Need For Speed Hot Pursuit User Review
The full game is definitely much better than the demo. There is a wide range of super cars to drive, lots of courses and a good variety in those courses both in terms of the landscape, surface, weather conditions and day/night cycle.
Playing as cop, you have access to the full arsenal of weaponry including Helicopter and EMP which were locked int the demo. These are both useful additions. I found that the EMP was great for finishing off a pesky racer who was already damaged by managed to stay just out of range of the final slam. One blast from the EMP unit and he's toast. Excellent.
Racers get these toys too, no helicopter or roadblocks though, but they do have spike strips, and EMP and a jamming system to jam the police comms and computer systems.
Online the game is very easy to use, the matchmaking is swift and works well. Like any online racer, if a player in the race has a laggy connection they will jump all over the place. But generally, everything was smooth. You do forget that the game is running at 30 frames per second, which as I've said before is a good frame rate depending on how the developer handles it. I must say that I thought it would really suffer compared to Burnout Paradise's 60 frames per second, however that's not the case, the graphics are still very smooth looking and feeling
Sound is good, and replayability is actually quite high. You can enter a free-drive mode where you can drive around Seacrest county. So underneath all the different events is an open world driving game that feels much like Burnout did.
The most interesting aspect of the freedrive mode is the sheer number of places on the map that are not indicated and yet are open to explore. Short cuts not on the map, and areas of interest. I a short space of time I found an active airfield, a solar power array and a radio telescope array, all of which could be driven around. There are brisges with shortcuts into the dry river bed below, and tons of places to explore and hide in. It almost seems like there is room here for an entire new game to be added into this world of Seacrest county. Criterion did a fine job of morphing Burnout Paradise through DLC, I wonder whether there are additional game modes yet to come that will make use of these additional areas. I haven't found any jumps yet, but that might be a tad obvious...
Anyway, this game is well worth the purchase. I know that Gran Turismo 5 is coming real soon now, and some will have to choose between the two. If you don't have to choose between them, this game is worth a purchase, it's worth a look if you're not sure that GT5 is your cup of tea. I think it's unfortunate that this comes out a week before GT5, but then again, GT5 is a racing simulator, this is an arcade racer, the two are completely different and excellent in their own ways.
Overall, I think this game is well worth 9 out of 10. Definitely up from the demo. Anyone who worried that this would be some kind of inferior Burnout clone, don't worry, it's not a clone, and it's not inferior. It's a different game, but who knows what DLC could add. Definitely a keeper and a recommended BUY.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.