One coin – two sides. In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit you take on the police chases as both the one being chased and the one that chases. Unlock cars and abilities along the way and don’t forget to enjoy the speed.
This game doesn’t follow a story, but rather a compilation of different encounters between police and road hogs that don’t vary much apart from that you can chose sides. The game presents you Seacrest County, where you can chose different missions from the map. As you progress in the game by winning medals in different races, you unlock new missions, cars and upgrades for your weapons.
Rebel or authority?
You can play as officer or speed demon, and EA has done the right thing; Gone back to the classic cop chases from the start of the series, and they have done well. The game is quite challenging and sometimes you just can’t dodge that damn roadblock in front of you, even if you hit the brakes as hard as possible. The most common mode you meet in this game is getting from point A to B within a time limit – being chased or not.
What’s really new in this game apart from the the first few games in the series, is the Autolog. If you are connected to Xbox Live or PSN and the EA servers, and unlocked the online pass key they included for free with a new game – the Autolog automatically tracks your friends who also plays the game and compares their times in the different races with your time. You can then go for either the medals that the game has set as standard times, or you can try and get to 1st place amongst your friends. Via the Autolog you can also share the screenshots from within the game that you can easily shoot via pausing the game or hitting left stick in a race.
If you like cars a lot, the game presents the cars in a great way, with a short story about each car, both as text, but also by the narrator, which is a woman. She has a nice and easy understandable voice, but as a woman playing, I can’t really decide if I like it. Did the developers chose this because guys listen to and respects a female voice more than a male?
The rush is sublime
Driving 90mph in a 35mph area past a waiting cop is a blood rush. You know he’s gonna start the chase, but you don’t have time to hit the brakes, so just activate the nitrous and hit 150mph instead, leaving him far behind. Eventually he’s gonna catch up, but you chose to take the short cut that you know exactly were is, because you’ve been trying to beat this damn time for a while now – but to no avail, because they have setup a roadblock right after the short cut is ending into the main road – and you hit the cop cars with 120mph. Now you can’t reach the finish line in time to get that gold medal, you so badly want before starting on the next race.
On the other hand, taking down the speeders with your acquainted fast and heavy police car is satisfying – watching them crash in slow motion makes your heartbeat increase and motivate you to go after the next racer on the agenda.
The relaunch of the Need for Speed series is done well and flawless with the Shift game as the simulation racer and Hot Pursuit as the arcade one. It’s a great arcade racing game and has a good feeling when you hit the brakes hard, and your swerve through the turn and hit the nitrous as you go out of it, to quickly hit the top speed to avoid losing too much time.
Where the game loses it’s pace is the lack of variation, but I think I can be safe to say that most racing games has this problem. Arcade or simulation, doesn’t matter.