Zombie's 1st Impressions of NFS:HP

We finally got our limited edition Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit's on Thursday, after a very long pre-order period.

My very first impression was that the game is a total hassle! You have to type in the code on the manual to be able to play online, so if you buy the game 2nd hand or rent it, you will only have access to online for 2 days unless you buy an online pass. Not sure how much it costs, but it's EA's response to the 2nd hand market. It is probably a more effective way of making money from 2nd hand games then DLC alone! Not sure I like it, and it meant a further 5 minute delay before I was able to play NFS:HP!

Then there was a Shift 2 preview, I didn't mind watching this too much as it looked really cool, but it was unskippable, so meant a further delay!

Finally.... I got to play the game!

I started by selecting the Cop career, as Xandu had started as a Racer, I wanted to do things a bit differently. The first thing that struck me was how similar to Burnout 3 the event selection is. You select the location from the map, then you have a list of events to select from. Initially only the top event is unlocked in two locations, one for Cops and one for Racers.

I selected the Cop event, and was ready to go!

As I haven't slept well lately and have an awful memory at the best of times, I can't remember which order the events were in... so the rest of this wont be as chronological!

The first events don't have any of the power ups available to you, so the racers just have to use their speed and wits to win and evade the cops, and the cops just have to batter the racers into submission or get to the finish line in good time so the racers don't escape!

A few events in and I have unlocked a few cars and a few 'chievos, then the power ups are slowly introduced. The first was Road Blocks, then Spike Strips. But, the Spike Strip event didn't have Road Blocks too... so I guess it will be a while before I have access to all 4 power ups.

I also wanted to check out the online options, so online I went. The first option is to Join Friends, then to set up a Private Match for friends, then Quick Match... I think there was another option, but can't think what it was now. Anyway.. I selected Quick Match and that led to an event selection screen. I selected a couple and then jumped out as the rooms weren't full or were full of dicks. Then I selected Race (or whatever the race bit was called, I have a feeling it wasn't called race) I did one race online, which I was rubbish at! At least I didn't finish last tho!

I do miss the lobby system. I would love to be able to host for strangers, or be able to select the room I want to race in based on what the host has called the room, or what their gamertag is. But, I guess that is now a thing of the past.

I'm not sure if the Private Matches really are friends only, or if you can open them up to other players. As I didn't have any friends playing online I didn't try it. (everybody is still playing through the offline game and enjoying competing on Autolog!)

Overall I think it is a very good game, and I am looking forward to getting my experience levels up... I only got to level 2 so far! There are preview events which let you drive the super fast cars.... and boy are they FAST! I want to unlock those bad boys!

When I asked an old skool Burner if he was getting NFS:HP, he said he really wanted a Burnout 3.5. I think this is as close to a Burnout 3.5 as we are going to get!

Let us know what you think of the game!

See you in Seacrest County!


Cube's picture

 I was quite surprised at how different to Paradise it is. To me, it feels more like a sequel to Burnout 3. It's fairly obvious that Criterion got a lot of control over this - the boost system is similar to the "stunt" boost from Paradise, and the Oncoming, Drift , Near Miss and stuff is still in the bottom right. 

I haven't tried the online yet, but so far the single-player is probably my favourite racing game I've played. The variation of the events is surprising, largely thanks to the brilliant AI which seems to get better as you progress. There's some rubber banding involved, but it's not over the top (like Burnout 3 and, more recently, Split/Second). Even so, the amount of rubber banding also varies between events (it's most noticeable during Duel events...but in doing so it makes each one a frantic battle from start to finish). When your a cop, the racer AI seems to get smarter as you progress (at the start, the racers never took shortcuts and now they do). The Intercepter events (you Vs one racer) also have unique AI - in the event where you have spike strips and the racer has EMPs, the racer actually surprised me. I'll let you find out his tactics yourself.


All in all, this still feels like a Burnout game, but more in line of Burnout 3. I hope that Criterion alternate between the Burnout series (carrying on the Paradise style) and the Hot Pursuit series.


ZombieTron's picture

Another thing I really like about NFS:HP is that the emphasis on earning boost (ok, I will call it nitrous) is to drive dangerously! I'm not really sure what about Paradise makes it feel non-burnout, but I know it didn't feel like you had to drive dangerously to earn boost.

I hope Criterion Games keep making games like this (NFS:HP), like Burnout 2: Point of Impact and like Burnout 3: Takedown. I hope they never make another game like Paradise as long as they are programming games!

I am so happy that NFS doesn't feel like Paradise!


Chu's picture

 Paradise was a nice departure from the norm. Most everyone here will say that it was awesome, considering we all literally put hundreds of hours into it. But I would like for Criterion's next Burnout game to be a circuit racer. Basically, Burnout 3 for the next generation.  I think Hot Pursuit is a GREAT game. In fact, I probably like point-to-point stuff more than circuit stuff. However, B3 was the hight of the Burnout series and a return to something so great would be just plan awesome.

TheGaroMan's picture

My pre order copy was sent a couple days ago, and it hasn't come yet. This has angered me.

hn6's picture

 It's 800 points to play online, which seems a bit steep, they should have made it 400 maybe. 

Driving along the mountain road as the wind blows the snow off the hills across your path is worth paying full price for - Beautiful.

Cube's picture

I think 800 points is fair - it's only for people who don't buy the game new.


ZombieTron's picture

I have been debating this in the Xbox.com forums, at first I wasn't entirely against the idea. The main people who hated it were those who use Gamefly and Blockbusters for extended rentals and never buy games, siting that they don't have enough money!... I don't have enough money to pay a monthly sub to Blockbusters so I don't quite get that logic.

Anyway, now with the announcement of PDLC already, with new events that I want. I would have preferred a code to get the first DLC for Free, as some games do.

What do you think is the best way for games developers to make money from the pre-owned games market and long term rentals?

oO EezO Oo's picture

I gotta say - I'm for it, I think game developers/producers/coders etc should get paid for what they've made.  When you rent or buy a used game 0% of that sale goes to the people who put it together in the first place, the same people who are continuing to support the game (and the same people some are asking for free DLC from).  I want the people who make the games I like to stay in business.

I also like my local used game store, and I know they turn more profit on selling a used copy vs. a new one, so I'll grab used over new anyday (win / win) So I really dont mind the online pass purchase, I think my money goes to the people who I want to keep in business, so I can keep playing games that make me smiley :-)

Zombs you mentioned a good point.  Alot of people feel like they're getting ripped off when a game comes out with some DLC soon after release, but I would wager that if there was never any mention of DLC, and they had gone all the way through the events/game/disc they purchased, they would feel like they got their moneys worth already.  If they haven't then ... what are they worried about DLC for?  They still got catchin up to do. 

Last point - if it was worth going onto a forum to type out your opinion about, it must be a worthwhile game, so stop typing, give credit where credit is due, and go have fun. 

 (sorry, didn't mean to get off Zombs original post,  I really do like the game alot ... it drives very ... "reveng-y"  )

Thanks for listenin folks... gonna go drink some beers and bust some speeders.

CAPS LOCK - Cruise control for AWESOME!!


CAPS LOCK - Cruise control for AWESOME!!


oDGuardian's picture

 There is an upside and a downside to games coming out today compared to what we had back then. Back then like Burnout 3 we only had what the game came with. No DLC or anything like that and we were fine with it seeing as how most of us kept playing it for almost 6 years even after Revenge and Paradise's release. Now we got games that just doesnt seem like it has enough to keep us occupied long enough to keep us playing it for as long as we did B3. 

As far as NFS goes I actually do enjoy playing the game even though I am late in getting it. Still getting used to the feel of it as I am still trying to drift like I do in Burnout(old habits die hard). I have yet to try any online racing as I am sure I would get stomped until I learn the tracks and shortcuts. I'll get around to it eventually.