Developer – Criterion Games
Publisher – Electronic Arts
Release Date – 16 November 2010
Not really completed but I’ve gone as far as I can go, which always happens with racing games. I hit a point where the races become too hard for me taking me 5-10 tries to place in a race. I’ve finished around 80% of the races and sometime in the future I might come back and finish the rest. Now on to what I think about the actual game.
I like the Need for Speed series but I don’t pick up every game in the series, especially now that NFS is more of a brand rather than an indicator of the style of racing gameplay. With NFS Hot Pursuit EA tasked one of their subsidiaries Criterion Games, known for their Burnout series of games, to bring their innovative take on the racing game genre to the NFS franchise. The end result is a game that predictably feels like a mix between the original cops and robbers style of NFS and Burnout.
If you don’t know how a Burnout game play all you need to know is that speed and crashes are emphasised with a very light weight drifty feel to the cars. Criterion Games also excel in integrating a social aspect to their games, this time they create a Facebook style wall and have leader boards for individual races. In terms of game modes it sticks mostly to the standard racing game race varieties with time trials, standard races and duels. My favourite race type is one Burnout fans will be familiar with where you have to takedown as many opponent vehicles as you can.
In NFS HP all vehicles have gadgets that can be used to slow down or take out other racers. As a cop you can call in a police roadblock, road spikes, a police helicopter which drops down road spikes, and an EMP. As a racer you also have spikes and EMP along with a radar jammer and nitrous boost. The gadgets are a great addition to game and takes your mind off how little finesse is needed to control the cars. The main tip you need to master when driving is the use of boosts and building up boost through drifting. You will want to boost uphill and boost out of corners. Also going into corners at full speed and ebreaking at the right point is also another thing you will need to master if you want to get gold in every race.
I really enjoyed the robust online modes and levelling system which were reminiscent of Burnout Paradise’s online races, another racing game I surprisingly played a lot online with. Criterion’s dedication to downloadable content also is evident here with plenty of new cars and races available in the time since it launched.
I didn’t need to buy the game at launch but I’m glad I did. I think I’ve spent close to 40 hours with the game not even finishing it and I will still enjoy periodically playing online. If you haven’t picked it up yet go ahead and pick it up for whatever discounted price it is at now.