Criterion Games has managed to take what longtime-Need for Speed developers Black Box has been unable to do since Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2, despite occasional issues of its own: bring a level of intensity and nostalgia through fast paced races along with a few chaotic crashes to create an uplifting title that provides a fresher tire-burn on the roads of Seacrest County. Twin career modes allows for an intimate campaign between the good side, and the rebellious troublemakers that like to ride on the wild end of the cliff roads. The choice is up to the players. A profundity of events, weapons, and moreover exclusive vehicles within each campaign makes Need for Speed Hot Pursuit a fantastic reboot to the Hot Pursuit line of the NFS series. Fantastically going beyond the traditional method of segmented gameplay, Criterion Games allows for an unmatched progression where players may find their conscience convincing them otherwise during the gameplay, allowing players to dynamically become any career at any point without going to both extremes. Be a complete lawbreaker or a cop that likes to be bad.
Traditional renegade racers can engage in races, time trials, duels, and anything else that revolves experiencing newer cars and weaponry. Police missions are similar to those found in NFS World, where the players cannot be police, but all the police can respond to is high-intensity conspicuous chases in a County with too many high-octane cars. Both campaigns highlight the Hot Pursuit mode, where players can gain access to offensive weapons and further defensive equipment to use against the lawless racers or law enforcers. Both cops and racers can deploy spike strips or EMPs, which seems rather odd for a renegade racer but makes sense for the daring. Specialist abilities are part of any players arsenal as the missions progress and the enemy scales to be increasingly more difficult. Turbo boost, radar jammers, and area scans are a few examples of the tools available to a rebel. For a new take on the extreme, something which Need for Speed has never done, is the ability for cops to call in support helicopters. This adds an incredible dynamic of high speed chases, because no race is ever really complete without a helicopter giving an oversight. Road blocks are also back and are utilized in an automated manner, where no specific street is indicated, which is slightly disappointing for those enthusiasts that wanted the complete feel of feeling like a cop and trying to out-think and corner the enemy.
Evolution is constant in need for speed hot pursuit: the level of progression pushes players to new heights and newer challenges with more aggressive and acerbic drivers on the road. Ranking up unlocks the newer events and vehicles and even upgrades to weapons and equipment types. As the career progresses, cops can become increasingly aggressive with EMPs and spike strips, while trying to tag team or flank the opponent and even disable his car by crashing it. There is no mercy with the opposition on either side as the ranking system places a player standing higher. As a cop, racers become equally aggressive and moreover unpredictable in their actions, hitting brakes suddenly or changing directions (U-turns, 180s, etc.) The realistic mindset of drivers on both sides seems like a concept Criterion Games realizes in Need for Speed Hot Pursuit.
Singleplayer intensity is largely based on an intelligent A.I. which does not recognize rubberbands and responds actively and realistically to the context. Just one flaw essentially exists in the core of the gameplay, where cops scale differently depending on their difficulty for part of the player’s level. If a cop is truly a cop, then this should have no real standing on how fast his own cop car moves, but there is a given aspect where low-level with low priority persons is responded to by low-level and low priority cops with equally enticing vehicles or weaponry. Seacrest County has a division of class that seems ostensible from the way the cars and even difficulty of the cops or the racers both progress. Traffic itself is well done, with some cars carrying on their way, while some panic and end up crashing themselves than being hurled into a wall from a collision. Light effects like these, where the A.I. has subtle moments, are what create a spectacular title.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit also follows up with a solid and fun multiplayer. Autolog allows players revisiting Seacrest intermittently. A simply trigger touch system launches players into an event which ranges from one-on-one interceptor mission chases online or even up to 8 player mayhem in normal competitive mode where Burnout Paradise finds itself in Need For Speed and infuses its own policy of fun into the multiplayer madness. While the modes are not particularly original, they still provide a level of fun to be had this is adequate to the intense racing cause.
While Need for Speed Hot Pursuit has a lot of terrific elements, it sadly comes with a few shares of bad ones. Aside from those already adumbrated, the camera is a big issue in the title from time to time. Like Burnout Paradise, when players see the replay destruction of a disabled car they took out during a chase, the title cuts back to the action in the full speed and lends to an unnecessary crash of the vehicle into other cars or into a brick wall. This is a bit of an annoying factor, but the most frustrating factor comes in the form that some hits just do not register properly. It may not happen often, but it does happen and when it does it can make a driver spin out of control with frustration.
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is an accomplishment by Criterion Games, a developer that has had a long-invested relationship with racing games themselves. Criterion Games has revalued the Hot Pursuit series in the spiritual successor to Burnout Paradise, introducing exciting single-player elements that have always been left unexplored. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit has its set of issues with progression realism, a standard multiplayer offering, and an annoying camera. The changes within Need for Speed, however, create a dynamic that helps to overlook any negatives that come with the racing turbulence. Despite prior experiences, coming into a long-established and unknown franchise, especially the Hot Pursuit line of Need for Speed titles, and creating something new and imaginative is never an easy feat to accomplish. Criterion Games has managed to do this and provide players a fun experience into the core driving world in the void between good and bad, the law and lawless.