the demo, the cops put up roadblocks, spike strips, aerial support, and an EMP blast that screwed up the other driver’s controls for a moment. Racers, meanwhile, get their own aids such as radar-jamming equipment, a brawny nitro boost, a visibility cloak, and the power to cast out a decoy signal to fool the police. These weapons are called up by pressing the d-pad, become available as you race, and each one has its own cool-down time.

A short demo as a cop was played, and though it did not seem to have the mad sense of speed like Burnout Paradise (at least not with the police cruiser), there was some strategy to employing the weapons. As a cop, the job was to harm the other guy into oblivion by all means necessary – whether that’s via ramming him using nitro boost, causing him to make a mistake and hit something in the surroundings, or via ally assist like a roadblock.  Throwing up a roadblock or spike strip is a favorite as the perp was about to head around an approaching curve to surprise them on the other side. When you are being chased, you must utilize the game’s open world and your own driving skill to pull back.

Burnout Paradise wiped off the line between online and offline play, and Hot Pursuit preserves this through a relentless XP system called Bounty Points. As you rank up, you unlock cars, upgrades and new levels. The experience system also records of your every move and lets you share your accomplishments with friends. Hot Pursuit promotes communication among friends using various messaging features and the Autolog, which disseminates challenges to everyone based on what you and they have achieved.

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