Need For Speed 3: Hot Pursuit Review

By: John Doe

"Is this really a NFS game? Wow!"

This game is like the third youngest boy in the family. Both of his brothers have went through the school system and terrorized the teachers and given their family name a bad rep, but long and behold, here comes the third boy. Heís bright, intelligent and charms the pants off everyone. He is so good, in fact, that everyone is able to ignore the fact that heís related to the other two idiots.

Need For Speed III does a lot of things right. It features 8 of the worldís most wanted cars, which should give you enough speed to escape the cops in Hot Pursuit mode. Along with that exciting addition, you can now drive at night and through different weather conditions. If that wasnít enough you can practice on all of the different tracks with the extremely helpful Practice mode that gives you tips on how to improve your performance.

The Race mode provides 4 different challenges (not counting practice mode): Single race, Hot Pursuit (You race against the CPU or another human driver, while trying to avoid the cops), Tournament (a four lap race which will reward you with new tracks and supercars if you are victorious) and Knockout mode (7 -2 lap races with 8 competitors. The loser is eliminated at the end of each race.

Out of the aforementioned list, I have found Hot Pursuit Mode to be the most invigorating. There really is something about trying to outrun the cops that just makes a great game! I applaud EA for giving us something a little different than just another ho-hum racing sim. Hey, even Gran Turismo doesnít offer this bundle of fun! On the other side of the coin, NFSIII doesnít offer the cars or the mind numbing detail and challenge of Gran Turismo. But we are really comparing an arcade type game to a simulation type game. Both games succeed very well on their own merits.

The two things that really impressed me about NFSIII are the sheer size of the tracks. They are HUGE. You wonít have time to get bored with the scenery in this game. It changes FAST. The other detail I was impressed with was the feeling of Speed. When I gained the El Nino car, I was blown away. This car flies. You will really feel you are going 200 mph in that baby. Very impressive EA. Of course the dynamic lighting during the night driving is pure eye candy. The flashing lights of the cops on the canyon walls are spectacular.

Little bonuses like changing car color, weather conditions, traffic size, transmissions as well as the added attraction of secret cars and extra tracks make this game a quality product. The voices of the police talking to you through their public address systems are a nice, realistic touch. You can also change the language of the law enforcement officers to suit your tastes. If you find the code! The music is solid and adds to the overall fell of the game and the locales. You can turn it off if it does annoy you though. As for all of you secret stuff fanatics, NFS doesnít disappoint. Wait till you get the El Nino.

The drawbacks are few, but annoying enough to mention: Getting into the game takes awhile due to a ton of screens. You may easily miss something and need to go back to a previous screen. The load times are a little annoying as well, but due to the large environments which also load on the fly, this is forgiven.

I did not have an analog controller during the testing of this game, but I can only imagine it enhances the experience a thousand fold. The regular pad worked decent enough, but an analog controller is really needed to make this a smooth driving experience.

I would have to say that NFSIII is the BEST arcade racer on the PlayStation. Sure it has a sim mode, but if you are into real sims than youíve already got Gran Turismo. If you have over looked NFS because of the lure of GT, you may be creating a void in your life. It may not have 166 cars, but itís packed with fun. And no one said funninís against the law!

Final Analysis:

Rating Legend 1-10 (10 being the highest mark)
Graphics: 9.0
Control: 9.0 (And thatís with the regular pad!)
Music/FX: 9.0
Innovation: 9.5 (Thanks to pursuit, night driving and weather)
Replayability: 8.5
Frustration: 6.0 (Itís got a difficulty setting)
Rent or Buy: Your call
Longevity: 8.5 (Youíll want to go back for more. Trust me.)

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