Wot I Think: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

Well heellllllooooooooooo there.

Criterion’s approach to the Need For Speed franchise, an all new Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, is out in the UK today. I’ve spent an awful lot of this week racing about its many challenges, and have clocked up enough miles to feel ready to tell you Wot I Think.

One of the toughest things about assessing Hot Pursuit is trying to avoid comparing it to Burnout: Paradise. It’s not a Burnout game. It’s not a Burnout game. It’s not a Burnout game. I’ve been repeating this to myself as I’ve played, trying to remind me that this is an excellent entry in the Need For Speed series, and not a slightly disappointing sequel to Criterion’s previous epic racer.

There’s a reason the comparison is unavoidable. Criterion’s take on the long-running, boy-pleasing, cruiser-encouraging, chart-topping-despite-no-one-respecting-them series is to take its best elements – incredibly fast penis-extending cars – and drop it into much of the the Paradise framework, and indeed, engine. So here you have a vast, exceptionally detailed mass of land, covered with hundreds of racing events, dotted with alternate-route short-cuts, and then embellished with a cops and robbers theme.

So when the game doesn’t do so much of what makes Paradise one of the most incessantly fun games ever to have existed, it’s not a failure of Hot Pursuit. It’s a failure of irrelevant expectation. The problem is, as solid as the racing here absolutely is, and as exceptionally packed with content as the game is, there’s still a feeling that it could have been slightly more.

Despite this, the sheer volume of content is overwhelming. This is really two games in one, both playable simultaneously. You’ve got the criminal game, where you play a boy-racer, outrunning the cops, racing against others, or trying to get best times on courses. Here you work your way up the ranks in your Wanted level, gathering an extraordinary number of cars in a ludicrous number of categories, and gaining an ever-increasing number of skills to use in particular races. On the cop side you’re either attempting to deliver incredibly expensive cars undamaged in a limited time, or more interestingly, preventing racers from completing their course by running them off the road. Again, you gain an increasing number of tools with which to do this, and yet more incredibly powerful cars with which to do it.

And then you can do all of the same online, chasing down other players, or attempting to escape their clutches. The AI cars are of a very high standard, so impressively the online game isn’t necessary to properly enjoy the experience. But of course nothing compares to real-life people for realism.

Realism isn’t a big factor in the racing, thank goodness. This is about having fun. And there’s a great deal to be had. Cars grip to the road as if they’re magnetised, letting you take corners at 200mph. Utilising the game’s awesome drift you tap the brakes then spin out your back wheels to absolute perfection. It even aids you with this when just steering, but this takes nothing away from a sense of being in control. Instead it just gives you a sense of being amazing. Racing along a rain-slicked mountain road at sunset at 217mph is really quite a splendid way to spend your time.

Let’s have a look at those racing modes. The balance is interesting. The cops have fewer ways to play – really it’s only the boring, frustrating requirement to drive your car undamaged to a finishing line, or the absolutely brilliant ramming cars off the road. For the crims there’s more modes, but a lot less variety. Either you’re racing cars to get to the finish line first, or trying to beat a set time. Sometimes, in either mode, you’re being pursued by the cops, which of course dramatically changes how you play.

All of this, with the exception of the tiresome protect-the-car cop missions (which seems to defeat every enjoyable purpose of the game – going at extraordinary speeds, bouncing off the walls), is enormously dramatic. The rubber-banding, while occasionally a tad egregious, ensures every race is a nail-biter. However, it does go a little bit too far, occasionally. When you’re in a race where criminals and cops are equipped with spike strips, EMP devices (that seem to do almost nothing), turbo-boosts, road blocks, helicopter attacks, and electronic blocking devices, it really does go a bit Mario Kart. A lead can become meaningless, and winning and losing more often depends upon the opponents screwing up rather than your driving skills. But these are the exceptions.

It rarely feels repetitive. The variety in race types, and even more-so, the two separate halves to the game, means when you’re fed up on one style you can quickly leap onto another.

Well, no. Quickly is a lie. A big lie. You can painfully slowly leap onto another. As if there’s some sort of cosmic exchange that must be taken in order to have the cars pelt at the crazy speeds on offer (often far over 200mph, and feeling like it), the rest of the game moves agonisingly slowly. For no understandable reason every single screen that appears fades in and out like an elderly man on a walker with his legs tied to a dead crocodile. Finish a race and you’re punished with watching an absolutely pointless screen tell you almost no information, before the more helpful information of how much Bounty (the game’s XP) you picked up in the race, and what extras you’ve unlocked with it. However, unlock something (and you usually do) and you’re forced to watch more painstakingly slowly presented screens of the name and logo of a new car, followed by a montage of shots of it, followed by information about it, and then finally, finally, the option to tell it to bloody well go away and let you pick a new race.

Just to restart a race takes almost 30 seconds, mostly because of the game’s most infuriating feature: the running starts. It’s a nice idea – unless you’re in a multi-car race you don’t start an event from standing. But in order to justify your moving it presents you a little video of the camera swooping down the road, showing the pursuit or action, and then depositing you just behind the car you’re controlling. There’s a button to skip this, but unbelievably it doesn’t. It may be a bit shorter, but you’re still forced to watch the same boring rubbish each time you begin the event, when all you want to do is bloody well start driving. Oh heavens, it’s agony. Everything, every damned bit from the opening splash screens to the unbelievably pointless videos explaining the rank III EMP device, cannot be skipped over. I JUST WANT TO RACE!

It’s strange that so very many of the mistakes made by Paradise are repeated here. The most frequent complaint about that game was not being able to skip the slo-mo depictions of your crashing, which are rarely any fun to watch. The same happens here, and once again you can’t skip them. And the menus are, while not as stupendously bad as Paradise’s, still a confusing muddle. While there’s nothing as obnoxious as DJ Atomica, the voiceovers explaining things to you are slow and frustrating, and like so much else, unskippable.

Another frustration of its constant cutaways are the disruption to your racing. It’s one thing if you crash, but it’s quite another when you’ve driven past a police car, and the camera is yanked away to show it to you for absolutely no discernable reason, then dropping you back in control farther down the road. It mostly drives very well for you in these times, but on a few occasions I found myself overtaken by other cars, or worse, facing a wall and crashing. Just don’t ever, ever do that! Let ME drive, for crying out loud.

But I think where I find Hot Pursuit most disappointing is in my own misaligned expectations. Loving Paradise as much as I do, I was so hoping for the vast lands you drive around to be interesting to explore. And smash. But while this expanse is utterly incredible, huge and so very varied, and absolutely gorgeous, there’s really no reason at all to use the freedrive. Surely, surely it would have made sense to let players drive around in a populated multiplayer map, as with NFS: World or Test Drive Unlimited, and let there be cops vs. robbers chases on the fly? It just seems so obviously the primary way anyone would want to use this, and it’s absent.

A far more fair comparison would be the very recent Need For Speed: World. A mediocre game – its distinguishing feature being that it’s free – it follows essentially the same model. Except World was bereft of much to do. After the disappointment it offered, Hot Pursuit is a breath of fresh air, improving on World’s already superb handling, and remembering to put in a game to use it with. But I still can’t help but wish it could have picked up on World’s freedriving world.

But but but John, if wishes were horses then there’d be far too many horses getting in everyone’s way. It’s a valid lament in a very decent game. The variety of cars, and their wank-fest expense and speed, is remarkable, the courses designed with Criterion’s exceptional skill. It constantly opens up and offers more to do, incessantly upping its ante. It’s slick and lets you feel very brilliant when you finally manage to scrape through to a Gold standard time.

Online is a little more complicated for us PC types. The Xbox version populates your friend lists with your XBL buddies, and then lets you compare scores. Not using Steam or anything similar, here you have to find friends for yourself. You can choose to use random match-ups, but the bias is firmly for racing against those you already know, without a slick way of finding them. Find them, however, and you can then start to compete against their best times for the courses too, and post your results on your game Wall. It’s a good idea for increasing the motivation to replay.

Also, it’s hard to put any trust in Criterion that PC players will enjoy post-release support, after the hideous treatment from Burnout: Paradise. Load that game and it still lies “Coming Soon” about updates the PC version will never see, although the in-game adverts are all up to date. So who knows whether they’ll bother to include the PC this time.

However, as it is there’s already a stunning amount to do, in a racing game that makes Paradise seem slow. Sure, I’m gutted about not having a new island of yellow gates to drive through, but that’s the job of Paradise 2, not Need For Speed 11. It’s imperfect, but for PC arcade racing it offers a great deal of pleasure. There’s a fair bit that’s disappointing, but an awful lot more that makes it worth the waits.


  1. Skurmedel says:

    Is the handling anything like the one in Paradise?

    • DevilSShadoW says:

      The game’s a piece of shit. The handling is non-existent, having you rely on ridge racer mechanics. All cars feel like shit. The game look like shit. It tries to stuff social networking down your throat like some whore trying to ease up to a gentleman with hefty pockets. I would never in my life recommend this game to a fellow NFS fan or indeed any driving game fan in the world. No, this is not BP, far from it. It’s some piece of junk that criterion made while waiting for their jumbo pizza to arrive and anyone that buys this and calls it good is a fool.

    • dog says:

      no, please, tell us what you really think?

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’m gonna ignore that guys rant. I want to know if it’s like Burnout too. I loved the original Hot Pursuit on PC. In fact it’s my favourite racing game. Does this play anything like it? I saw in a trailer that it seems to have power ups and the like so I’m already a bit put off by that, and I can’t stand the Burnout games personally.

    • Perjoss says:

      here’s my half arsed micro review.
      graphics are quite nice, nothing out of this world, environment is nice, for some reason there is NO option for fsaa. Raods are extremely boring, there is pretty much no need to slow down ever, The handling of cars is a bit silly, the closest thing I can compare it to is Outrun2006 or maybe a Ridge Racer game (ie you can take a hairpin at full speed by drifting). When you play as a racer you get spike strips and EMP which imo is just silly. Overall the game is not as much fun as Burnout Paradise (I been playing Paradise recently so its fresh in my mind) handling in Paradise is much more fun. Cars in Hot Pursuit all feel the same too apart from top speed. NO option for manual gears too, auto only :(

      Playing as a cop is nice for a change, but you can only damage an offender by directly hitting them, forcing them into an oncoming car or barrier does nothing to their ‘health’ bar. NFS:HP felt like a step back from Most Wanted even though you could not play as a cop in Most Wanted. Quite upset overall as I was really looking forward to this. I guess there’s always TDU2 to look forward to.

      If at all possible try a demo before buying to see handling for yourself.

    • Hurion says:

      It’s kind of pretty, but there is no AA. All the cars feel the same, no matter what engine/powertrain setup. The music is pretty terrible, as are the sound effects. Single player becomes boring pretty quickly.

      I know this will get mocked, but why cant they make a new Most Wanted?

      Edit:Also, it wont detect my 360 controller, so I have to play with the keyboard, YEAAAAAAH!

    • Jarek says:

      It’s hardly like Burnout Paradise, but it borrows the “no need to brake part” from it and it is really challenging later on.

      The graphics are on par with Shift and are absolutely stunning on a high end PC capable of doing 60fps, but on consoles the game runs at 30fps which far from what Burnout provides.

      As per FSAA/AA – I can force antialiasing with drivers – but they have to be Catalyst 10.10 with hotfix “E”, so I guess FSAA support will come later on via drivers.

    • Styngent says:

      None of this even really matters, the fact is the Hot Pursuit franchise is back. Finally we get back to a real NFS game and no more Donutting in underground car parks for extra body work cash.

    • Ludden says:

      Except it’s really not Hot Pursuit, is it? While it bears the name, it plays more like Burnout than Need for Speed. Which is a shame — I would love to see a proper NfS in this engine.

    • skurmedel says:

      Ok. Thanks for the info. I’ll wait for something else then. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Paradise handling, hence my question. Would love some open road racing, but at some level of realism.

  2. CMaster says:

    The problem is (I’d guess, based on B:P) that Criterion really seem to believe that flashyness is the most important ting in their games. Hence the ridiculous menu and display screens, the stupid taking away control (which you can abuse to hell in Paradise actually – play Road Rage, and then just kamikaze at the other cars. Provided they crash before you do, the celebratory “takedown” video plays, and the auto-driver is not allowed to crash you even if there is no way out, so you will find yourself driving on, unharmed. Of course, it does occasionally give you back control at 200MPH with a wall directly in front, but there you go).

    Would you say it’s worth picking up for someone who really enjoys (but hasn’t “completed” in any sense) B:P? Or will I be happier just sticking with paradise till I’ve eked the last from it?

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Not being a completionist, I’m torn between playing BP more or going for this. It sounds close enough to BP that I’m sure I will enjoy it, just unsure if I’ll feel like I’d have been better off continuing to play BP closer to completion rather than forking over 43 bucks for essentially the same experience.

    • John Walker says:

      Well, it’s made me want to start BP over again. I don’t know what that means.

    • mwoody says:

      Oddly enough, the grab-the-camera aspect was one of the few things in Hot Pursuit I don’t mind. When your goal is to stop a single target, getting a little cutscene of your eventual success isn’t a big deal. It’s slightly less ideal on the “stop the race” missions, but even then you only have a small handful of targets – few enough that taking one down feels like a success.

    • CMaster says:

      I think it says I may as well carry on with BOP, John.
      Finding the last 60 or so events to elite a bit of grind though. Road rages are easy but last for ages, marked man still isn’t fun, and you very rarely get new vehicles.

    • CMaster says:

      Oh, and having gone back and played some more B:P last night, I can say this. Fuck Marked Man. Fuck such a crappy game mode.

  3. John Peat says:

    I tried the XBOX demo – but being someone else’s XBOX I only got 1 race (as a cop) to choose from (others required online and friends with the demo) and that seemed incredibly dull…

    Chasing cars and ramming from off the road gets boring quite fast – I assume there’s more depth to it but I couldn’t find it in the limited scope the demo offered tbh…

    I miss the original Burnout formula anyway – BP was a poor game in comparison to some of it’s predecessors – a ‘by numbers’ searchathon with a mix of decent and boring races on offer – and this seems to follow a similar formula?

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah, I quite enjoyed the first Burnout. Then it was one slight clip and your car would crash out, it was really quite tense and thrilling driving into traffic. Burnout Paradise wasn’t satisfying at all to me. Especially the crashing mode, you used to have to create a crash, now you just bounce around like a ping pong ball for 20 minutes. I

  4. Skull says:

    But does it have motorbikes???

  5. MrMud says:

    What are the differences between the console and PC versions (apart from PC being worse for friends lists?).
    In particular, how is the performance and graphics for the different versions?

    • John Walker says:

      I’ve only played the PC version, but it plays beautifully. I’d be stunned if it looks as good on console.

    • Robbert says:

      It looks great, but doesn’t support AA which makes it look a LOT worse.

      Performance is a bit weird. It seems to run great on many PCs, but I had performance problems with my Q9550 and HD5870. After a few workarounds and reboots it seems to work okayish.

      The game is great, but the port is horrible.

    • Devan says:

      One thing I can say about the User Interface is it’s a lazy console port. There’s no mouse support, and very little effort was put into the conversion. They still have the “saving, do not turn off the power” icon. All the startup videos are unskippable, and I get a CTD when changing the display settings.

      It’s the unskippable videos in particular that bug me, but others may not mind.

    • Telke says:

      At a guess, the unskippable moves will be bink movie files – extension .bik, i think. There are 1-second blackscreen .bik files you can rename and replace, spread across the internet – just google, you should find one eventually. It doesn’t skip the movie, they still play, but 5seconds of black screen is better than 20 of ads.

    • Devan says:


      That was my first thought too. I just checked, and it looks like it uses VP6 files for video and not Bink. Any idea where I can get a blank one of those? Maybe I’ll test replacing them with a totally empty file (I remember that working for .bik)

    • BAReFOOt says:

      @Devan: Well, it only depends on the container format. MPEG4, AVI and and MKV are the popular ones. You can easily create such an empty container files with tools like ffmpeg, mplayer, mkvmerge, etc. I think they don’t even have to contain any video or audio stream. Just the empty container.
      Open the file in your video player (not WMP) and look at the file/stream infos. It should tell you the exact format/encoding/etc. of the file. For MKV there is also mkvinfo which gives you a ton of information.

  6. Flameberge says:

    I have this, and personally, I love it. Though the flaws are exactly as pointed out by John. if anyone wants to add my on their ‘autolog’ thingy-me-whatsit, username is Flameberge.

    • Howard says:

      So far, for me at least, the GFX are really nothing to write home about. Everything seems very low detail and overly dark: it is far from a looker. What makes this annoying is that the performance is horrible. ON a dual core 3gig PC with a super-clocked GTX260 and 4gig of RAM I am continuously dropping to 10-15 FPS (most notably when driving which is odd) and that is far from acceptable. Coupling this with poor controls, annoying voice-overs, irritating cut-scenes and an unpleasant driving model and I am not a happy camper right now.

    • Howard says:

      *Most notable when *drifting* even – really must learn to type ><

    • Howard says:

      Also just noticed that the reply replied to the wrong post – this was for MrMud. Doh

    • BAReFOOt says:

      The overly dark thing is coming from using non-top-quality displays. Most LCDs have very bad “white-out” gamma by default. You can see it when watching most edited YouTube videos or pictures created by non-professionals. They never calibrated their screens, and the things don’t auto-calibrate, like the professional ones. The people watching have the same problem. So nobody notices that the distribution curve of colors is squished in the darks and stretched in the whites, resulting in detail losses.
      Only we, who have better displays, or calibrate them anyway, notice.
      It’s just as annoying, as people playing 4:3 videos on 16:9 screens by stretching them. Especially those who – shockingly – don’t even notice that all the heads are deformed like monsters. If they then write “its” instead of “it’s”, etc, I might have to take out my shotgun. (Or rock, if not available. ;)

  7. KauhuK says:

    Shame that there is no pc demo available. Though I am not very fond of racing games there are times when I feel like playing them.

    • John Peat says:

      If you fancy the occasional PC driving game there are a tonne of cheapies which will float your boat.

      Grid and Dirt2 are outstanding games in every possible way and both can be picked-up for relatively little (esp in the Steam etc. Sales from time to time).

    • iainl says:

      There’s no console demo any more, either. They made it only work for a limited time, before self-destructing shortly before the full game was available to purchase. Nothing I did during the brief time it was avaiable persuaded me to do anything other than rue the fact that Criterion had wasted valuable time making this pile of junk instead of a Burnout Paradise follow-up.

      Graphically, the console versions are a massive step back from Paradise (apparently because some numpty made them use the Frostbite engine from Call of Duty instead of their home-grown Renderware), the handling is TERRIBLE, and I say that even as a fan of Outrun 2, and the waiting required to get racing again is infuriating.

  8. Jonathan says:

    Oh my — the fact that this was by Criterion had passed me by til now. I ordinarily couldn’t give a toss about the NfS games, but now I’m interested. Would like to see a demo though.

  9. UncleLou says:

    “Realism isn’t a big factor in the racing, thank goodness. This is about having fun. And there’s a great deal to be had. Cars grip to the road as if they’re magnetised, letting you take corners at 200mph. ”

    Hm, that’s actually what I didn’t like about the demo. While NfS games never were really realistic, they at least felt like you’re driving a car, not a rocket on train tracks. I love Burnout, but I would have preferred a more sophisticated handling model for a NfS cops and robbers game. Think NfS: Porsche Unleashed.

    Feels to me like arcade games with very similar driving mechanics are a dime a dozen these days, but more realistic handling with “fun” game modes is something noone has tried for ages.

  10. strange headache says:

    Is it possible to tune and customize your cars, like in the old NFS games? I’m not a big real life car enthusiast but I liked to pimp out my cars ingame and make them look as embarrassing as possible. So does this game offer the possibility or was this feature removed entirely?

    • Jim Reaper says:

      Removed entirely, I’m afraid to say. The only thing you can change is the colour of the car.

    • mwoody says:

      And for the cop cars, not even that. What’s more, on top of the car stats being unchangeable, you can’t even get a good meaningful rundown to compare them – just top speed, 0-to-60, horsepower, rear/front/4-wheel drive, etc. No at-a-glance data for turning, traction, weight, etc.

    • Falcon says:

      Yes indeed, what of customization. NfS Most Wanted is one of my favorite racers due to two things, the customization and cop chases. I would often eschew doing races to see if i could beat my previous chase records. If the customization is there and the chases are just as fun as before, consider me sold.

    • strange headache says:

      Sadly, no customizations (visual and performance), no buy. I can stick with most wanted and paradise then. Thanks for the info guys.

    • Joshua says:

      I felt that NFS wasn’t really about tuning, but about driving exotic supercars in exotic locations doeing some exotic things. This game lets you do just that. the Underground series was about driving normal cars turned exocitic in an standard enviroment, which just didn’t feel that great.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Hm. So basically they’ve taken my fav series of racing games, made it as much like a different series of racing games (that I don’t like half as much) as possible, and removed the one feature that set it apart from other racing games.

      No sale.

  11. remi online says:

    i don’t know if this game is that interesting, but i got to say i’ve been playing it like a maniac since i bought it..

  12. rocketman71 says:

    Too much social shit. Too many unskippable videos and cutscenes, even inrace. Not enough players per race. No LAN. Plus I still feel raped by Criterion after Burnout’s broke promises. No buy.

    Also, this is going the way of Call of Duty.

    (which is bad)

    • Delusibeta says:

      “Also, this is going the way of Call of Duty. (which is bad)”

      If by that you mean “yearly updates”, then the series has been doing that since pretty much Underground 1, hence why it’s been flagging lately. I do have to admit, it’s better than Call of Duty in looking like new games instead of cheap cash-ins.

    • mwoody says:

      Oh, on the “unskippable” part, something I forgot to mention below: the game features an unskippable ad for another EA racing game the first time you start it up. Like 30-60 seconds or so, it looks like an intro cinematic for this game, but no! The first thing you see on booting it up is an ad for ANOTHER GAME that you’re not allowed to bypass!

    • Joshua says:

      It’s been doeing almost yearly updates since it’s inception.

      CoD is the NFS of the shooter genre.

    • Howl says:

      Similar to Dirt2, I think it’s another case of “unskippable cutscene” actually being a loading screen in disguise. I’d rather you just get a Solid State Drive and stop moaning than force us all to stare at a .jpeg and watch a progress bar, tbh.

      EDIT: I had no problems with skipping cutscenes. Within a few seconds, once the game had done loading, I saw, “Press A to skip” in the cutscenes.

  13. Linfosoma says:

    Wait, this game is out on the PC? Where can I buy it?

  14. EC- says:

    Is this coming to Steam at all?

    • Linfosoma says:

      Yeah I was waiting for that too, but it seems that wont be happening.
      This means I cant buy it, since the EA store will only sell the game to me in Euros which are insanely expensive in Argentina. Pitty.

  15. mwoody says:

    I’m very glad to see a much more reserved review here than in other outlets. I picked up the PS3 version (wanted analog controls, don’t have access to my 360 controller converter thingy right now) after seeing the absolutely glowing critical scores. I haven’t been this disappointed, expecting Burnout and getting NFS: Hot Pursuit, than I was when I expected San Andreas 2 and got GTAIV.

    It’s just not fun. The cars don’t crash well, barely getting banged up (possibly because they’re licensed). Being licensed cars, the game loathes to give them stats or let you compare them in any meaningful way, with no at-a-glance number for, for example, handling. Hell, some cars don’t even give you the meager 0-to-60 and top speed stats you usually get, and are listed as “CLASSIFIED” instead. It ends up that every vehicle feels roughly the same, just some go faster. I actually had to ask a car loving friend over to tell me which of the vehicles in my garage would, in real life, be considered the fastest, which the heaviest, which the most agile – the game gave me little to no help!

    And as Mr. Walker mentions, the load times are out of control. Like, if I’m coming to the end of a race and I think I want to retry it, I need to pause and hit “restart race” BEFORE I finish it, or I’ll spend 3-4 minutes clicking through all the crap menus, notifications, cutscenes, and loading screens to get back and try again – which is especially annoying, because that means it doesn’t save the little achievement thingies it gives you points for (i.e. “driven 5 miles off road”). Even when you choose to “skip cutscenes,” you’ve still got to wait 20-30 seconds for it to actually do it.

    And while I always knew it wouldn’t be a car driving simulator, I was – naively, I suppose – expecting a bit more cop simulator. Your goal is to stop your opponent(s). You’d think you could do that by getting them boxed in, or performing a PIT maneuver, or properly stopping them at a roadblock. But no – it’s impossible to make an opponent car crash, not in any real way. They have a little life bar over their heads, and if you bump them it goes down. When it hits the bottom, they’re stopped; whatever you did last seems to take effect unlike the 20 bumps and slides before it, and they flip/spin/etc. to a stop. But if they’re at a full life bar, you can’t, say, tap their back end at 150mph and watch the satisfying destruction that would no doubt follow such a move in a real life analogue – you just chip a tiny bit of health from their bar. Not to mention the times when you corral your opponent properly into a roadblock, see them spin out and pin them to the wall facing the wrong way and truly, successfully stopped, aaaand… *blink* back on the raceway, already accelerating off into the distance. I’m sorry, but car facing the wrong way, completely stopped in the middle of eight cop cars – THAT’S CALLED A BUST. Game over, cops win. A road block is not a speed bump.

    I have a hard time articulating just how lifeless the whole experience feels. It’s like a combination of the worst parts of real car simulation games and crash-happy arcade games, applying realism where you don’t want it (lack of at-a-glance car stats or advancement) and stripping it away when you DO want it (a bland life bar replaces Burnout’s physics-based crashes).

    • Hydrogene says:

      Lifebars! No! Thanks for that important detail mwoody, I think I’ll pass on this one.

  16. ran93r says:

    I’m enjoying it so far but as John pointed out, it could have been much more. This is still the first NFS title that I didn’t think was a pile of shite but I have rose tinted dreams of Chase HQ so this is keeping me happy. I doubt I will pick up anything else in the series again as I do prefer Burnout but it’s not an outright failure and I applaud Criterion for bringing their polish to what would have quite likely been a rolling turd in anyone else’s hands.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Ah Chase HQ really is a classic. No one seems to be mentioning the original Hot Pursuit in these comments. Am I the only one who loved it? I’ve never even liked the NFS series apart from that game which was amazing.

    • Paul says:

      Original Hot Pursuit was absolutely amazing.All original NFS 1-5 were. Everything, from menus through music to actual driving itself was just so good. All made by EA Canada, earlier Distinction Software. With HP2, first made by Black Box, the series went downhil…
      To get kind of ressurected by Slightly Mad, eventhough Shift is completely different kind of animal (amazin too though).

    • DrGonzo says:

      I had actually forgotton about Shift, I really did enjoy that though it did feel very similar to GRID.

  17. rammjaeger says:

    Having no in-game view with a dashboard is pretty much a non starter for me. This is something PC racers expect from their games. Guess I’ll just keep playing Grid.

  18. Serenegoose says:

    Whilst I’m happy enough to be fairly alone in this desire, I always thought racing games got a little less fun when everyone is driving 200mph crazycars. I actually like tuned up cars that are affordable for everyone – In part it’s because I feel the lower speed offers more chances for in depth racing antics, whereas at ridiculo-speed it all becomes a little frantic. I get that most people like frantic, though.

    • ShineDOg says:

      Nah, while it’s super fast it’s also fairly measured. The roads are wide and easy making racing even at super high speed managable.

  19. Navagon says:

    Finally! A NFS game that I’m interested in! Not since Underground 2 has there been such a day.
    But your Thunk does leave me hoping they speed up the menu system a bit.

  20. Indy says:

    My roommate went out and got this the first day it came out. Apparently there’s nobody online besides himself and his friend that also bought it on day one.

  21. Axess Denyd says:

    Say what you will about the menu system, it is way faster and less annoying that Dirt 2’s. Which is my number one hate about that game.

    The car handling leaves much to be desired, though…..I miss NFS1, when it was still partnered with Road and Track. That was a good racing game. Porsche Unleashed was fantastic as well….how about another Most Wanted, with decent vehicle physics (but not TOO decent, we need to be able to crash through road blocks spectacularly), but I want it to feel like driving a car instead of a slot car.

  22. Hogni Gylfason says:

    I can’t stand the sight of it, but I can understand the appeal. I’m one of those who think fans of sims, arcade-sims and arcades can quite happily coexist as long as we don’t try to foist one on the other.

    I’m rather pleased they’ve split development into two parts, with one team developing the happy-go-lucky series and another continuing on the SHIFT franchise. Criterion can continue in the manner they are good at, and Slightly Mad can utilize their ex-Simbin staff in doing what they are good at. They had a bumpy start in ProStreet, but they nailed it in SHIFT.

    All we need now is a game with Slightly Mad’s or Codemasters’ pretty gfx engines on top of say, rFactors physics engine. One can dream…

  23. Paul says:

    played for an hour (PC), never want to play it again. Completely boring, all cars same, no driving experience, no physics, no incar views…Shift spoiled me completely, this feel utterly sterile and boring in comparison. When I think of it, the unskippable teaser for SHIFT2 when I started this game was actually the best thing about it :D.

    • Hogni Gylfason says:

      My feelings precicely. I uninstalled it after 5 minutes – SHIFT2 ad having destroyed any will of mine to play the actual game.

    • Zenderos says:

      Not exactly sure why people liked Shift – You just race around circles, grinding away. Not much stuff you can do besides racing around the track. Kind of like GRID and Dirt 2 in terms of racing style.

      I prefer open-world cop-bashing games. :)

  24. Flappybat says:

    Variety? Eh? I felt let down at the lack of depth. Alright no other game has the police angle but there’s a total lack of variety compared to Paradise and the loss of an explorable map with a point to it is crippling. Driving games are ten a penny. I could be playing Dirt, Grid, NFS Shift, Forza, Gran Turismo, iRacing, Test Drive… the fact it’s a fairly close remake of hot pursuit with playable police is really marks for it but there’s no other meat on the bones. Competent but I can’t find a reason to play it.

    Despite all the cheese of the series Most Wanted had much better police chases, a good explorable map and car customization. HP ends up as a very well made but paper thin A to B arcade racer.

  25. Radiant says:

    I really didn’t like Burnout Paradise.
    I felt so isolated driving around this city devoid of any life it.
    Like that fan video of the pyro in tf2. but with less rubber.

    Burnout 2 on the other hand is one of the greatest arcade racers ever made.
    Playing that felt like how playing Pole Position 2 felt like.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Both Burnout and Need For Speed have been in a pretty severe nosedive, and it sounds like they crashed into one mangled heap at the bottom.

    • Lucas says:

      Same here. I skipped the original Burnout, loved Burnout 2, and they’ve been headed downhill ever since. Takedown was ok, but I skipped Revenge. I might revisit Paradise someday since it eventually got an “event restart” option. I’ve never liked the NFS games. Can’t wait for GT5 though.

  26. bansama says:

    Surely, surely it would have made sense to let players drive around in a populated multiplayer map, as with NFS: World or Test Drive Unlimited, and let there be cops vs. robbers chases on the fly? It just seems so obviously the primary way anyone would want to use this, and it’s absent.

    Also, it’s hard to put any trust in Criterion that PC players will enjoy post-release support

    I was seriously considering buying this and while I was prepared for the fact that we’re unlikely to ever see any meaningful additional content, the fact that the free ride seems so dull and empty (seriously, there’s no winding up in police chases as in Undercover, etc?) is a very big turn off. Guess I’ll wait a few months till it’s likely to get a discount somewhere.

    • mwoody says:

      It’s especially weird because Burnout Paradise had that awesome mechanic wherein while driving around out of a race, you’d suddenly have a sweet ride ZOOM past you, and a notification pop up. If you could catch and take down that car, you could keep it.

      It seems like such an obvious fit here. Drive around in free mode, a criminal wizzes past you, sirens go on and you take it down, then you get that car (albeit painted up in the good ol’ white-and-black). That sounds fun as hell.

    • bansama says:

      @mwoody That’s pretty much what I was hoping would be included =(

  27. Papageno says:

    Why oh why can’t they go back to NFS: Porsche Unleashed’s driving model? It was the best semi-realistic one I’ve ever played.

    OT, but speaking of Test Drive Unlimited (PC), is it available on some download service or something?

    • somedude says:

      I got it from D2D, but I think it’s restricted to North America.

  28. Papageno says:

    Also, how was the PC version of NFS: Shift? Bugs? Good support?

    • Linfosoma says:

      The PC version of Shift is very good. The drifting sucks though, but that’s another subject.

    • Paul says:

      Shift is amazing on PC with x360pad or wheel. I actually finished it to its credits, and loved every second of it.
      Still, it is “just” a circuit racing – and my ideal game would be HP game made on Shift’s engine, with its incar views and driving experience. Sadly, nobody at EA seems capable of decision to make such a game. And such a game could actually be a worthy successor to NFS III, unlike this criterion shit.

    • Truck says:

      Agree with the others that PC copy of Shift is good. I used a 360 controller, so I never tried it with a keyboard/mouse. My only complaint is that it didn’t automatically see that I was using a 360 controller and update the icons for buttons respectively (oh how entitled I am). I actually just played it for a bit and it was agonizing trying to remember what buttons control things on the menu, since they’re just numbered 1-14.

    • Hogni Gylfason says:

      It beat GRID as the best arcade-sim of the last 3 years in my books. I strongly recommend a wheel or analog-able controller though.

  29. XM says:

    Remember this game is made for people that hate Shift. Every other year now you will get the game you want. Not sure about the underground crew when they will get their next game. I think EA are now giving devs two years to make a game.

    Need For Speed HP 2010
    Shift 2 2011
    Underground 3 or HP or Most Wanted game type 2012.

    • Truck says:

      Stop the presses: there are people that like Need for Speed Underground? I couldn’t even give my copy to Gamestop a few years ago because they had too many.

    • Dhatz says:

      those who like undergrounds like to pirate em a shitload(and nobody liked undercover). at least from my experience. You just better forget for a while any NFS exists and wait for TDU2, DIRT3 GRID2 and SHIFT2 if arcade racing is unbearable for you. Console games are better let rotting there than trying to port with the eyes closed, so it’s only our mistake thinking this would get a good PC treatment from such a whore of a company as EA.
      You better hope the TDU2 won’t disable the first person and wont go any anyarcadier(and remembers to have skippable cutscenes except jailtime). WAITING and NOT BUYING are our strongest weapons to prevent having another-shitty-console-arcade-on-PC or another-shitty-boring-(race)track-only-simulator.
      Aside of developing hi-end realistic city/country freeroam-based racers ourselves, obviously.

  30. Devan says:

    “but the bias is firmly for racing against those you already know, without a slick way of finding them.”

    Let’s remedy that.
    My in-game name is “Devanstator”. Any RPSers feel free to add me and post your names here.

  31. Jon Tetrino says:

    I personally f*cking hate what they have done.

    Not the game. I am sure gameplay wise its great.

    But the port is so bad, so monumentally bad, that hundreds if not thousands of people who bought the game on PC cannot actually play it due to crashes.

    Let me explain my time with NFS for you.


    *yay excited*


    *annoying, but I’m sure its one time only (actually for Shift 2 it thankfully was, for World I see it every time)*


    *yea thats fine*


    *Oh… damn, well, start again. Random crashes can happen.*

    CTD #2
    CTD #3
    CTD #4

    I bought this damn game expecting to play it, and I cannot run it on reasonable recent hardware without CTD – hardware that can handle such unoptimised garbage as pre-patched GTAIV with ease – and I am not the only one.

    PC gamers often get yelled at for being entitled, I think I can safely say I’m entitled to a game I BOUGHT that I can fucking PLAY.

    Horrible, HORRIBLE port.

    All I can hope is they patch it back, because being a PC game I can’t get a refund for sh*t.

    • Plushpants says:

      Are you forcing AA with ATI drivers? I had crashing with Catalyst 10.11 with forced AA. Went back to 10.10e hotfix and now it runs fine with AA switched on.

    • Jon Tetrino says:

      I’m using an nVidia card, latest drivers (in that I updated the drivers to try and get the game running). Nothing is forced on.

    • Howl says:

      No crashes or graphics issues here and I’m using Catalyst 10.5 from May. It ran very well at 5040×900 and I was impressed with the out-of-the-box support for triple screen setups.

  32. Vinraith says:

    NFS: Hot Pursuit 2 is my favorite racing game of all time. That said, a lot of my enjoyment of that game came from playing it split screen with the wife and friends. Does this thing even have split screen? If so, does it let you add in AI opponents, or is MP restricted to “humans only?”

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      Yeah I think HP2 was one of my all time favourite racing games, although in saying that, NFS:Most Wanted was also pretty cool, but alas I was about 13-14 at the time I loved that so maybe it isn’t quite the same now that I’ve ahem ‘matured’

    • zipdrive says:

      My favorite was NFS: Porsche Unleashed, taking you through the various models and styles of Porsche in a beautiful environment.
      I’m afraid to load it up now and see how hideous it has gotten with age.

  33. Text_Fish says:

    Loved the first Hot Pursuit. Hated all of the other NfS games. I’m not that in to cars see, and I find most sports cars look as tacky as the twats who drive them, but I really love cops’n’robbers style chases and the new Hot Pursuit delivers in spades when it’s not pandering to to the wet dreams of chavvy boy racers with sparkly lights and slow-mo cut-aways. It’ll keep me entertained for a week or so. Possibly more, if some genius can hack all the trimmings out and turn it in to a pure gameplay experience.

  34. Godson says:

    Dont waste your money on this crap, ul get bored after a dozen races its a big let down

  35. Lanster27 says:

    It’s Need for Speed + Burnout, two of the biggest arcade racing series’ love child. Anyone complaining about “omg it doesn’t have AA” or “this is a crappy port” or “all cars are the same, wtf?!”, stop nitpicking.
    I personally haven’t had a CTD. I don’t mind all the woosh and the selection screens.

    John forgot to mention all the other good bits in the game for those who grew up with NFS.
    Plenty of car background (be in fact or fictional), which was a staple in the older NFS titles.
    Handling differences in various weather, and that’s already more simulation than arcade.
    Exotic cars rarely featured on any other racing games, a NFS niche.

    • Jon Tetrino says:

      I don’t mind the lack of various supports, kind of got used to it. Nor do most people for that matter.

      The “this is a crappy port” is entirely justified considering the hundreds if not thousands of people who have yet to play despite getting it on release, due to a CTD that the most basic of testing would have found.

  36. minipixel says:

    Why devs insist on unskippable cutscenes or menu animations? Exiting a post race screen is terribly slow in NFS Shift as well. And it’s not the only game. I remember restarting the silly “circus” challenges in Flatout was annoying as hell.
    The exact opposite was done in GTA:SA in the driving schools. Restarting a test was istantaneous and provided more Fun(tm)

  37. Pema says:

    No Steam version?
    Why bother with the game?

  38. zipdrive says:

    1- Can someone copy-paste this review and send it to Criterion, so they might learn something about what annoys us?
    2- I’m looking at buying a new(-ish) racing game. Which would you recommend: Blur, Split/Second or this new NFS?

  39. Splat says:

    Gringo, you are faced with a NFS game that gives you a high end, expensive out the butt car and challenges you NOT to damage it, or a game called Carmageddon that is all about driving others into pulp, causing mayhem and zapping pedestrians(and, very rarely, winning laps).



    I think this case is closed.

  40. Howl says:

    I’d give my impression but I bought this at retail (no Steam, not touching the EA equivalent in protest) and it seems it would have downloaded faster over BT Infinity than to install it from DVD.

    • Howl says:

      Done installing (eventually) and played to level 3 in racer and cop. I thought it was great fun and have enjoyed it much more than Burnout Paradise so far. I hated having to drive around to find races in BP and always ended up stuck at the bloody Windfarm, having done all the races nearby. Now that WAS a game that made you work through a load of nonsense in order to get your ‘money-shot’ takedown fix.

      I think HP is targeted for people like myself, who just like to spam the A button to get into the game as fast as possible and drive about a bit. I couldn’t care less about the driving physics. It’s a game and I want it to be fun, which it is.

  41. Doh says:

    Everything said:
    1) all cars feel the same
    2) no customisation possible: you can’t tune your car, can’t even change amount of laps
    3) no free game mode, therefore you are forced to do the stupid game modes like “Duel” etc.
    3) no AA, no further graphics configuration possible
    4) no challenge, I won every track on the very first time, although I made some bad driving errors
    6) power ups / weapons are not impressing at all
    7) non-skippable advertisement, cutscenes, forced autolog are annoying like hell

    Uninstalled and put to trash. Not worth a single cent.

    • sigh.. says:

      1) unlock more than 5 cars

      2) like you’d know which parts to buy for your car without a game holding your hand, good they got rid of that wannabe tuner stuff and no painting your car with faggy tribal stripes? Thank god.

      3) There is a free game mode, admitting tho that you have nothing much to do in there except drive, I didnt find it very disturbing, as the driving feels good and if you are just bored and want something to do, put on a good track (from outside the games playlist, that only has like 3 good tracks, give you that) and drive.

      4) You can enable AA from your driver, and the graphics already look really good if you dont get that, sorry there is no helping you there^^

      5) If you could actually count properly, there would be a 5 here.

      6) Learn to use your power ups then, the power ups are sole reason this game is an upgrade for me from paradise city, they give that lil bit of shooter aspect to the game if one could say so (jamming spike strips for example)

      7) How is autolog forced? seriously? and unskippable cutscens? Stop acting like your time is something so valuable you cant spend 30 seconds watching a 30 SECOND cutscend. And there is only ONE advertisement, which is played ONCE.

  42. sigh.. says:

    You guys are nick picking bads. It’s a great game, imo even better than paradise. the driving is ARCADE they said it like 700 000 times. It actually drives incredible well and feels really good. It is also way more challenging than previous NFS games and without the faggy paints and tuning.

    The graphics are beautiful, and if you have troubles running it, get a new comp really and stop commenting on video games, for good.

    And all cars feeling the same? WHAT GAME ARE YOU PLAYING.. seriously how retarded are you? most of the cars feels very different when it comes down to grip steering and well speed (doh..)

    PS. anyone also saying the latter, should go see his doctor for a mental condition

    All in all, very good game compared to what is available now

    • Thants says:

      If you want people to listen to your opinions I’d avoid using the word “faggy”. Also, “retarded”.

  43. w says:

    I’m waiting anxiously to read the review of the next part of the franchise in half a year. Way to go, RPS, bringing run of the mill, coined console shit in here. Is it time for a new PC site?


  44. 12345 says:

    NFS series became shit after GTA 3 came out :P

  45. Doh says:

    @sigh..: sorry, but you are a joke. Try harder next time to talk things nice, maybe you’ll get happy with your purchase. Btw. I congratulate for your utter dumbness. People like you allow publishers to shit on your head.

  46. iacobus says:

    I read all the good reviews of this and rented it last night. I expected a fun game, a la dirt 2, that took both fun and realism somewhat seriously. I didn’t expect Gran Turismo level of realism (and wasn’t looking for it) but the game was a serious let down for several reasons.

    1) It felt like BP without the fun. Half the fun of BP and games like that were the speeding around/stunt/crashes within the city. The shortcuts had ramps and jumps, etc, and it made the game somewhat exciting. NFS:HS removed the jumps (more later) and what not and the traffic is, honestly, a joke. As a cop I don’t worry about other cars on the road because the density is maybe 1 NPC non-suspect car per mile. And the removal of the multi-player free drive with on the fly chases/etc was boring. I expected free drive, even in solo, to be similar to the free drive in the PS2 “World’s Scariest Police Chases” or whatever it was called. I thought I would drive around as a cop or whatever and see a speeder or get a dispatch to respond to. Nada. Just drive real fast to nowhere. Boring.

    2) It kept all the bad parts of BP such as the unskippable cut scenes. After nearly every race you unlock a car and get a promotions or something and you deal with some maybe 10-30 second little “ad” for the new car. Also, when you go to start a race, you select a car and then you get a second screen with some ad copy about the car with different camera angles. Adds maybe (depending) 0.5 to 1 minute of wasted cut scene per race. Also, the “skippable” cut scenes at the start of the race are not so skippable. You get a message saying press X to skip, you press X and it says skipping but somehow you end up watching 75% of the “skipped” 20 second video. And the video is the same every time, just different models on the cars (i.e. the motion and actions are the same). I don’t care, I want to drive.

    3) All the cars handle the same and drive the same. The only difference I could tell between them was that some go faster then others. I think of Dirt 2 or GT5P and the extent to which the cars handle differently (sometimes the same car from those games in NFS:HP) and am kind of sad. I want to actually notice some feel difference, I get that it is an arcade style racer but having no variation in feel is a lot like saying all cars go the same speed.

    4) The different surfaces types all feel the same. In more “real” racers, if you are moving at high speed and slide off the tarmac into the grass or sand or when surfaces change in rally racers you feel it. The car either starts to slide or bite with the change in surface conditions. NFS:HP has sand, dirt, grass, road, etc all feel the same in all weather conditions.

    5) Related to 3, the cars are really attached to the ground. You never become airborne or have issues associated with high speeds on hilly roads or turns. If I go over a hill at 250 miles per hour and don’t jump, that is weird. Also, taking hairpins at 100+? Not so much. Furthermore, boost acts like a “super-gripper” such that when I am turning if I engage boost my car just shoots forward in the direction it is facing (like a rocket was engaged) as opposed to staying in the slide and spinning the tires (I am drifting after all).

    6) Speaking of drifting and what not, the game more or less automates the process. I refer back to rally games like Xpand Rally or the Dirt series and the extent to which you actually needed to think about how you were driving and know what you were doing. NFS:HP reduces drifting to either just turning (and it engages a drift for you) or you turn and break. The Scandinavian flick isn’t welcome here.

    7) In general, there is a total lack of expectation of any skill (or willingness to learn skill) in the game and races turn into games of hold down the gas button and steer (oh, and don’t try to steer at low speeds, talk about impossible). The tracks are all about speeding and nothing is technically challenging. Don’t expect something fun and challenging to race that is about control and speed (the Suzuka Circuit) comes to mind, everything in Seacrest county is based on speed (a la Daytona’s superspeedway in the ring). I never found myself actually struggling to control my car even at high speeds. Playing a “sim” game, you rapidly learn that the most important thing in a racing game in learning when and how much to brake. I repeat, I get that NFS isn’t a sim, but it so far from a “realism” based sim that I am pretty sure Command and Conquer Red Alert qualifies as a true and accurate history of the world.

    8) The chase/race aids (esp for the cops) are just stupid. The roadblocks slow down the racer but just sit in the road, often resulting in you crashing into them as well long(ish) after the racer hit them. The helicopter is totally useless. Half the time they drop the spike strips on track that the racers aren’t even on or just passed. I literally had the spikes dropped 10 feet in front of my cop car when I was maybe 100-200 yards behind the last racer. They don’t call out when they dropped spikes and I think they actually took me out more often then they took out racers.

    9) While I know rubberband AI and selective damage are par for the NFS course, it just gets so annoying after a while. I hate it when I am taking out a racer or what not as a cop and remove 75% of their health in 2 minutes and spend another 5-6 removing the last 25%. Or when I have a car with a top speed of 200+ and 0-60 in 2-3 s and they have a car that has a top speed in the range of 180 and 3-4 s 0-60 time and I am fighting neck and neck with them or they catch up from a large lead to me. While it may be okay in some games for that type of behavior, in racing games where the stats are clear (and the driving isn’t bad and explains the slow down) it just isn’t cool. Especially since, as mentioned, the tracks more or less are superspeedways and you are always at or above 80% of your top speed.

    The damage might have been the most frustrating. I have seen racers collide and one of the cars go flying off the track and off a cliff and the other landing upside down on the side of the road only to see both overtake me with full health. Both were total wrecks but since I didn’t inflict the damage or it wasn’t from one of my called in supports, it didn’t matter. Also, when you try to block a racer off and brake or slide your car into his (depending on the point of impact), you take damage, not them. Last I checked, the car doing the rear-ending also is damaged in most car wrecks. Same thing with slams. It gets annoying after a while that you take damage from walls and other cars and being rear-ended (etc) while the opposing racers don’t.

    I started playing the game and rapidly got bored with it. Nothing pushed what either I or the car was capable of and the races (like the cut scenes) just got boring. Instead of feeling like I was driving and chasing in a different car each time like most other racing games, I felt like I was merely going faster with each passing attempt. I look to games like the Dirt series to provide me with acarde-y real-ish fun. I didn’t get that from NFS.

  47. iacobus says:

    Oh, and I forgot. Autolog sucks. The online always thing is a pain, but even worse is the 5 seconds I spend staring a a screen that says “connecting to autolog” “saving data” or whatever. There is no reason that it couldn’t be down in the background (i.e. while show the race stats or selecting the next race). Just a little pop up like the ones used for trophies, if anything. Autosaving is… well, auto, and should be transparent to the user as much as possible. That is the freakin’ point.

  48. Rob says:

    Hey, I really appreciate this review, but I’d prefer if you guys didn’t use language that reinforces the childish male-dominated image we’re trying to work off. Otherwise, keep up the _great_ work!

  49. SquareWheel says:

    I sure hope I get to use F1 and F2 to navigate the menus!

  50. WAus_OchoCinco says:

    Now im not really the blog type of person but i can no longer hold it in… NFS HP is the biggest load of shit ive played in a long time and if you ask me NFS has been going down hill for a while now.

    Firstly there is no free roam or anything the cop story is complete shit (no wait it has no story) and is practicly burnout and the racing… you cant even buy differnet verieties of cars and tune them or upgrade in any way like transmission… you cant change the looks like rims, spoilers, bodykits etc and it seems like they have taken all of the fun out of it and all you do is pick a car and race (no drags or drifts) and to be honest it didnt take me long to get bored with it.

    The last NFS ived played with no free roam was Carbon 1 and that was a long time ago… and if u ask me i think that the havent make a real good NFS since Carbon 2 and it seems like they did a cheap job to gain an easy pay check.. TOTAL SHIT!!! P.S For God sake please rent it before you buy dont do what i did and buy without trying and waste $90