Gaming Under $20: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

It’s time to break some land speed records! Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit received a reboot in 2010. They’ve added many new cars, new gadgets for racers and law enforcement, and a new place to race. However, in just two short years, the price has dropped under $20. Does that mean this is a lousy game that isn’t worth your time? Let’s put the pedal to the metal and find out.

I am going to start off by saying that I haven’t completed this game 100% yet, despite having the game for over a week and racing pretty hard in my free time. While there isn’t a storyline like other Need for Speed titles, such as Undercover, Most Wanted, or Carbon, it does have two campaigns to play through. You can race to the top of the most wanted list as a racer or climb the ranks of the law enforcement as a police officer. You have the option for both at the get go and can switch back and forth at your leisure. Racers have five different race types to go through: there is the classic race, you against three to six other racers, you have the option to duel a rival racer in a one-on-one, and you can race the clock to the finish line in a time trial. The cops are out for you, and you alone, in a gauntlet. Then, you race away from the cops and have to beat the other racers in Hot Pursuit. The cops only have three races: Hot Pursuit, where you take out all of the racers and shut the race down, Interceptor, which is taking out a lone racer, or Rapid Response, which is the cops’ time trial, however, hit a corner or another car and it adds time. There is also a “Preview Race” for racers and cops which simply introduces you to a new car.

There is just something fun about flying down the road at 200+ mph, with red and blue lights in the rearview mirror…maybe because I could never actually do this. This game is no different than any other Need for Speed title, mechanics wise. You still NOS up to top speed in the straights and hand brake at the last second to drift a tight corner still going 100+ mph… Or maybe that’s just me. Either way this is no Forza Motorsport or Project Gotham Racing (which, is not driving around Gotham in the Bat Mobile). It is not a realistic-style racing game, so don’t expect that going in. One fun perk in the game is equipment. Racers get spike strips, EMPs, Jammers, and Turbos. Cops get spike strips, roadblocks, EMPs, and helicopter supports. All of them are upgradable, the more you use them efficiently. The races aren’t terribly difficult, but provide enough of a challenge to keep you from flying through it all in one go. I got stuck on a few races here and there and had to replay them ten to twenty times.

I played a few games in multiplayer. If you are getting the game for this, make sure you have friends that still play it. There aren’t too many people who still play the multiplayer, so finding a game can take a while. The Races, Hot Pursuits, and Interceptors are the same as in the Campaign. You can purchase the Most Wanted and Arms Race, but they are an additional $10 together. The game features an “Autolog”,  which keeps track of your racing progress, in game pictures you take, and friends’ activity in the game. You can challenge a friend’s time on a specific race or take on their challenge. If you want to 100% this game, but don’t want to spend more than the $20, don’t get this game. It requires you to buy add-ons, totaling to another $20, but they are all separate so you can buy them over time, if you choose to play them.

Criterion did a great job on minor details. While the damage might not be totally realistic, it’s still a factor in the game. Get totaled and the race is over, total someone else and watch them fly over a guard rail (they aren’t out of the race like you would be, but you get bounty for it). Their music selection is actually decent in the game, too. It’s not a bunch of horribly chosen rap music! They have some Deadmau5, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and other big artists thrown in. One thing I did find humorous is the one billboards I noticed at 200+ mph was T-Mobile. T-Mobile, proudly sponsoring reckless driving, just don’t text or drink and drive.

Overall, this game is a great racing game. Racing through beautiful scenery at high speeds with cops chasing you down is a great way to pass the time. After having it for over a week and to be only half way through it is also a plus.

If you are a fan of high speed racing games Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is definitely Worth It.

By Alex Kirn

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