“Shepherd” Daniel Sorensen

EA decided to bring back Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, a game I loved playing on my Xbox 360 back in 2010. I eagerly jumped back into the luxurious supercars to give them another spin and burn some rubber. So what’s exactly new with this remaster? Short answer, not much really. It is more or less the same game I played back in 2010, only add higher resolutions, frame rates and graphics that are on par with racing games released last generation (still feels weird to say that).

Worth to mention that all DLC cars are included in the remaster, so there’s no lack of options. If you want to go full ‘Merica, grab the keys to a Dodge or a Ford. Want to roll in a Bentley? Sure, have at it. Or maybe you’re up for some Italian luxury, then you can’t go wrong with a Lamborghini. Different strokes for different folks…

As far as I can tell they haven’t really changed anything when it comes to gameplay. Not that they really needed to either, the handling is tight and spot on, and it just got slightly better due to the increased frame rate and reduced input lag. It feels great and is easy to learn and master. The original 2010 version was created by Criterion– most known for their smash hits Burnout series and everything they did right was kept in this remaster. It’s a racing game known for its arcade-style gameplay where realism is thrown out the window and replaced with over-the-top boosting, easily achieved drifting and a tug of war battle between the cops and racers.

As a racer you’re equipped with a set of different tools to evade the cops who will do anything to ruin your joyride. Spike strips, EMP charges, Jammers and Turbos. Only thing missing is the blue shell really. Your arsenal of gadgets are upgradable as well and comes in different levels, giving you more efficient boosts, wider spike strips and so on.

No Forza release this year. Let’s go!!!

Play as a cop and you have similar resources at hand and then some. You can call in assistance from your buddies in blue to set up roadblocks and have a police chopper drop down spike strips strategically placed to put an end to the racers fun. NFS: Hot Pursuit got a career mode, but it’s as stripped down as it was back in 2010. There’s no cheesy wannabe Fast’n’Furious story here as seen in the latest NFS:Heat.

There’s just a large map with a lot of different events to attend. Pick a cop or racer event, go for gold. Level up, get more cars and upgrades. Rinse and repeat. It really never gets boring to me as there’s variation in the scenery, anything from foggy dense woodlands to sunny Arizona-like desert tracks. And there’s plenty of shortcuts to find, they’re key to getting to the finish line first and/or to avoid crashing into the pesky roadblocks on the main roads.

Haptic Feedbaaa..

While I don’t mind this formula as a casual racing gamer, if you want heavy customization options for your cars etc then you’re better off playing Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo. This is for people who wants to pick up a controller and get in a race as soon as possible. With that said, I do think it was a missed opportunity not to add some customization to this game. Other than changing color of your car, there’s nothing. They could have slapped on some decals at least. But I guess they’re saving that for the inevitable Need for Speed Underground remaster, another fan favorite in the series.

NFS: Hot Pursuit relies heavily on its multiplayer. It’s designed around Autolog, the social network within the game that tracks your progress and makes sure your buddy knows you beat his weak track time the next time he logs on. This was one of the main draws back in 2010 for me, logging on with the fear of seeing “DrugsBunny beat your best time” on my screen. Always bickering back and forth, shaving of a millisecond here and there from our personal best times on our favorite tracks.. or just playing online together, playing scummy with all our weapons at our disposal while talking trash. I was hoping to relive those glorious moments again, especially now that crossplay is integrated into the game. But this is where EA really scratched up the paint-job: There is no voice chat if you play with people on other platforms! Oh my, how did they manage to screw that up with crossplay?

The social aspect is the key strength to Hot Pursuit and we’re here in 2020 without the ability to laugh together. I had to use Messenger for voice chat on my phone to play with my buddy on Playstation. I couldn’t believe this was real, after all I saw VOIP in the options menus. Sadly, EA confirmed that “it is working as intended”. So if you want to play with your friends on other platforms you have to apply MacGuyver solutions for chat. Just a heads up.

To sum it up, at its best NFS: Hot Pursuit is quality arcade type fun but not without flaws as the content feels a bit light to what we’re used to the last generation. The reworked graphics looks good, but not great. And half-assing the crossplay isn’t really good enough in 2020 and was a major disappointment. On the bright side, there is no loot boxes or season passes. Multiplayer is probably the main reason to play this game, this is where I’ve spent most of my time back in the days. I feel the $40 price tag is just a bit too much though. At $30 or lower, the money spent versus the product you get aligns up perfectly. After all, it’s just a remaster and not a remake. 3.75/5 Bibles.

-Daniel Sorenson

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