* 2010 Racing GOTY
PG 1 | PG 2
Once again Electronic Arts switches up developmental duties for the 'Need for Speed' series by enlisting the help of racing guru's Criterion Games to recreate the classic 'Hot Pursuit.' Can this simplified cops and robbers racer live up to the series name, find out in our review of 'Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.'
The long running 'Need for Speed' series has had its share of ups and downs. It is fair to say that not all the 'Need for Speed' titles have been winners, but there a few standouts from the pack. When revisiting all the NFS games of the past, one of the strongest entries is the original 'NFS III: Hot Pursuit.' So it's not surprising that EA is revisiting the cops and robbers based gameplay from the 1998 classic. It's has been 12 years and let me tell you, from a gamer who “loved” the original (yes I am “old school) this was a good decision. Honestly, I couldn't wait to get behind the wheel of this new 'Hot Pursuit' and with Burnout experts 'Criterion Games' handling the development, my anticipation was doubled.
In handling this “remake,” Criterion sticks to the foundation of the original while bringing the production values up to par with the current generations technology. 'Hot Pursuit' in the current day feels just as awesome as the original did “back in the day.” 'Hot Pursuit' is all about high speed racing based around a cat-and-mouse formula of cops-and-robbers. The premise is that simple, play as a cop who tries to apprehend the illegal racers, or become the assailant who is breaking the law and running from the fuzz. Now give both parties access to high speed vehicles, and you got yourself a game. The formula is a winner, showing that you don't need fancy tuning and drift competitions to have a relevant racer.
Both “careers” can be run from the main map letting the player jump behind the wheel of both classes at anytime. An excellent feature that doesn't get tripped up with re-selecting menus. Oddly I enjoyed being on the hunt more being then hunted, so I will cover your duties as a member of the protect and serve, the cops.
Protect & Serve
Playing the cops has been described as “a dog chasing a rabbit." The police are the big bad dogs armed to the teeth with the best hardware and the rabbit, well have you every heard the saying "crime doesn't play?" Run rabbit, run. In the name of justice the police are outfitted with the best-of-the-best. Highly tuned cars slapped with ultra cool police liveries. From the standard "Crown Vic," to more exotic style cars like the “Blue Devil” Corvette ZR1 and cool muscle cars like the Shelby GT 500. The department also has a few tricks to help me get the busts including EMP blasts, spike strips (which aren't as helpful because your usually the one behind the action), the ability to call road blocks and “the eye in the sky," a helicopter that tries to stop a suspect by dropping spike strips. Although you don't have to use any of the aids to bring in the criminals. Simply ramming into them and depleting their "health" brings them to justice. Sure, it's nice to have a few helpers, but you'll likely enjoy the satisfaction of bashing metal on metal.
The criminals have a similar system in play with a wide assortment of rides from the familiar Dodge Charger SRT8 and Camaro SS (Bumble Bee to the Transformers fans) to the Aston Martin DB S Volante and McLaren F1. Much like the police the more you progress you “bounty” the better stalked your garage becomes. The criminals also have some tricks to try and help shake the fuzz. The basics sometimes are the most useful, and I’m speaking of the spiked stripes and EMP blasts. Yup, just like the coppers. The criminals also have a super-fast turbo boost (along with your normal boost) and a jammer that temporarily blocks up the police aids. Oh and I forgot to add, these items get upgraded the more you play for both sides. Loving the Porsche roadblock. Mooney is not an object here.