12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Exhilarating fun, but sometimes frustrating...,
This review is from: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Need for Speed goes back to it's roots with this, the latest iteration of the long standing series.
The core premise is simple; wild online police chases over (visually varied and beautiful) open roads covering a set distance from A to B. The racers aim to reach the finish line as quickly as possible and ahead of their fellow racers, whilst the opposing team of cops are tasked with running the racers off the road before they reach the finish line. Each side has a limited number of weapons with which to help defend their lead or bring down competitors, including EMPs, spike strips and road blocks (for the cops), among others.
This core mechanic works well and often delivers genuine heart pounding tension whichever side you are on, as you try to deploy your limited weapons to protect your position, or seek to fool your pursuers by veering off down short cuts at the last possible moment - all usually at speeds of over 150mph.
Both cops and racers are given access to a dizzying array of performance cars and exotica, starting with just a few sports cars, but with more motors rapidly unlocked either through career, or online play. The cars themselves are based on real world models and look stunning throughout. Well, that is until an officer in a Dodge Charger rear ends you at 180mph leaving half of your Porsche's bumper hanging off...
Whilst online play excites and even the offline career mode is quite enjoyable - if repetitive - a few major flaws tarnish the experience. Worst offender is a dramatic camera which pans (a la Burnout) to watch the demise of an opponent whom you take out, only to snap back to your car and often deliver you into a wall, police road block or spike strip at high speed. Also many of the cars feel unresponsive to drive and you often find yourself scraping down the barriers on every other corner or smashing into traffic at high speed in spite of your best efforts. Finally whilst entertaining, there is precious little variety to be had from the three game modes.
All in all this a fun and enjoyable game, and despite the lack of variety, the core mechanic works well enough so as to not make this too much of a problem.
For online arcade race thrills it is well worth investing in. Just be prepared for the occasional frustration marring what is otherwise a thrilling ride.