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Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fast Facts

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

Developer: Stellar Entertainment Software
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Website: https://www.ea.com/games/need-for-speed/need-for-speed-hot-pursuit-remastered
Genre: Racing
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 13/11/2020
Price: £34.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit originally released a decade ago. This refresh from Stellar Entertainment Software offers classic Need for Speed racing but is this remaster left in the dirt? Drive up to the starting line, start your engines and find out in this Rapid Review.

I have played a few Need for Speed games in the past: Rivals on the Xbox 360 and Most Wanted on the PS Vita, which I greatly enjoyed. I hadn’t played the acclaimed Hot Pursuit before so was excited to try it out on the Nintendo Switch. What makes Need for Speed stand out from other games of the genre is the opportunity to play as both sides of the law. Scattered across the map are two different types of symbols. These symbols highlight which type of racer you’ll be playing as: either a cop or an illegal racer.

Where will you race?

Using the map is the only way to begin a race which is perfectly understandable, but it baffles me on why there is an open world mode. The open-world does not offer any new cars to race, new missions to start, time trials to beat or police to evade. It simply serves as a world to drive around in, perhaps to survey shortcuts. The missions of Hot Pursuit are initiated from the map making it easy to jump straight into a race which is perfect for a portable Nintendo Switch game!

Drift Easy

In my opinion, the most important aspect of a racing game is how the car drives. I am pleased to say that the handling in Hot Pursuit is incredibly responsive, making the cars a joy to control. Building up my nitro and then releasing my boost left, right and centre. I encountered quite a few tight bends and by holding down the brake button, I began to drift, and the tight handling and responsive braking made drifting a real delight.

Whilst racing, I encountered several different shortcuts and off-road sections to get ahead of the pack. Some of the secondary routes serve as a slowdown so it’s always worth looking at the minimap before veering off. I was impressed by Hot Pursuit’s implementation of “Joycon Rumble”, a feature of the Switch I haven’t noticed in a while. There was a distinct difference between the smooth tarmac and the gravel-filled shortcut that took me through a building site.

Thoroughly examining the crash system.

Although Hot Pursuit is a joy to control, I couldn’t stop myself from crashing now and then. Strangely enough, I quite enjoyed crashing the car as the game visually looked stunning. Crashes happen in slow motion with particle effects and flying debris. 

Sights of Seacrest

This Need for Speed is set in Seacrest County, a fictionalised American county. The race route is shown before the race begins and a blue line snakes itself round the roads, revealing the path I’d be taking. Forests, seaside-roads and deserts are all environments that make up the county of Seacrest. Although my focus was mostly on the car that I was driving, I did dare move my focus to the environments a few times. I enjoyed the diversity of the areas but unfortunately, the distant hills and mountains do lack detail and resolution.

Off the beaten track.

It’s clear that this is a 10-year-old game, and it doesn’t appear as if the environments got that fresh coat of paint in this remaster. On the other hand, the cars themselves look superb. The glossy shiny car boots superbly reflected the surrounding environment. Sure, it’s no ray tracing but the reflections looked great!

Variety in Velocity

Hot Pursuit’s game of “Cops and Robbers” offers a variety in racing types from both sides of the law. In one race, I was evading cops whilst battling for the finish line and in the next, I became a cop trying to take down illegal racers. Some of the racing modes did make me question how I was protecting the civilians of Seacrest County. I’m not sure if a police-supercar time trial is stopping any crime!

In both sides, there are multiple quick-use abilities on offer such as spike traps and roadblocks. Although I must admit that the police roadblocks were pretty hard to navigate through, even as a cop! Hot Pursuit also offers a cross-platform multiplayer mode where I was quickly able to find a game and begin to race my fellow players. The multiplatform multiplayer is an excellent inclusion as it opens up the pool of players and means there should always be someone to race with.

Colour is the only customisation.

It is super simple to select your car and head to the finish line. There’s no fine-tuning of suspension, topping up of brake fluid or ensuring there’s enough window washer available. In fact, the only customisation comes in the form of choosing the colour of your car. Naturally, throughout the game your bounty level (essentially XP) will increase, unlocking new cars to take for a spin. I enjoyed the basic approach to progress and appreciated not having to invest in any complex skill trees or the like.

Final Position

Overall, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is an excellent racing game. Despite being a decade-old game, the handling is superb and makes navigating the tight roads of Seacrest County a delight. With its portable nature and the ease of getting straight into a race, this Need for Speed is a game you should hot pursue!

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can purchase Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered for £34.99 on the eShop

You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

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