Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered Review – Beautiful & Rewarding

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered Review

The original Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit released way back in 2010, but the games it was based on came out on even older generations of consoles. Need for Speed titles have experimented with racers and police since 1998’s Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit and 2002’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit drew inspiration from these games to modernize the cops versus racers concept for PS3, Xbox One, Wii, and PC. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered modernizes that game as much as it modernized the concepts brought to life in even older Need for Speed titles. While Hot Pursuit Remastered may not be ideal for new racers, it’s a love letter to the classic Need for Speed titles that many fans have been clamouring for.

Made for NFS Veterans

This true-to-life recreation of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was developed by the same team that made it happen to begin with, Criterion Games, and it shows in the feel and presentation of the game. Nothing is lost in translation from the last generation of consoles, and the game gets the appropriate visual improvements that you’d expect from a remaster. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered includes all of the main DLC, delivering around six hours of gameplay and over 30 more challenges. Everything that earned Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit the Best Racing Game Award from the Game Critics Awards in 2010 and The British Academy Video Games Award for Multiplayer in 2011 is here in the remaster, making it an essential NFS title for fans of the original.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered focuses on two campaigns, one tied to racers and one tied to cops.  Personally, I prefer evading the police as a racer because it seems to offer the most white-knuckle racing and lengthiest challenges. The progression tied to these campaigns is rewarding in the sense that I always feel like I’m working towards the next car, with finishing in the top three of most events rewarding a vehicle. Progression for racers is separate from the cop campaign, meaning you’ll be unlocking all sorts of race cars as well as a plethora of cop cars. I like how much more like Burnout playing as a cop feels, but racers can simulate that experience by ramming other racers or police who threaten to shut down their race. Crashes spark brief cutscenes that range from tame to ridiculous, portraying the result of your miscalculation, or precision, in a cinematic effect that doesn’t necessarily reflect real physics.

There are a number of game modes throughout the combined career of racers and cops on Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered. Some of these game modes include Speedwall, Hot Pursuit, Race, and Duel. These game modes change up gameplay appropriately, with Duel focusing on a 1v1 between you and another racer, and Race including a large variety of racers while featuring that classic Need for Speed feel. The most important game mode between both the cop and racer campaign is the titular Hot Pursuit mode where racers dodge other racers, traffic, and the police alike. In Hot Pursuit, you must win a race, but you must also evade being arrested by the local authority which has an arsenal of weapons such as an EMP, Spike Strip, and the ominous chopper which looms above menacingly as you try to complete a race. You aren’t left to fend for yourself with just an extremely fast vehicle, however, as Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit offers racers a similar arsenal of weapons to defend themselves from police and takeout enemy racers with. Using the EMP requires racers to line up a box with a smaller box to target their enemies, while you’ll want to get ahead of your target before dropping a Spike Strip.

Crash Into Me

Cars in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered don’t handle as well as they do in more modern NFS games, with many vehicles actually playing exactly like each other. While this was pretty common two generations ago when the original Hot Pursuit concept was brought to life, racing titles have diverged from this recently and some people are happy about that, while others aren’t. If you prefer the classic arcade-y experience, there’s no question that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is for you, but recent NFS fans might find racing in this remaster a little clunky. Another issue I came across is something familiar to Mario Kart fans or fans of other racing games on previous generations of consoles, noticeable rubber banding. There are times I’ve noticed this rubber banding work in my favour and others where it completely ruined me, so it’s more of an observation than a complaint. Weather effects have also received a noticeable graphical improvement, though their effect on the road seems minimal in comparison to more modern Need for Speed games such as Heat.

Classic Hot Pursuit 

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a true recreation of the original game from Criterion Games and EA on last-gen consoles for current-gen hardware. The great visual improvements appropriately age the title, while extremely little is done to change the original gameplay experience. This makes Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered a must-buy not only for fans of the original Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit but also for any Need for Speed fans who are itching for the classic experience.

New Need for Speed fans that joined the franchise with Heat will notice some aged mechanics as the franchise has changed significantly since 2010. One of the most noticeable of the aged features is the online functionality which shows how far Need for Speed has come since 2010 simply through the UI and design of it. Despite the aged feel, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered offers cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer powered by Autolog. While this may be hit or miss for new fans, it’s admirable that Criterion Games and EA wanted to maintain the original gameplay experience that created the cult following within the Need for Speed community. This is now the best way to play Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit as it’s updated for the PS4 and Xbox One without losing anything that made the original game great.

**PS4 code provided by the publisher**

The Good

  • A true recreation of a cult classic
  • Beautifully updated visuals
  • Rewarding progression
  • Included DLC

The Bad

  • Dated soundtrack
  • Stiff vehicles