The past few years have not been particularly good for the Need For Speed series. With the 2015 release of the same name, they backfired due to their overuse of FMV videos and the fact that the game only took place at night, and we must not forget that critics and their fans alike have backed their necks for abuse The studio’s have thrown micropayments in Payback. That said, Heat brought a notable improvement over previous titles last year, but it was still a long way from the glorious era of the saga we live in on PS2. After EA put its name in the UCI, EA made the decision to remaster Hot Pursuit, which now runs at 4K and 60 FPS, is cross-multiplayer, and includes all of the DLCs released after its original launch.
First of all, what I like about Hot Pursuit is that it allows us to jump straight to the action without going through a bad story in FMV that does nothing but try to give the title something it isn’t without the Forget the fact that was said narrative sequences are computer generated. It’s something that actually affects the rhythm of the game as there is a moment when you feel like you are going from race to race with nothing in between to entertain us, but honestly I prefer Badly done to have to swallow a story. Additionally, the Need For Speed saga is not as famous due to its interesting stories as it is more likely due to the lack of plots from Heat and Payback.
Hot Pursuit’s career mode features a series of tests in which we will face both the police and illegal racers. We enjoy a lot of freedom because we can run the tests in the order we want without having to swear by a specific page. Each faction has a progression system in which points are scored with the results and in completing those classic maneuvers that will leave you speechless. In addition, there are many cars to choose from, so at times you feel like you have the keys to a new Buga at the end of each test. Hot Pursuit does a spectacular job of making the player feel rewarded, and lets you keep picking one up to see what we get as loot later.
Without a doubt, the best time I had was playing the role of the police and knocking the ruthless enemy pilots off the streets as it certainly reminded me of one of my favorite sagas: that of burnout. In tests like Interceptor and Hot Pursuit, the main objective is to use brute force to throw the pilots out of the car with the help of the police arsenal, since we are armed to the teeth. Not only can you feed them, but you can also ask other officers to block the route, erect sharp barriers on the road, and launch electromagnetic pulses to stun the pilots. I also liked the Fast Acting tests as they are a little different from the classic time trials. In these cases, you need to get to the scene as soon as possible, but you need to be careful as you will receive time penalties if you collide with other cars, whether they are cops or not.
In the role of a road racer, the tests are already a little more than you’d expect from the typical Need For Speed, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun. Of course we have the typical races and time trials, but the game modes that got my attention the most were Hot Pursuit and First Contact. In the latter, you are at the control of a high-end car light years away from what you have in the garage, and your goal is to reach the finish line with milk. While you’re in Hot Pursuit, you have to get rid of the police because this time it’s the ones who want to put the shackles on you. Everything we discussed above that you could use as a police force is now going to work against you. So you need to focus on moving as quickly as possible while dodging the onslaught of law enforcement.
The “rubber band” (the leveling mechanic that lets enemies get to you faster or “cheats the machine”) is a big problem, and it’s a shame it wasn’t even remastered to fix it. During the tests, the AI sticks to your chassis like a flock of pigeons, asking you for more bread. Even though you’ve been leading all along, don’t screw it up at all … bang! You’ll be in 5th place in no time. It also happens the other way around: whenever you put yourself first by range, it doesn’t matter how many times you hit it against the barriers to take the sharp turns. It’s a bit disastrous and you can’t imagine how stressful the final stages of the races are knowing that your lead could be taken away at any moment.
Multiplayer is cross-play, so we shouldn’t have any problems finding matches as PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One players can now run side by side. To my great regret, I haven’t had a chance to test the multiplayer before the official launch, but I know that remastering brings with it two modes that have already been introduced by DLCs: Race with Arms and Most Wanted. The first is reminiscent of the chaotic races of Mario Kart, as players have different equipment like electromagnetic pulses and sharp barriers to use on the way to the podium, while players are divided into two teams and the “most wanted” in Most Wanted “Runners, with the help of their teammates, have to escape the other players who are acting as police officers. Both modes have all the characteristics that they will be great fun and the best part is that a lot more people can enjoy them now that they are not DLC meat.
At the time of comparing the remaster with the original, some improvements in the graphics area are evident. Yes, it might look a little dated when you put it alongside other current racing titles (it’s 10 years old, after all), but the shadows, textures, and reflections have seen a big leap in quality. In addition to the graphical improvements and the new multiplayer modes, the remastering brings other minor changes with it: More than 30 cars that were added to Hot Pursuit via DLC are now available from the start, a new Racer Garage has been added and the Die Menus have been modernized. It’s true that die-hard fans of the series will have a lot of fun remembering a bygone era, but when it comes to playing the game, the title basically feels like a GOTY edition with a coat of paint. Maybe something like this would have been a good idea a year after it was originally launched, but we’re in 2020 and the title will be released for $ 39.95.
Is Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit worth buying? It depends. If you’re looking for a title full of chaotic races that looks back at the golden age of the saga, I’d say yes, but I warn you that it’s little more than a somewhat glorified edition of the Game of the Year is that a end of the decade. If instead you are looking for something that resembles current racing video games, I would advise you not to buy it. The way you play with the keyboard and mouse is fantastic and there are major graphical improvements to lights, shadows and textures, but other than that, the “rubber band” is unbearable and I don’t think what comes in needs to be the edition have the price it has after so many years.