If you are a racing fan, you were equally hyped to figure out that Electronics Arts had a surprise in store for us! The long-awaited Need for speed hot pursuit remastered was added to the Xbox store for us to enjoy, an old classic on our shiny new consoles! But does this 10-year-old gem of a game, which was the first entry I ever played on my phone, and the second Need for Speed game I ever played on a console, stack up to modern titles? I will tell you all about that right now!
What we liked!
- Autolog: I never thought I would be hyped to say this, but FINALLY. Our long and forgotten old friend: Autolog, is back to cause rivalry between friends! This good old system. Nostalgia aside, it’s still a fantastic mechanic! For each jump, race, score, … you achieve, the game checks what your friends’ score is! So you can be the best in every single objective! If you so choose to 😉. I am aware that you can see friends’ scores in other games, but Autolog is special. You have a dedicated system where you can consult the times set by friends and be updated along the way if you would be beaten.
- Cross-platform: What surprised me is that EA set aside the console war and just wanted everyone to have an excellent time. You can play against your friends from every single platform if your EA-ID is linked to your Xbox account! But if you choose, you can disable cross-platform, so team Playstation isn’t allowed in your quality times.
- New cars: By completing parts in the campaign, you are awarded new cars. Which is a nice mechanic, but if you get porches and Lamborghini’s early in the game, I felt unamused? A Porche is a symbol of endgame speed and elite, and if you just get new cars seemingly every few races, it takes away the joy of unlocking something. In Forza, you have to grind a heap load of races to get the credits to upgrade and buy a new car, making it fun to me, but this isn’t here. I was glad to find out that all the cars from previous DLC’s were in the game for free, though!
- Graphics: Compared to the original release of Hot Pursuit, the game looks stunning. I had to stop myself multiple times from just hard breaking with my car, just to look at the scenery and take screenshots with my car in it. Man, does this game look good compared to what it used to. But that is where it ends. It’s still a 10-year-old game with new graphics. Compared to recently released titles, it looks less visually attractive? The car design is still the same, and you can see that some elements are still old.
- Controls: Hot Pursuit still feels the same as it used to. And that is a double-edged sword. If you are looking for an arcade-style racer with fast-paced movements, then you will thoroughly enjoy this remaster! But if you are used to “Need for Speed: Heat, Forza Horizon 4, Inertial Drift, …” then you will find yourself wondering: “What the f*** is this?” Drifting feels way too overturned. You push the button to break, and your car almost grinds to a full stop. You need to lightly touch your controls to make the right sort of break. If I think back to the way the game used to feel on my phone, yes, it feels the same. But I can’t help but feel like it should feel better if I would play it on a console? Hard to describe, but let’s put it on: not my most favorite style of controls and feel for 2020.
What we disliked
- Empty: This one might be controversial, but I just can’t help but feel like the map/roads feel too empty. I had the same feeling with NFS Heat, but there you had the occasional cars driving around. But in Hot Pursuit, I found myself racing against cops without worrying about civil cars ruining my fun. I can see that this is an absolute blessing for the more significant part of the casual community. Since they don’t have to learn how the AI controls these cars, it just feels plain empty as a veteran to the genre.
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