TGS '10: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Hands-On

TGS '10: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Hands-On

Pretty, shiny cars, and good ol'-fashioned racing.

Since neither of us are exactly pros at racing games, it was with some trepidation that we approached Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit at EA's 2010 pre-TGS showcase. We needn't have feared.

Criterion's Hot Pursuit is supposed to be something of a throw-back - the third of it's kind (well, discounting the at least a dozen other NFS titles). And while it's still about exotic cars you'd never actually afford to drive, the focus has shifted to racing, chasing, and being a competitive ass.

Racing-wise, the controls handled smoothly. Though not a veteran of the racing circuit, it only took a few minutes for us to learn the ropes. You choose one of two modes: You can either drive as a racer, or as a cop. Obviously, as a racer, you need to go as fast as you can without running into obstacles. But as the cop? You get several tools to use in pursuit of those racer-punks, including spike strips, police blockades, and helicopter (helicopter!?) back-up. The classic way to stop offenders was to simply bump into them until they crashed. Fun: 1, Public Safety: 0.

Both cop and racer roles seem to deliver what they need to. The racing is accessible high speed action yet, forgivingly, it will put you back on track if you happen to crash and burn (I managed to smash up the car and still come in first). Meanwhile in the cop mode, chasing is a big change from racing, and when you deplete that last health point of your quarry, the crunchy destruction of the crash is very satisfying.

Graphically, the cars are outstanding. Sleek, glossy exteriors, they reflected the landscape around them. You could spot trees, hills, oncoming cop cars ... all sorts of objects.

Yet above all else, Criterion is aggressively shilling this game's "Autolog" where stats on all your friends' victories and times are stored. The Autolog kind of resembled a Facebook wall in a way with a feed about what your friends are doing and setting places where you can store in-game photos, and there are even recommended races for you to join. The PR people might be over-selling it a little, but it'll be a great one for the obsessively competitive types.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit will be available on November 16 for the Xbox, PS3, and the PC.

TGS 2010 reporting is done jointly by Fintan Monaghan and Lisa Gay.

Read more Tokyo Game Show coverage here

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Those graphics are stunning. I'm not a racing game fan, but hell, if it handles nice, I guess I might at least rent it. Once. To appease my inner graphics whore.

Need for Speed: Shift got me back into the series, and this game is looking up to continue that trend.

I just hope the sound effects are as orgasmic as they are in NFS:S. I creamed my pants when I first played that game.

Cowabungaa:
Need for Speed: Shift got me back into the series, and this game is looking up to continue that trend.

I just hope the sound effects are as orgasmic as they are in NFS:S. I creamed my pants when I first played that game.

Oh god I hope so. Shift was my racing extacy. If this turns out to be as good (or better) than I'm picking it over GT5.

Cowabungaa:
Need for Speed: Shift got me back into the series, and this game is looking up to continue that trend.

I just hope the sound effects are as orgasmic as they are in NFS:S. I creamed my pants when I first played that game.

NFS:HP3 is not being developed by the same team. NFS:S was developed by Slightly Mad Studios (who bought Blimey! Games of GTR 1&2 and GT Legends fame), while NFS:HP3 is developed by Criterion Games (Burnout series) and are targeted at different demographics. NFS:S was supposed to be a simulation game, but it's physics are horrible (imo), while NFS:HP3 is an arcade racer akin to Mario Kart.

If you liked Shift, then wait for Shift 2 in 2011 as this game is nothing like it. If you liked NFS:HP2 on the Xbox/PS2 then you'll like this one. If you like both then there's no problems.

Now that EA has finally made another HP, I wonder if we can have a new "Unleashed" title now?

Y'know, this actually looks like a lot of fun. I really enjoyed Most Wanted, and this looks like almost exactly that, but from the other side of the camera, and more fun because you get a helicopter on your side to take people down.

I was never big into Need For Speed, but I loved Hot Pursuit for the PS1. I will totally check this out.

Now this is what I call a hands-on!

Either way, Hot pursuit always have been my favourite series in the NFS franchise. Love it. I remember the good old Hot Pursuit III days with my friends.

Seems like the only racing game that will grab my attention for the year!

Looks awesome. :P

Nice graphics too. I can tell you right now, it looks way better in person.

Straying Bullet:
Either way, Hot pursuit always have been my favourite series in the NFS franchise. Love it. I remember the good old Hot Pursuit III days with my friends.

Hot Pursuit III? Perhaps you meant Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, or Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit II? :P
But yeah, looking forward to this game. Hopefully it plays as good as it looks.

Lookin' good Criterion, unfortunately you're just releasing this game in the wrong month. As GT5 will be consuming most of my time between then and now, I really can't see my schedule opening for a new racer anytime sooner than mid-year 2011. Will definitely give it a look-see once I take a break from GT5 though.

Got to play this game at the GameStop Managers convention and was blown away by the pure awesomeness it beholds. I miss racing games when they were fun not full of wall crashing frustration. I hope that Gran Turismo 5 does not overshadow this title. They both have a lot to offer.

Fun times with Hot pursuit on the playstation, but it will be a hard choice between this or Gran turismo 5, maybe I should get both.

I've been looking forward to this one, Hot Pursuit stole a lot of my computer time when I was younger, and that was just a demo of it. Damn that looks gorgeous, though, and the warning at the beginning made me laugh.

Though as glad as I am to see them getting out of the Underground-style street racers, I will miss the customisation, as I don't think this title will have much along those lines.

I hate this game already. If I wanted to play Hot Pursuit 2, I would play Hot Pursuit 2. Sure the graphics are nicer, but it doesn't look fun to me.

Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit 1 was my favorite. The physics seemed better, and I did enjoy the challenge of actually having to corner the racer, and not just ram him 'til he stops.

These kids these days can have NFS:HP3, I'm going back to the original.

 

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