31/08/2011

[PS3] Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Review


What mixes high speed police chases, exotic cars, extremely painful to watch crashes and roads that looked like they were paved a day before you'll drive them?


That's right, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit which got released in 2010 and passed to Criterion Games, the same team who developed the Burnout franchise, and amplified its experiences learned from making driving\arcade simulation to make the game. Now, you can say that Need for Speed is almost like every drivers fantasy, grabbing a extremely designed and expensive collection of cars and set them out in highly illegal car chases that involves speed, drift, danger, and police chases but its a bit more than that.



The controllers of the game are very good to handle and control, this means that right out of the box you'll just need to take the car for a spin or two to get the idea of what you need to do. This is possibly one of the best aspects of the game, its not trying to be a real driving simulator like Forza or Gran Turismo but giving the players a way to have fun without being frustrated about much of the curves you'll be destined to go off-road otherwise, this although doesn't mean you will be challenged with some serious precision driving when you advance more into the game.

When you see Seacrest County (the virtual county that Hot Pursuit takes place), you will see that is soothes your every need, and by this we mean that you will be challenged in every type of terrain, on any weather. The maps are very well detailed and any of them have little or long shortcuts that will make or break certain challenges if you want to get the gold, not to mention the roadblocks that can be easily avoided.

The game also develops into two modes, the first one is you as an illegal race car driver and the second one you are Seacrest County Police Department which is an addition to games like this. As a police driver you will be in charge of bringing down the race drivers that are currently wreacking havoc in the roads, which brings us to the use of weaponry.



Each side as weapons to use against racers or the enemy (either police or race driver), and it goes through the variety of spike strips, nitro boosts and choppers, this gives up the opportunity to timely deliver an impact on the race, and this is just a few of the additions of the game that makes it wanting to go either police or illegal race driver.

You can also count with a bounty system with experience attached to it, like everything which as a XP system, the more experience you have the more of a threat/elite you are considered, and the more cars you unlock. The bounty system is how you get experience, this mean that what you do in a race starts to actually matter, so the more stunts or traps successfully deployed, the more bounty you acchieve to get better cars, but don't think you'll unlock maps because the only way to do that is to actually play the current tracks you have so you can unlock more.

The DLC of the game is possibly the best addition to the game yet, it gets you two new multiplayer modes and a ton of cars, mainly Porsches and Lamborgini's as they each have a pack on their own. These can be used in single player mode as a way to improve your times and land a perfect score between friends and to get that extra boost on multiplayer, so don't think if you go online without these that you will find people without some DLC on them, its an ace in your sleeve and people do intend to use it.


Another of the coolest features in the game is definitely Autolog, now I didn't play the previous Need for Speed, but Autolog is much like Facebook for speed addicts, everything you do and every score you break between your friends (and vice-versa) is brought up in your screen, this means that, in game you can be challenged by players you have on your network on a specific track, this possibly increased the longevity of the game if you have the people for it, nobody wants to be in another place except first place. Another thing to quickly add to Autolog, if you don't have a PS3 nearby and want to check if someone kicks you in the nads on a certain track or just to check your profile you can even do it online, exactly like facebook, only for drivers, who's only purpose is not to slowly crash into something while the music goes on.

Since the soundtrack of franchise has been possibly one of the best so far in my opinion (I'll never forget Underground series OST, dreamy) this doesn't go far from the previous instalments but I one thing I noticed is that it doesn't have that much music, every now and then I would listen to the same track over and over again, something that I wish it won't happen again.


This game possibly brought some freshness to all the real simulators we are currently experiencing, as they aren't bad, the game developers seem to see that approach better than what Hot Pursuit (and not so much long from here, Need for Speed: The Run) has to offer, which is pure fun with crashes that go a mile long in camera displays and slow motions. This is a must have for game collectors and others alike, so buy it or simply try it, you won't be disappointed even if you aren't a car simulator fan.

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