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Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Review
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Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, EA’s latest offering in the realm of racing ‘n’ chasing, is now available from the app store. Combining quick events with lightning fast cars and furious action sequences provides some top-notch fun and excitement that’ll blow your hair back.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Pros:

  • Killer graphics with retina display support
  • Rocking soundtrack
  • Intuitive and responsive controls
  • Multiple difficulties and game modes, lots of cars to unlock
  • Fun achievement system
  • Awesome cut scenes when cars wreck
  • Local multiplayer that allows you to play as either cop or bad guy

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Cons:

  • No social gaming network integration
  • Available tools only inflict serious damage when used strategically
  • Cinematic pausing had negative effect on our steering ability upon resume
  • No online multiplayer

Hot Pursuit contains 24 career events of four distinct varieties: Power Struggle, Interceptor, Tough Justice, and Rapid Response. All require that you play as the police, with the ability to take on the role of the scofflaw available through local wifi or Bluetooth multiplayer only. Power Struggle is a race between you and other police cars to the finish line. Interceptor tasks you with taking out a single car as quickly as possible. Tough Justice expands on Interceptor by giving you a time limit within which to take out as many cars as possible, one at a time. Rapid Response is a race to reach your goal as quickly as possible. There are 6 events in each of 4 difficulty levels utilizing desert, mountain, and coastal environments with options for day, night, and stormy conditions. After each event, you receive a star rating that ties in to your performance, with more stars earning greater bounties and bonuses for achievements and special actions. As you earn bounties, you unlock more powerful and exotic police vehicles. There are 15 in all, including Porsches and Lamborghinis. Earning stars unlocks new events and allows you to level up to a higher rank in the criminal justice system, too.

All events last just a couple of minutes, giving the game great pick-up-and-play potential. You’ll never get bogged down in a 10-15 minute race that causes you to zone out halfway through. It’s all about fast action, get in and get out mechanics. Quick Race mode allows you to set the parameters and jump right in. Career has set events for you to conquer. The takedown events are a blast, as you deal damage to a vehicle that’s trying to outrun you. Wear down his health bar to nothing and get treated to a sweet cut scene of the car flipping and wrecking as you either complete the mission or move on to the next car. You have multiple items at your disposal to assist you in your pursuit. Spike strips can be laid to blow out the bad guy’s tires, while road blocks can be summoned to deal additional damage or slow the opposition. An EMP is also available to jack up the electronics of the runaway temporarily. Rechargeable nitro boosts and handbrake controls also allow you to speed up and slow down as needed. Unless used strategically, however, these have limited ability to damage the other vehicle. Most damage will be inflicted by trading paint and putting your enemy into the guard rails at high speed.

Graphically, the retina display supported graphics look terrific, with high speed action showing great animation that would occasionally choke my device momentarily but would run smoothly most of the time. The racing screen is fairly clutter-free, at least where it counts. There is a combo map/nitro gauge/speedometer graphic on the right side of the screen and timer, bounty, and position indicated on the left. Info on bonuses earned and other relevant info pops up in the screen center above the racing action, and a camera in the upper right corner allows you to switch viewing angles on the fly. Buttons used to launch attacks are in the bottom center of the screen. Steering is controlled by tilting the device, with no additional options for touch controls. Using weapons requires a tap on the appropriate button when it becomes active. Braking is handled by touching the lower left part of the screen, with handbraking including a downward swipe while braking normally. Nitro boost is accomplished by swiping up on the screen. The soundtrack consists of upbeat rock music that’s fitting for the game’s fast pace. You can also play music from your own library if you like. The requisite wailing sirens, revving engines, screeching tires, crunching metal, and various other expected sound effects are in full effect, as well. CB radio voiceovers offer useful info about the offending vehicle’s status, as well as road conditions and other helpful information. Our biggest gripe was that the pausing of our car’s movement for the cinematic close-up of the next target vehicle would often throw off our controls and lead to some sort of vehicle crash immediately after the action resumed. It was quite frustrating to deal with time and time again.

Replay value is very good, as the gameplay is exciting and worth playing again and again. Local multiplayer gives a great opportunity to mix up the gameplay, but it’s only useful if you have a friend with a device and the game. The lack of online multiplayer is frustrating, and we hope it will manifest itself in a future update. The achievement system is fairly deep and features a nice presentation, with a grid of color-coded icons that change based on the level of achievement earned. There is no social gaming network integration for leaderboards, so you’re fairly isolated from other gamers. At $4.99, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is an exhilarating 4.5-Dimple experience that we’ve been unable to put down.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2010-11-20T01:46:31+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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