Need for Speed : Hot Pursuit 2010 [Xbox 360]
June 6, 2011
Although only being introduced into the racing game market 20-years after the first one hit the arcades, it’s become one-of, if not THE, racing car game series. Need for Speed certainly has enough games under its belt, 17 in fact, so what does Hot Pursuit 2010 bring to the series?
The challenge has always been how to make car racing enjoyable, entertaining, and captivating to gamers who may not get their jollies off just being able to drive some of the greatest, exotic, and expensive cars in the world. My experience is that Hot Pursuit does just that. Eclectic is a word I’ve almost always used to describe awesome graphics, but in this case surreal is more appropriate. With racing games it’s about you, the car, the road, and the view; meaning more time spent looking around so it had better look good, and it does. Driving as fast as possible in a pristine Bugatti Veyron 16 cylinder 1000 horsepower beast while taking in the coastal view as the sun shines down on the recently wet road. Somehow Hot Pursuit has found a way for me to passionately describe the most boring of all the game-modes in Hot Pursuit, and in the second paragraph!
As the name suggests Hot Pursuit is not just about racing. Police are back and not only chasing you but also have shifted up into the realm of simultaneous storylines. Well as much as there is a storyline, honestly of all the things you could get enthralled in, the storyline isn’t worth being one of them. All you need to know is you can drive as either racer or rozzer seamlessly and through a variety of game types, from single time trials to full races with sirens blaring. As you race you earn the Hot Pursuit version of “eXPerience”, which helps unlock new cars, and more excitingly new toys for your racing experience.
With the re-introduction of police all the new gizmos and gadgets are out and about. Police enjoy spurting a flurry of Spike Strips, Road Blocks, Helicopters, and EMPs; each with limited uses per pursuit. However Racers aren’t left out of the mix, with their own EMPs, Jammers, Spike Strips, and most importantly; the Turbo.
The Turbo in Hot Pursuit cannot be likened to anything. It’s so incredible that after pushing the button to use it, it has to have it’s own moment of silence before it actually starts, it’s own “calm before the storm” when time seems to stand still for a moment. What happens next can only be described as sounding like what would happen if Chuck Norris raced Saturn V rockets through a creepy amusement park during a thunderstorm, in fast forward. And just when you think, “surely it’s about to cut out”, it decides to keep on going. As such make sure there’s enough road in front of you and the least amount of corners possible, also if you hit anything while attempting to launch yourself into orbit your car is pretty much totaled.
Which brings us to car damage, with the above listed toys able to do damage to your car in varying degrees. In fact there’s not a whole lot that you can do to prevent your car taking some form of damage. Too much damage and your car’s “health” becomes low, resulting in your game becoming very desaturated; a trend that has been seen in a number of recent titles. Different cars take damage differently, as well as perform differently of course, and choosing the right car can make or break a race. Sometimes it’s better to have the car that’s a tank than the fastest car as you’ll soon be finding the Police cars can be quite relentless.
Once you level as much as you can in Single Player there’s not a whole lot more you do apart from finishing races. However don’t forget the Multiplayer. Introduced is a new “Autolog” system, enabling you to compete against your friends, showcase achievements and bounty, and adds a whole new element to just you as one player racing around. For Xbox 360 players though you need Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription to be able to play.
On the whole Need For Speed : Hot Pursuit 2010 is a great racing game with an enjoyable soundtrack and a vast array of things to try out. Definitely check it out, and while racing on your own is satisfying in its own right, having a bunch of mates around makes it all the more entertaining.
Storyline – 1/5 (Was there a storyline?)
Gameplay – 4/5 (Excellent handling as per usual, simple controls, enjoyable as usual.)
Presentation – 4.5/5 (Beautiful racing landscapes, cars look great, well-fitted soundtrack and overall quite immersive.)