Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | Wii
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit box art
System: X360, PS3, PC
Dev: Exient Games
Pub: Electronic Arts
Release: November 16, 2010
Players: 1-4
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.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit screenshot

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.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

We weren't expecting it to look like the PlayStation 3 version, but the visuals are a little bare-bones even for the Wii.
Of the three control schemes, only the Gamecube controller really works well.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Basically what you'd expect: car sounds and modern pop songs.

Play Value
This game feels like an afterthought to the next-gen versions.

Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Career and Event Types. Become the best driver on the streets by competing in races, evading cops, and earning bounty. The better you perform, the more bounty you earn, which can be used to purchase and upgrade cars. There are six event types including Hot Pursuit, Eliminator, and the flat-out insanity Rush Hour mode, which has the player racing against ninety-nine other racers.
  • Supe-Ups. Enhance the intensity of the pursuit with eight unique Supe-Up power-up options that players can pick-up and use in races to improve their vehicle's performance or to hinder opponents. These include Cruise Control, Tank, Soundwave, Boost, Repair, Deflect the Heat, and Jammer.
  • Cars and Tracks. In Hot Pursuit, the cars go from hot to hotter. Experience the thrill of driving thirty-three of the world's most desirable high-performance cars at incredible speeds. Feel the power of outsmarting the law in high performance supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Lamborghini Gallardo, and McLaren MP4-12C.
  • Race the World. Race in four cities based on the real world locations real world locations: Chongqing, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro, and Las Vegas. There are twenty unique tracks.

  • Screenshots / Images

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