Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered Review
EA Games latest release Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered attempts to awaken a generation of arcade racing gamers and get them back into the over-the-top cops versus racers experience that is the Need for Speed franchise.
Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is, as the name suggests, a remaster of the original game released back in 2010. The initial game released received glowing reviews and was quite possibly the best Need for Speed game developed by Criterion Games before the franchise was handed over to Ghost Games.
The story for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is as old as time itself, it’s the classic Cops vs Street Racers with each team doing their best to make the others life a living hell. The best part of NFS Hot Pursuit is you get to pick which side you are on.
Pretty much unchanged from the original release, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered lets you chop and change between Street Racer and Cop events as you please. The game is set in the beautiful and familiar Seacrest County which is home to over 100 miles of winding racer friendly roads. The remastered version includes all DLC from the original release as well as 6 hours of additional gameplay in the form of 30 new events giving us a whopping 78 Racer events and 63 Cop events.
There are a plethora of cars to choose from that are unlocked to you as you complete events and level up. You can drift, crash and speed your way to a total of 71 Racer cars and 53 cop cars.
Equipment and weapons can be unlocked for both the Cops and Racer events with each receiving a total of 4 slots. Cops get; Helicopter support, Roadblock, EMPs, and Spike Strip, while Racers get a slightly different layout featuring a Jammer and Turbo to go with the EMP and Spike Strips.
Autolog is back and sees a welcome update to support cross platform online racing.
The racing is tight and the handling has that classic arcade feel where drifting every corner just feels right. Wide roads with plenty of run off means as you dial in your cornering skills you’ll get better and better at using the extra space to navigate around other road users and obstructions while you blast by.
Seacrest County is full of shortcuts, some so long that they can almost be considered alternative routes. Seriously, I’ve played open world racing games that have courses with fewer route options. It keeps each race fresh and makes you put a little thought into what car you want to attack each course with.
Life as A Racer
As a Racer you work to increase your bounty, the higher your bounty the greater your wanted level and the bigger your rewards. You enter the game as a lowly level 1 Speeder and race your way all the way up to level 20 Most Wanted.
The Boys in Blue
It’s not just the Street racers that have all the fun, being a Cop in Hot Pursuit certainly has its moments. Like the racers, you too work to improve your bounty only this time it goes towards your Seacrest County Police Department rank.
When you first join the force you pretty much-waxing bonnets and directing traffic. Kidding, of course, you are flung into the line of duty as a level 1 Cadet armed with a trusty Crown Vic you bust your way to a level 20 to be the Ultimate Enforcer.
When The Original Hot Pursuit came out in 2010 it was already a pretty good looking game for its time, the remastered version doesn’t go about reinventing the wheel but rather improves on a few small but noticeable aspects.
The first thing I noticed as part of the remastering was the improved draw distance, reflections, and shadows. On top of this, the improved textures and increased particles really help to breathe new life into the 10-year-old title. Combine this with new achievements, car colours, and paint types, also help to keep the game feeling fresh.
Don’t be mistaken; this is not a complete rebuild. The game still has a bit of a classic feel to it, and while the backdrops are pretty and all, they still lack the depth and detail you would find in a modern triple-A title.
It’s gotta be said that the gameplay really holds up here, while there are certainly other arcade racers out there these days that are bigger (and better), NFS Hot Pursuit still manages to feel exciting and engaging.
I found myself doing excited little fist pumps, almost subconsciously, as I successfully wrecked an entire race event as a cop. Even the time trial events had me going back for repeated attempts desperately trying to shave off a few seconds to grab that elusive gold medal.
The game is certainly not perfect — There are some mind-blowingly obvious rubberbanding issues that take place both as a racer and cop, making the AI feel like it’s cheating at times. I also noticed, as you’ll see in the Cop gameplay above, the way opponents respawn after wrecking can be a little jarring at times. With that said, it’s these little quirks that help keep the racing feel that much more hectic and alive.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered Review
- GAMEPLAY - 92%92%
- GRAPHICS - 80%80%
- AUDIO - 85%85%
Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is a delightful look back to what I would consider the glory days of the franchise. It’s fast-paced, action-packed arcade racing at its finest and it left me hungry for a new installment to the NFS series.
The handling, environment, and RNG all work together and manage to hit that sweet spot of easy to play but difficult to master.
Need For Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered now on PS4, Xbox, and PC and November 13th on the Switch.
For more Need for Speed, check out our previous coverage.