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on 24 November 2013
I imagine that a lot of people looking at this game are Burnout/ Criterion fans. I know I am and unfortunately this isn't anywhere near Criterion standards.

Let's start off positive. It's always fun to shunt other people off the road, so that's nice. The idea of losing all your points if you get busted by the cops also adds a lot of tension to find the nearest Hideout and bank your points. Kinect commands are surprisingly good and saying "GPS Hideout" or "GPS Repair Shop" saves a lot of hassle fiddling around with the D-pad. The graphics are great on the Xbox One and now I've run out of kind things to say.

On crashes, the only deformation to your car is that your engine bonnet will pop up and you'll have a few scratches and dings. Burnout Revenge on the original Xbox was better than this. Also, the physics are comical. It's not uncommon to see your car flying stupidly high after a crash. The lack of weight (and destruction) makes it seem like you're racing with a kid's toy car. On top of this, crash resets are frustratingly unpredictable. Several times I've been reset exactly where my car was after the crash, so I'll be facing a wall and get immediately T-Boned by a cop before I can react to the respawn.

Moving on, the AI is ruddy awful. If you're behind someone, they'll drive so slowly that it makes grass growing seem fast. It almost doesn't matter how badly you mess up, you can always blast past them back into 1st place. However, once you pass an AI racer, you better not blink because then they start driving like they've got infinite turbo. It almost doesn't matter how well you're doing, the AI will often happily breeze by you in the last 5 or 6 seconds of a race. That's not challenge, that's just cheap. You also start from a standstill while everyone else gets a rolling start. That's fair right?

"Pursuit Tech" is unnecessarily convoluted. You have to buy your tech for each car, so get used to unlocking a new car, starting an event then screaming in frustration about how you've forgotten to re-buy your stuff. Why do they not carry over?!

The soundtrack is very narrow, almost entirely urban, rap and remixed tracks. That's fine if you're into that, but if you like to race to indie/ rock, you've been forgotten. The intense orchestral music of Hot Pursuit's chases has been replaced with what can only be described as some slightly rhythmic noise that adds nothing to the tension.

Finally, the game starts off slow, and I mean really really slow. After playing for 4 or 5 hours, you're still restricted to about a third of the map for events. Needless to say, you'll be racing up and down the same stretches of road over and over again before you get any sort of freedom.

I could rant a bit more but this is getting way too long. In summary, it had potential, but the execution from Ghost Games is poor.
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on 15 July 2014
I bought this Need for Speed title excited to play racing on the next generation console. The racing gameplay is very fast and furious and easy to get a hang of but it falls flat on its face on many levels
My first pet hate is the fact that you can't pause the game at all! This is due to the fact that you are always online in a world with other players from around the world. But the general need to e.g. answer the phone or any other activities is greater and being able to pause a game is a must. If you need to answer a call then you are pretty much expected to crash your vehicle or abandon any race event.
The biggest hate of this game is... BUGS BUGS BUGS!!! Once again EA has produced a game riddled with bugs and they have not resolved any of them!
Things from lags in the game play, A random camera change, Poor spawning positions, Police cars spawning out of nowhere? The list goes on.
It is such a shame because this game had a lot of potential, The Need For Speed team need to think carefully about there next steps as the last few games they have produced have been way off the mark.

The game also lacks a storyline, This one just highlights how racers and police have a rivalry but there is no drive behind the story to make you want to play more and more, The cut scenes are pointless and the last race doesn't make sense..

Not a fan of this game, Has a lot of potential with the gameplay being quite fast and fun but the problems with the game overpower the fact that it is fun, This drives me to think so negatively of it! I'm giving it 2 out of 5 which is very lenient!

Sorry for my bad english!!
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on 7 August 2015
In terms of gameplay, NFS Rivals is pretty much exactly the same as the 2010 version of Hot Pursuit. This is in no way a bad thing, as the cars handle nicely (for an arcade racer), the missions are entertaining and copious, and the graphics are gorgeous. The variety of environments contained within the map is also a nice touch from developers.

But unfortunately, this game has several game-breaking glitches that have completely ruined my enjoyment of this game. One of the more minor faults is the fact that at random points throughout the game the camera will suddenly spin around and face the opposite direction, inevitably causing you to crash into a wall or a police blockade you couldn't see coming. Regaining control of the camera is fairly random as well. The fact that your cash resets when you get caught by the police or crash out when you play as a criminal isn't a glitch so much as just incredibly harsh.

But the worst fault this game has its saving system, which is completely broken. I had just reached level 15 as a Racer after several hours of enjoyable gameplay. The game has an autosave feature that will kick in every time you drive to a safehouse/police center. I then left the game to play something else, and when I returned to play it in the evening my progress had been reset to level 1. Hours of gameplay lost. I've checked EA forums and these Amazon reviews and I've found that this is a common complaint from the game. Not only this, but after playing Battlefield 4's campaign (also an EA game), I found the game deleted my saves 3 times.

I understand that not everyone seems to have these problems, but I urge you to think carefully about buying any EA games from 2013, because both NFS Rivals and Battlefield 4 both had saving issues which will ruin the experience for you if you play them. I recommend Hot Pursuit & Battlefield 3, because at least they're reliable.
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on 21 January 2018
I wasn't sure about getting this game after reading some bad reviews, but glad I did. Even though its a bit old now, its great fun to play. If anyone remembers NFS Hot Pursuit, you'll like this. Theres still plenty online playing & that's a good sign.
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on 8 January 2014
My son got this for Xmas and was extremely disappointed that this does not work with his steering wheel. I find it incredible that any driving game these days, even one that originated as a console game, only works with a basic controller rather than provides a ' real' experience of using wheel. I know the gaming geeks will not agree with me, but amongst my peers and other parents we are all in agreement on this one and as a result EA will not be selling this to them.

Shame really, this is probably a very good game if it were made enjoyable for more people. And I will be discouraging my kids from other EA games in future because it seems, as evident in various forums, that they don't care about customers.
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on 13 February 2018
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on 22 May 2014
As other reviews have made clear, this game is buggy. Some of the bugs in this game are game-breaking bad (although the worst can be worked around; see below). The really annoying thing is that they should have been REALLY easy to fix. It's been 6 months since release, and the bugs in this game were highlighted by the major gaming websites before the game even hit the shelves, so I think it's safe to say we can forget about ever getting a fix for this game (shame on you EA!).

Take the "swinging camera" bug (by far the most common/frequent - although others exist); it is just incredibly infuriating and always seems to hit you at the wrong time. I.E., you'll have collected a ton of money, you are being chased and need to desperately avoid crashing as your car is nearly wrecked. To collect your bounty you need to get back to your base or to a garage to repair. As you get close to the building the camera does a full 360 around your car, with a pause to take in the view behind (!) - this is far from the first time this has happened to you, so you slow down, hope the pursuing cars don't ram into the back of you, then BANG .. you hit a wall (which you didn't see as the camera is pointing the other way!). Totalled. Credits gone, heat lost, multiplier reset, car wrecked. Great job EA!

This is such a stupid bug, and could be fixed overnight in a patch! It is caused by the Kinect unit somehow hearing "Look around" (even when nobody is saying anything!). To fix this you can go to settings, Kinect and temporarily turn off your Kinect unit and the camera will not move, but you simply shouldn't need to do this! They could (should!) rewrite the in-game voice recognition code so it functions correctly, they could put in a keyword which you say before the commands, change the voice command itself or just remove it altogether (using the left stick to look around works just fine on every other game!), or, of course, they could just simply add an option to turn Kinect off in the game menu (or disable/change certain voice commands)!

Using your voice/Kinect to help guide you to things was a good idea, but it simply doesn't work. The only way to make this game playable on the XB1 is to turn Kinect off (by turning it off using the console settings, a pain as you'll inevitably forget it is off and start shouting at it when you load up a different game!).

The "Easydrive" menu (an alternative to using voice commands) is exactly the same as the 2012 NFS:Most Wanted, it works fine (for those who didn't play Most Wanted; you navigate using the D pad, select which race/destination/building/etc you want, press D pad right again and a sat-nav style line will appear on your map), It would be better if the nearest base was the first (and only) option at the top of the menu, that way you could select it by hitting right on the D-pad twice instead of having to negotiate a menu when driving (you can't pause the game while driving). Of course, you are supposed to be able to just say you want to go to a base, and the map will respond, but given you have to turn Kinect off to make the game half-playable you can't do that!

There is an app for tablets which works well. The map scrolls like a GPS unit zoomed out, and you can click on anything you like to set it as a destination (or even warp there, if not already racing/chasing/being chased).

The problem with the app and Easydrive is that both require you to briefly glance away from the road; fine if you're cruising around (hardly ever! The game makes it very easy to jump straight into the action from your base), but when you're flying around twisty, windy, hilly roads with sharp turns, jumps and traffic, as well as rival racers AND police both trying to smash you off the road, you just just can't take your eyes off the road to navigate menus/an app.

Easydrive and the app both work fine, in theory. In practice if you try using it when you really need to use it (i.e. when you have a lot of heat, and are driving really fast), you'll end up travelling through the air at 200mph; sideways!

As for the game itself, this is no simulator, you're not going to find realistic physics/handling, simulated tyre wear or even automatic gears (you want to be looking at the excellent Forza for that type of game!). This is strictly arcade racing, and it can do it well at times.

There is a half-decent game under all the mess. It can really get your adrenaline racing when you've amassed a huge amount of credits (which you will lose if caught), have a big heat rating (which multiplies the credits you have, but brings more and more police with each level), and you are being pursued by a convoy of police cars with tech designed to bring you down. Unfortunately, the police missions (which make up the other half of the game) just can't compete with the excitement of being a pursued racer, although as a bonus you do access to all of the cars and all of the tech without having to collect/buy/upgrade them.

One final note, this game is more in tune with Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted, which makes sense given both are by Criterion, than the latest NFS games, Shift 2 and The Run(s - as it should have been called!). If you compare the two open-world racers (Rivals and MW:2012), you can't but help but to feel a little short changed. This game has fewer cars (although there is a bunch available as paid-for DLC, sold individually! But then Most Wanted had far more DLC, sold in large packs and they came with new areas to explore, races, etc), the world seems much smaller (I think this may be due to the long, sweeping, country roads compared to the the tightly packed (and varied) city streets of Most Wanted. Plus there seems to be a lot of undrivable space in-between the main routes in this game), and there just seems to be a lot less game for your money.

Most Wanted was a really busy environment, every street (and even off-road space!) had multiple races, cars to collect, advertising boards to smash up, interesting things that just existed for you to drive on (like the "figure of 8" monument, or the under construction airport, etc). Rivals lacks all of that. There are races littered around (but after a while you'll nearly always jump to them straight from the base rather than bother driving to them), and you'll find the occasional jump to find some airtime, but the lack of "world content" changes the game significantly, there's simply no reason to just go out and drive!

Sure, the varied environments are nice (if slightly unrealistic), but when you've seen them a couple of times; meh! Unlike Most Wanted (or to use another example; Forza Horizon, amongst others), this isn't a game where you will simply take a Lamborghini out for a spin and just drive around aimlessly to see what you can find, to interact with the world, to find things and do things.

It has open world pretensions, but the game doesn't give you any good reason to just go out and drive; you get a list of missions, you jump straight to the start point, race/escape and return to base. Rinse. Repeat.

It seems a shame to take a step back, especially when the technology has taken a step forward.
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on 10 September 2016
This review is based on the EA Access vault!

Let's get straight to the point - it's rubbish! I'm a need for speed fan and liked all the games in the franchise but this game, really?

You are given 2 options - play as cops or a racer. In the sense of gameplay, there is a lot of to do, many racers on both sides and other bits to do! However, the game play is horrible! Driving any car is like driving a assisted mobility scooter! When driving any car, I felt there was assists trying to help steer, brake and avoid objects but the fact was, the controls and handling of cars are just crap!

I've tried to play this game and try to get on with it but sorry EA, worst car game and would recommend not to buy it and to buy the new need for speed instead.
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on 30 June 2017
Bought for my 7 year old nephew. He loves being a Cop and taking down the racers surprisingly!
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on 6 March 2014
5 stars because, although there are some problems they don't deserve to be struck down for it.

I'm on Xbox One, so don't know about everyone else but the graphics are outstanding, really good job. Single player is really good, I found the main story for cops to be a bit short but there is an endless amount of side missions.

The destruction in the game is somewhat good. Not bad but no way near the standard Battlefield has set. The online is not awful, everyone seems to be a racer and it is not so good if you want to be a cop. That being said, playing with friends if you are all going against one racer, can be very enjoyable.

When loading the game up and connecting to a server it can be a little painful to wait, but when you are in there never seems to be any lag and i have only disconnected twice in my entire time playing it.

Ghost have done a good job but I'm upset that they got published by EA. EA are slowly ruining every single game by rushing them out and forcing the developers to use EA servers.

Recent issue: new micro transactions that allow you to buy cars with real money, i see that as cheating and pathetic on EA's part for being money grabbing wh**es.

Overall, brilliant game and a lot of fun.
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