|System: X360, PS3, PC|
|Dev: Exient Games|
|Pub: Electronic Arts|
|Release: November 16, 2010|
|Screen Resolution: 480p||Violence|
The crashes are another lowlight. For starters, it's hard to tell when they'll occur; you can hit cars head-on without crashing sometimes, but other times, a glancing blow off a wall will trigger one. Also, the crashes are visually unimpressive, (with) just some minor crumpling before you're set back on the road. When you hit a car but don't quite crash, it often stays stuck to the front of your vehicle, awkwardly slowing you down.
On the bright side, there's a good amount of content here. Local multiplayer is definitely a strong suit. Who can resist the opportunity to face off against a friend (or two or three) in a cops-and-robbers scenario? Multiplayer also moots the AI issues and draws attention to the various power-ups (a rather basic collection of speed boosts, ways to hurt your opponents, etc.).
(For) Single-player, there are four different cities, each of which has cups to win on a total of twenty tracks; you can easily work through the game in a weekend rental (if you're masochistic enough to keep playing past the first hour or so), but it won't give you the sense of "that's it?" In addition to Rush Hour, there are standard races (with cops along the sidelines every once in a while), time trials (which are surprisingly tough), elimination races, and bosses.
As you unlock extras and earn cash, you can purchase new cars and deck them out with new wheels and body kits. True gearheads might be disappointed that the customization isn't as elaborate as it has been in other Need for Speed games, but those who just want a nice-looking car will find what they're looking for. The music, meanwhile, is exactly what you'd expect from an EA racing title, with modern rock and R&B tracks and car sounds.
One has to wonder: If all EA wanted from the Wii version of Hot Pursuit was a cartoonish arcade racer, why didn't they give it to EA Montreal, which handled the decent Need for Speed Nitro? Instead, Wii owners are left with a truly unacceptable game. Not only does it fail to capture the magic of the next-generation version of Hot Pursuit, it fails to offer enough value to be worth so much as a rental.
It's clear that EA was hoping to sell this game on the strength of its better counterparts, and judging by the customer reviews online, it seems that at least some people already bought it thinking it would look and play like the next-gen version. It doesn't. Run from this game like the cops are in hot pursuit.
CCC Freelance Writer