While I’m not the biggest fan of realistic racing games, there have been a few that struck a chord with me, most notably the Forza Horizon series. There’s just something about the music, open world, and accessibility for all skill levels that puts me in a zen-like state when playing. I also have fond memories of the Need for Speed games, as my cousin and I would play one of them on his PS2 for hours when we were kids. My dad’s also a gearhead, so I know a few things about cars. It’s been 10 years since Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was released on PlayStation 3, so how does this remaster hold up compared to its contemporaries?
In Hot Pursuit, you play as either a racer or a cop. As a racer, you merely want to get to the finish as quickly as possible, while as a cop you want to take out all the racers. The campaign mode will see you completing missions, unlocking new vehicles and weapons, and ranking up. It’s pretty simplistic, and doesn’t offer much variety even between the two playstyles. The biggest difference is how you acquire nitros: as a racer you need to drive dangerously like on the wrong side of the road or near missing other cars while as a cop it just fills up automatically. The semi-open world you drive across isn’t very interesting either, there are some sections that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were just copy-pasted all over.
After looking up some footage of the original, I found that this remaster actually looks a bit worse than it did on PS3. The higher resolution makes the sub-par textures on the environment pop out, and overall the game looks desaturated. On PS4 Pro, you can choose between either a performance or graphics mode, and I would recommend performance as it lets the game run at 60fps, though even that won’t make the driving feel any better.
Let me be perfectly honest, every car in this game feels like driving stale bread with wheels. I get that this shouldn’t have the twitchiness of a game like Mario Kart, but the controls just feel so unresponsive and heavy. I found myself frequently hitting walls on turns no matter when I started turning or if I was trying to drift. Ramming other drivers likewise feels unwieldy, as it can often send you careening along with your opponent so it’s hardly ever worth it. This makes every single race more dull than anything else, even in multiplayer which is a big focus with the “Autolog” system. Even the music can’t really save the game from being at most serviceable, there are very few tracks and I couldn’t find a single one I liked.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit may have had its heyday, but this particular entry feels well past its prime with bland visuals, uninteresting courses, and terrible controls.