I have good memories of the original Hot Pursuit games, from well over a decade ago on PC/PS1, in which you either take control of a police car to takedown criminals or play as a superfast racer outrunning the cops!
I was so confident that Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit was going to be awesome, I traded away all my racing games in the days before its’ release. It was the right decision.
Sadly, the last few Need For Speed games have failed to excite or match expectations, so it was with much relief that Burnout developer Criterion took control of making this game. Indeed, NFS:HP manages to take the best ideas of the past games from both franchise to form one complete focused gaming experience.
The leveling up is well measured, and the variety of racing types and challenges never makes the game a chore. Even failure goes some way to overall success. The game rewards you for playing.
Visually, the game is amazing. With a huge collection of state-of-the-art REAL vehicles to choose from, the gamer is never short of choice of excellence. Control of the cars is super sensitive, making for full concentration and good timing to achieve the best results.
In terms of online, nothing can compare to competing with and against other “real life” racers. The Autolog system, that reports all your friend’s times/success adds great motivation for you to achieve better results as well as help form a create sense of community within the game. This was something attempted a few months ago with Blur, but Electronic Arts seem to have achieved this with much more polish.
Time will tell what longevity the game has. I’m sure plenty of DLC and updates with be released in the coming year, and I’m hopeful motorbikes will be added to the awesome vehicle selection. Hot Pursuit is the only racing game I ever want to play!
score: 9 out of 10.