User Reviews: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit PS3 User Review

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Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit User Review

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Replay Value:



Overall Rating:       7.5



Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Number Of Players:




Release Date:

November 16, 2010

This is a quick review of the Demo of the new Need For Speed title created by Criterion Games for EA. Remember this is a review of a Demo, the final game may be better or worse.

Overall, I liked the demo, but I'm a bit concerned that the game may be sparse in terms of gameplay. Let me put my cards on the table at the start, I'm a huge fan of Burnout Paradise by Criterion, but I've not played Need For Speed titles very much, they have never really been my thing.

After downloading the behemoth demo file (all 1.5GB), I installed it and started it up. I've been looking forward to this game because it's being created by the team behind Burnout Paradise. Burnout Paradise set the bench mark in so many ways, not least of which was the 60 frames per second silky smooth graphics.

NFS:HP is not 60 frames per second, so how does it look? It looks OK. It doesn't feel as polished as Burnout Paradise, and I think that this may be down to the framerate. The graphics feel somehow less rich, less substantive. I can only put this down to the framerate because in terms of the car models and environment, there's no reason for it to look or feel less solid than their previous game.

Those familiar with Burnout Paradise will sense other similarities, whether it's the background music in the menus, the voice over that introduces the game or the setting in Seacrest county. the game map has a familiar look and feel to it as well. I hate to keep mentioning Burnout Paradise, but that was Criterion's last game, and it was a racer, so comparisons are natural. I'll try to avoid them though.

Here we have a racing game with crashes that you can play solo and online. Online features up to 8 players (sound familiar?) in head to head racing action. The game itself is point to point races, you're either a Racer or a Cop.

As a Racer you race a course against others using some of the finest sports cars ever created. The first to the line wins, there are short cuts to find, and you can drift around corners, use boost and your driving skills to win. You can use your car to knock out your opponents, but crashes and damage cost you so much time, it's not necessarily worth it.

As a Cop, you chase the racers down, you can use various weapons, such as a spike strip or EMP to slow down and damage the racers, you can call in a helicopter or roadblock to slow them down, or you can simply ram them off the road. If you stop them all before the finish, you 'win'.

I enjoyed playing the Cop more than the Racer simply because there is more to do. I found I was picking the tank like Crown Victoria Police Interceptor instead of the 370Z police car. The larger car keeps up OK (at least in the demo event) and you can use it as weapon, much like Road Rage events where you try to take down as many opposing cars as possible. There is something oddly fun about being a traffic cop nailing suspects...

For those being chased, this will play very like the Marked Man events where you had to outrun the hunters to the finish line.

The game is fun, and worth playing, but the demo left me wanting something more. I found that the environments were graphically cluttered and lack clarity which makes using shortcuts difficult because you actually have a hard time picking them out. It reminds me of MotorStorm Pacific Rift in that regard. The roads themselves are OK, but you feel very railed in, there doesn't feel like there is much freedom, despite the inclusion of shortcuts.

One of the things about Criterion's previous racer was that there was a loving attention to detail that combined with the 60 frames per second visuals resulted in a nearly artistic treat. The NFS Hot Pursuit Demo, doesn't generate that same feeling. It actually feels like more of an arcade game. Perhaps that's a good thing? Perhaps that's the way that NFS games are supposed to feel?

Someone on my friends list has a comment on their avatar that goes NFS:HP is not The Next Burnout. and I think that's a fair thing to say. It's not. I don't think you can fairly compare NFS:HP against Burnout Paradise, the two are trying to be different kinds of game. The trouble is that a lot of people are going to compare the two, and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit isn't going to fare well in that comparison. In it's own right though, it appears to be a pretty good game.

It's a demo, so please take the scores in that context, the full game could be a point or two higher...

This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.

User review by TheHighlander

10/27/2010 10:41:15 AM

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Legacy Comment System (11 posts)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 @ 11:30:51 PM

Wow, that's gotta be the most quickly posted user-review psxextreme has had. Great to hear thoughts on the matter, as usual. By the way, Highlander, did you do a Burnout:Paradise user review, yet?

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Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 11:06:24 AM

User review for Burnout Paradise incoming...

The gist of the review is;

Awesome game. Buy it.

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Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 4:24:48 PM

Oh, I did a couple weeks back, Highlander, as per your suggestion. And i'll get to it. Right now i'm playing Star Wars: Unleashed 2, Valkyria Chronicles, Modnation Racers.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 12:31:45 AM

Eeek! No, I don't think I have. I shall get on it, that game was/is awesome.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 12:51:19 PM

You're right, this is a different game. You pointed out a lot of comparisons between what was in BP and what shows up in HP: road rage, marked man, and racing. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be seeing super jumps, barrel rolls or flat spins; we'll just have to wait for the next instalment of Burnout.

Just like the demo with BP, we only got a small taste of what was the larger game, and I'm sure there will be lots of surprises in store for the full game of Hot Pursuit.

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Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 9:10:21 AM

True. Burnout Paradise spoiled me though. That game delivers so much, at 60 frames per second no less. It's hard not to compare other arcade racers against it.

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Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 4:01:23 PM

I quite liked it to be honest. It feels like the Cops and Robbers DLC in BP. But on heroin. I think the choice of sticking to the NFS franchise was a bad one.

I know, Criterion wanted to revitalise the Franchise which I welcome but if it was Burnout: Hot pursuit then it would be a different story. There would be no time constraints and the game would feel more ploished.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010 @ 4:21:35 AM

Ooohh, I like the idea of Burnout : Hot Pursuit.

I'm wondering what the next Burnout will be. I really hope they keep the open world style. Actually, for me they could build a new engine add a few more tricks and modes to play with in the game, give it a new setting, and graft in the map from Burnout Paradise to give returning players a familiar playground.

That would be an awesome game to behold.

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Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 7:57:29 PM

Wow, you're fast.
As you've read my comment before, I said I don't like how the car feel and the sense of realism in this.
I just don't think that it's suited for Hot Pursuit.
The demo certainly gave me a bad impression of it so I'll wait for the full review.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 10/29/2010 7:58:17 PM

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Sunday, October 31, 2010 @ 4:19:15 AM

I've got the game pre-ordered as a filler until GT5 arrives, so I should be able t bash out a review a few days after it arrives.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 11:31:39 AM

Posted a review of the full game, as a follow up to this review. Should be up when Ben or someone else at PSX approves it.

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