Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
E3 2010: NFS: Hot Pursuit Hands On Preview - Chasers & Racers
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In the last 5 years, 3 words have made my blood boil: Need For Speed. Once my favourite racing franchise, until recently, the bane of my existence. For all of you that liked Shift, look away now: I have to admit I couldn’t get on with Shift. It was a racer that was half arcade, half simulation... and did neither particularly well. With Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, my contempt for the series has turned back into elation and with Criterion behind the wheel – sorry – and recognising what made the series great, we could be onto a winner here.

So what made the series great? Criterion were that on the ball at this year’s E3 that they actually told us what we wanted to hear: exotic cars, epic landscapes – of which there are 100 miles of road – and of course, the main ingredient: cops.

A big focus for Criterion at this year’s E3 – other than the racing itself – are the things that they plan to do with social networking within Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit – they’re looking to create a connected experience by putting a social network at the heart of it. Meet, “Need For Speed Autolog” – an in-game social network that tracks your friends’ progress, gives you news, gives you a “Most Wanted” friend, allows you to send and receive messages (and pictures) and more. Two of the things that Criterion touched upon a little further was Autolog’s “Feed” and “Recommends” aspects.

“Need For Speed Feed” is the part of the Autolog which you can access from any web-enabled device, and it’s basically a live updated network that changes depending on what your friends do. “Autolog Recommends” on the other hand creates personalised challenges based on what your friends are doing online – so if a friend sets a new personal best, it’ll give you the option to go and beat it. If you beat that personal best then you can gloat to the high heavens. With the social networking side out the way, Criterion moved on to focus a little on the career mode.

With two separate careers and ranks for each (the racer & the chaser AKA the cop), Criterion were keen to point out that they want to make it just as fun to be a cop, as it is to be a racer. Being one of those attentive journalistic types, we noticed that when Criterion were flicking through the menus that Hot Pursuit will offer a plethora of modes for both the cops and the racers, although we assume that there is more up their sleeves as this was an early build. Listed under the cop’s category were such modes as; patrol, interceptor and pursuit race; whilst listed under the racer’s menus, there was; cruise, race, interceptor and pursuit. Whilst it might not be a definitive list, it does give you a good indication of what to expect from the full game. Criterion did note that you can create your own game modes as well, whether you want to play 7 cops on 1 racer or alternatively 7 racers on 1 cop.

Luckily for us we even managed to sneak a bit of hands-on time with title’s “Chase” mode that pits one racer against one chaser – in other words: a cop vs. a street racer. Taking turns with both sides of the law, we found the handling on both to be a joy as we were often able to drift round corners at high speeds with a certain amount of style and panache – something that the celebrated Need For Speeds excelled at. Both the racer and the chaser each have a handful of few tools at their disposal, and it not only helps keep you on your toes, but definitely raises the stakes of the mode. The cops can use EMPs, roadblocks and even call in the support of a chopper, while the racers can use jammers, decoys and nitrous to gain an advantage – all of which are assigned to the d-pad – but the end goals stay the same: if you’re a cop, whittle down the street racer’s energy till it’s 0% - damage is only aesthetic, so don’t worry too much about that – and as the racer, you have to get out of the cop’s detection radius.

The inevitable issue with one vs. one is that it can often be a lonely experience, so I have to say, this won’t be a mode for everyone. It’s more of a mode for the hardened racers and tacticians. “Tacticians!?” you scoff? Yes, because couple the game’s “weapons” with the ability to change direction, take shortcuts and go different routes, and the game becomes a battle of wits. It becomes more of a case of, “How can I slow down my opponent long enough to get away/capture him?” and as the abilities have a cooldown on them – meaning you can’t use them all the time – it’s more about “when and where” you use them, rather than “if” you use them. That being said, it is a far cry away from the recent Need For Speeds and definitely is a nod to the old direction of the franchise.

If I’m being honest, the thing that Criterion focused most on in their presentation was the thing I cared the least about: the whole social networking malarkey. More and more developers are trying to put this into their games these days, you know, because “social networking” is the in-thing, when truth be told, it’s just a distraction from why we play games... to immerse ourselves. I’m not sure I care if so-and-so on my friends list beats my lap time because truthfully, I’m not playing games to compete with them – although I’m sure a few of you are – but for me, the reason why we awarded NFS: Hot Pursuit our Racer of the Show award was because not only did it handle like the Need For Speeds of yesteryear, but it seemed as if Criterion understood what made the series so popular to start with: fast cars and intense chases. Although we’d like to have seen more of the straight up races and how the cops play their part there, on first impressions, things are ticking along quite nicely.

Need For Speed is racing onto consoles this coming November.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #2 by OddJob92
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:22:56 PM
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hopefully this new need 4 speed will be better

Forum Posts: 331
Comment #3 by dragon strife 1
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:28:39 PM
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I loved Underground 2 and Undercover, to bad in this game its going to be boring out run one good cop car instead of destroy many shit ones. I would love it if they just made a upgraded version of Underground, no cops, epic roads and customizable cars.

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #4 by SoraheartsKairi
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:32:59 PM
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Beep Beep says the bitches.

Forum Posts: 14797
Comment #5 by Webb [STAFF]
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:33:53 PM
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@#3 - That's only one mode...

Forum Posts: 91
Comment #6 by dazzadavie
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 03:57:57 PM
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Since I saw this I've been playing NFS3 on my laptop, I can not wait for this to come out. I just hope the racing world as night racing.

Forum Posts: 225
Comment #7 by Josh Benton
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 04:08:57 PM
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Only NFS i ever liked was Underground 2. Won't be buying this.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #8 by chaos186
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 04:15:55 PM
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ya how about some NFS underground 3!!!!!

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #9 by PyroUKE
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 04:43:47 PM
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@NFS Underground Fans.

It's become clear to me that most of you are probably late teens and therefore never had the chance to play NFS6 aka Hot Pursuit 2 on PS2/XBOX/PC/GAMECUBE!

Its by far the best game in the entire 13 game series! and if you have any of the old console's or play on pc i'd recommend picking it up for an un-biased taste of what's to come this november. Once you've played it, then i'll be fine if you dislike it. But it just annoys me when some of you seem to think nfs started at underground!!!

Forum Posts: 47
Comment #10 by slapp77
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 04:51:09 PM
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Back where it belongs!!! I'm with you #9. So far I will be getting this one.

Forum Posts: 20759
Comment #11 by Barad
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 04:58:07 PM
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this game will be awesome!

Forum Posts: 23
Comment #12 by V4R14N7
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 05:35:54 PM
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NFS HP2 is still my all time favortie NFS, hands down. NFS3 being the second. But the included 'weapons' in this one have me worried. I never had problems catching my friends or escapeing from them, so I hope there's a classic mode. I liked Underground, but there was always something diffrent about the older NFS. WANTED and Undercover tried to capture the old ways but it was really Undeground meets Hot pursuit and it never worked. Maybe that's what these teens are comparing it to and that's a shame for them

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #13 by Unalive3
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 05:42:28 PM
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As much as I want to like this game I can't, as least until theres a demo. After Need for Speed III, they've made pretty lousy games. And the last four that came out were said to resurrect the franchise... obviously that hasn't happened yet.

Forum Posts: 167
Comment #14 by Streetrunner77
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 05:47:52 PM
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I can remember playing the first Need for Speed back in the 90's - been playing the NFS games ever since - loved the Hot Pursuit one on the original xbox - i'm a 37 year old gamer and enjoy every minute of it

Forum Posts: 741
Comment #15 by Axel Desade
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 06:32:03 PM
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@9 Even being only 16, I can say I played that game, and I LOVED it. It is, as you said, by far the best game in the NFS series. I remember me and my brother sitting there for hours on the PC version, seeing who could get a cooler crash through police barricades and what not. And, if I recall correctly, they would deploy spike strips too, right? In any case, I'm excited to see this and hope it lives up to the old one.

Forum Posts: 233
Comment #16 by Cinderkin
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 06:50:56 PM
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Need 4 Speed 3: Hot Pursuit and Need 4 Speed Hot Pursuit 2 are my all time favorites of the franchise. The music in HP2 was fantastic, and I hope that this game brings N4S back to the good old days.

The thought of playing online with a group of friends where its Cops vs racers could really be a lot of fun.

I could care less about the Social network thing. although in Blur I have enjoyed competing with a friend in challenges and what not.

I want to see some awesome crashes from burnout in here. ^.^

Forum Posts: 34
Comment #17 by Serious Pille
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 06:51:20 PM
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Hot Pursuit is a big name and probably the biggest in the nfs series so lets hope that they live up to the expectations ^^ But i think im gonna get this xD

Forum Posts: 359
Comment #18 by mejimmeh45
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 08:18:46 PM
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I would of prefeared a new burnout game from Critiron. Maybe that will be next on their To-Do list.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #19 by asilent boom
Monday, June 28, 2010 @ 08:38:52 PM
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I'm looking forward to this, but I really want a Paradise sequel alot more.

Forum Posts: 156
Comment #20 by Delboy06eu
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 01:06:29 AM
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This will basically be the sequel to paradise city. Except this time it has cops and all sorts. And TBH, Webb, social networking is where racers need to go. I mean we've had your gran turismo's and need for speed undergrounds - And they only go so far in a single player format. Burnout is by far my fave racing game and this is shaping up to be even better!

Forum Posts: 893
Comment #21 by DaChiefOfOwnage
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 04:03:57 AM
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Leave "social networking" out.

Hopefully this will be bigger and better than Hot Pursuit 2... man I played that game to hell back on Xbox.

Forum Posts: 61
Comment #22 by MiNiM61
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 06:15:29 AM
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I've still got Need for Speed: Road Challenge on my shelf in it's case for PC, and I'm tempted to play it again.

Hopefully Criterions' take on the franchise is a step or 6 back.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #23 by Kroesis
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 06:22:08 AM
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Free-roam? Off the cuff chases?

I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this one, loved HP2 but I have my own idea of how it could be. I love Burnout Paradise and would like to see a few things transfer such as it being free-roaming. For instance you could choose to be a cop just roaming around until either you see a racer speeding by or you get a report from some NPC cop at a speed trap giving you then the opportunity to find/start chasing the racer player. Hence an off the cuff chase without having to set up anything.

I'm not suggesting that it won't be like this, (in fact the patrol and cruise modes may be something like it... hopefully) but all I've read about at the moment are details on pre-set race modes.

Oh and I want my Bugatti Veyron cop car!

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #24 by Arashikage81
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 08:44:40 AM
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Sweet I remember playing the original Hot Pursuit on PSone and it was my favorite racing game of al time. After Hot Pursuit 2 I dropped out of the NFS franchise cause it went in the wrong direction for me personally. I got back into it with the release of Most Wanted on 360 and I loved it, felt like a return to the old NFS days. Haha but again after I tried Carbon I lost interest again. Hot Pursuit 3, as this one should be called, looks amazing and I'll have to see more about it before I'm 100% committed but it looks like I might be back to NFS days again! Just my opinion

Forum Posts: 65
Comment #25 by Dryden1877
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 09:45:49 AM
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i will be buying this one! i absolutly loved undercover! i was that good at cops and robbers i was 13th in the world before i sold it!

i hated shift and pro street, need for speed need to stick to racing around cities, getting chased by the cops! its alot more fun! specially since you can wreck stuff to lose the cops!! unlike driving around on a race track!

so therefore im in for this game! i will be pre-ordering this, along with call of duty, and assassins creed!

Forum Posts: 54
Comment #26 by Nekro Neko
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 09:53:54 AM
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Criterion making this game is only good. They have yet to make a bad game IMO and I don't think they are about to start with this one.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #27 by 2ChopStick
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 10:14:13 AM
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love racing games

Forum Posts: 69
Comment #28 by XDesertClawX
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 10:16:08 AM
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Hot Pursuit---Best NFS ever!

Forum Posts: 646
Comment #29 by SNIPERUPHIGH
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 11:16:14 AM
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I cannot wait to get my hands on this.Im very excited about this NFS where as the last 3 where shit

Forum Posts: 545
Comment #30 by lizard9979
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 12:43:24 PM
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#9 - Completely and totally agree. NFS undergrounds are no comparison to the HP Game

cannot wait for this game. Criterion can make some darn good racing games. Loved Burnout.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #31 by stevendapmp2
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 01:18:13 PM
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god. this game just makes me want to beat off. lmao. the best. its so kool to know that criterion is taking nfs back to its roots of great cars and redoing hot pursuit. kinda makes me wonder if they will redo some of the other decent nfs like underground 2 and making it 10x better. god man. is it november 16th yet

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #32 by CxHxUxD
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 02:29:33 PM
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This was a great game for Playstation back in the day. New and improved; we'll have to find out for ourselves how this one will be.

Forum Posts: 163
Comment #33 by Veyron
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 03:58:37 PM
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Hot Pursuit 2 is still the king of the NFS Series, lets hope this tops it!

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #34 by Dirty Dobb
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 03:59:29 PM
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I"m glad they went back to the streets with this game. That's where NFS needs to be not on a circuit track, that game was crap.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #35 by flopidopidod
Tuesday, June 29, 2010 @ 05:25:50 PM
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NFS Hot Pursuit 2 is the greatest NFS game and possibly the best racer of all time!! Hopefully this one will be able to take the crown of best racers!!

Forum Posts: 111
Comment #36 by lildevilbmxer
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ 12:28:30 AM
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i am very veryyyy excited for the new need for speed finally there going back to there roots

Forum Posts: 356
Comment #37 by Var 18
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ 03:45:10 PM
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Hot Pursuit 2 was an amazing game, I'm so glad they are making another one. I recall suggesting it a few years ago... but I won't hold grudges :P

Forum Posts: 11
Comment #38 by JuiceboxHero
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ 05:27:23 PM
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finally! looking to be more like hot pursuit 2, which is stll my favorite racing game of all time.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #39 by rowdyinc
Sunday, July 04, 2010 @ 10:46:26 PM
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I was really happy to hear the NFS games are having a return to Hot pursuit. I have stacks of fun with the original hot pursuit games so I'm looking forward to this one.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #40 by Sonixboom
Tuesday, July 20, 2010 @ 05:36:23 PM
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I hope we can customize our cars like in undercover... that was the best part of that game :)

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Game Info
Criterion Games
Electronic Arts


US November 16, 2010
Europe November 19, 2010

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