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Motorsport

05 Nov 2020

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered REVIEW - Criterion brings modern classic to current-gen

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An Arcade Classic

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Effective Multiplayer

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The Soundtrack we Need

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Changes from the Original

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What should've changed

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Verdict

It's fair to say that Need for Speed is a series that has needed an overhaul for some time now.

The return of Criterion as one of the lead developers for the franchise has real cause for optimism, though.

Criterion's first Need for Speed title was 2010's Hot Pursuit, which is arguably the last great NFS game, as it stands.

To plug the gap between Heat and the next title in the series, Hot Pursuit has been given the remaster treatment.

Is this a re-hash to keep the revenue coming in or a genuinely worthwhile purchase?

An Arcade Classic

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is ten years old this year and was originally released for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

Now on the PS4 and Xbox One, gamers today can enjoy one of the best arcade racers in recent times.

Need For Speed™ Hot Pursuit Remastered porsche
RETURN OF THE KING: Hot Pursuit is the best NFS of the last 10 years

This is a pure arcade racer, there's absolutely no story, just racing.

You compete in a variety of street racer and cop events throughout the game.

Why both? Who cares? Is the answer to that one.

The game takes place in Seacrest County, which is just as varied and beautiful as it was ten years ago.

There's every environment you could want, from snow mountains to searing hot deserts and lush forests.

The events vary from the usual races and time trials to previews (where you can drive extremely fast cars before you can access them normally) and Hot Pursuits, where the cops attempt to spoil your fun.

These events can get repetitive as you go further into the game, but they're always fun and are less than five minutes long.

This is perfect for the modern gamer and, if anything, is better now than it was ten years ago.

Speaking of fun, you've got an array of tools to hurt your opponents' cars in Hot Pursuit.

Depending on whether you're playing as a cop or racer, you can have spike strips, EMPs or roadblocks to give you the advantage.

Levelling up as either cop or racer unlocks new cars and new toys to play with. It's a simple but effective way to advance and it really feels rewarding.

Effective Multiplayer

Just as when Hot Pursuit was originally released, its multiplayer will be a huge hit.

Autolog allows you to directly compare with your friends in both online and offline events.

Need For Speed™ Hot Pursuit Remastered level up screen
LEVEL UP: Your fame or infamy go up with each race you win

If they beat your time on a race, you will be notified and can immediately jump in to top the table again.

Crossplay is also enabled for this title, so you can also compete with gamers on other systems.

The Soundtrack we Need

The Soundtrack from the original game has been included in the Remaster and it's just as good now as it was a decade earlier.

Songs by Pendulum, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Deadmau5 and many more push you over the finishing line.

Changes from the Original

There are two kinds of remastered games these days. The first is when the game is rebuilt from the ground up and is basically a totally new product.

The second is when the previous game is taken given updated textures and graphics.

Need For Speed™ Hot Pursuit Remastered cop pursuit
STAYING THE SAME: Thankfully, the game's core has remained intact

Unfortunately for Hot Pursuit, Criterion have chosen to go down the latter route.

A decade has passed since the new Hot Pursuit came out and, in that time, we've jumped up a generation of console.

The graphics don't look bad by any stretch, but when you compare them to those in Heat, it's a major step down.

It's also worth mentioning that when you're in a police car and going through a tunnel, the blue and red lights flashing lights are extremely piercing to your eyes.

Sound quality and the mechanics of the game hold up pretty well though. That really says something about how good the original was.

What should've changed

NFS and Customisation are two things that normally go hand-in-hand, but there's nothing to be seen here.

All you can change on your ride is the paint scheme, and even that's very basic.

Need For Speed™ Hot Pursuit Remastered porsche boxter spyder
BASIC: All that changes is the colour of your cars

We understand that the original NFS Hot Pursuit from 1997 didn't have any customisation options.

Even something simple to add more nitrous or beef the engine up would've been nice.

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The menus are also poor, there's a noticeable lag between you pressing a button and it registering on screen.

You can also cross the finish line at over 200 mph but magically slow down to about 50 for the post-race cutscene.

Verdict

If you've never played the Hot Pursuit from 2010 and love arcade racers, this is a no-brainer purchase.

This is the best NFS title on current-gen and at £35 on release, it's cheaper than a new game.

If you have played the 2010 version though and want to experience Hot Pursuit again, you may well dust off the PS3/ 360.

That being said, Hot Pursuit Remastered is still a lot of fun and a game that just oozes nostalgia.

Even its mechanics and graphics don't look bad for something a decade old.

RealSport101 Rating: 3.5 Stars (out of 5)

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered will be available on PS4 and Xbox One from Friday, 6 November.

The game will also be released on Switch on Friday, 13 November.

BUY NOW: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered from Amazon