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NFS Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Review

We paid Criterion Games a visit in Guildford UK and played the latest NFS game: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit! With Hot Pursuit Criterion Games got the chance to create their own interpretation of Need for Speed and the result is quite impressive! Expensive exotic cars, fast races and thrilling pursuits are shaping the game. After a long time you can even sit behind the wheel of a police car and hunt down racers - NFS Hot Pursuit combines both sides of the law in this title.



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Multiplayer

In Need for Speed Hot Pursuit up to eight players can play together. Apart from the classic races you also have hot pursuits with the police, where the players can race in teams. For example four cops try to hunt down four racers, who try to reach the finish line. Especially in combination with the weapons this mode guarantees a lot of fun and excitement. Another game mode is the Interceptor-Mode, where the cop tries to catch the racer, but the fugitive can use the whole world to escape. This brings out the different tactics, because the racer can use U-turns, offroad-driving or hiding places to get behind the police and try to destroy their car. If you drive at night, you can also turn off the lights and try to escape in the darkness. The only problem is, that you can't see anything. ;)

A LAN mode is't planned and an internet connection is required for multiplayer.

Autolog

Autolog is the central feature in Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. This system collects all times on each track and automatically compares them with your friends. Additionally Autolog notifies you, when you're beaten on a track and gives you suggestions, which races you could drive to challenge your friends..

With this system EA should hit a nerve at every game, because nobody is interested that he is rank #76854 in an international leaderboard. Gamers mostly want to know, how good they are compared to their friends. Based on that Autolog creates personal leaderboards and gives you the possibility to write messages to your friends or post new records on your speedwall.

On Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 the "friends" in Autolog are automatically the friends you have assigned to your Xbox/PSN account. You can use Autolog, to find new friends similar to your skills.
On PC you have to find friends in the game itself, using your EA account.

Unfortunately Autolog isn't cross-plattform, which means only PC players can compare times with PC players, Xbox with Xbox and PS3 with PS3. If you want to compare times with other users, you can do that on NeedforSpeed.com<7a>.

Nevertheless Autolog has much potential and is addictive, because you get challenged all the time to beat your friends and improve your own times. If the game will get boring, Autolog could add much to improve the long term motivation. On the other hand, players who don't have many friends who play Hot Pursuit, might won't be motivated as much to play the game after they finished the career.

Tuning

This part of the review is the shortest: there is no tuning. ;) As a reason Criterion told us, they want to concentrate completely on the beauty and exclusiveness of the sports cars, where tuning doesn't fit in the concept. Since the game is an action-racer, this may be true, because the game is all about cars, races and pursuits...you don't spend hours in the shop and tweak your car.

The aim of Criterion was to create a pickup-and-play game for everyone, you can start to play anytime. So the tuning in Hot Pursuit is limited to the color selection of your car - considering the numerous and beautiful framed super sports cars there isn't much improvement needed.

Sound

Just as in previous NFS games EA Trax delivers some high-quality soundtracks. With 30 Seconds to Mars, Bad Religion, Pint Shot Riot the music goes into a rocking direction, but at least on consoles NFS Hot Pursuit supports "Custom Soundtracks"! Unfortuntely this doesn't seem to be the case for the PC-version.

The sound environment of the cars and engine sounds Hot Pursuit are well done, very authentic (as we're used to it in Need for Speed) and emphasizes very well the races and pursuits in the game.



Conclusion

As Creative Director Craig Sullivan explained, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is Criterion's take on Need for Speed, which becomes noticeable, considering the similarities to Burnout. The arcade-direction and handling of the cars might be a little bit unusual for NFS fans.

Apart from that NFS Hot Pursuit is a thoroughly well done racing game, with breathtaking graphics and spectacular crashes. The exotic cars and landscapes offer a lot for the gamer's eye and the thrilling pursuits are well staged and bring much variety.

Autolog completes the system and leads the competition among friends into a whole new direction in the racing genre. Altogether Hot Pursuit is a wonderful game to get away from your workaday life and devote yourself to the luxurious cars and experience the speed rush - or to be a cop and take down just such racers.



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- Shocker, Junkie



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