In 2010 Criterion Games released one of the best games in the Need for Speed franchise. By that we mean of course Hot Pursuit, the racing game had perfect controls and felt like a breath of fresh air in a series that was received more and more slackly at the time. Now, ten years after the original, it’s time to take a look back at this hit in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered.
One of the most acclaimed elements in Hot Pursuit was not only the eccentric races and police chases, but also how each car felt and how easy it was to drive. The controls just felt great, responsive and accurate, allowing us to complete our missions without much effort. The same feeling can be felt in the remaster, and once you have the controls in your hands, you immediately feel at home. Especially if you played the original ten years ago.
You will surely remember that the original Hot Pursuit came equipped with something called an Autolog. Basically it is a series of leaderboards where you can compete with your friends to see who is better. Each event had its own special autolog, and the game notified you when someone broke your record. It was without a doubt a great addition that shook up our competitive side every time we saw the notifications pop up on the screen, and the good news is that Autolog is back in this remaster and now also includes cross-play, which is perfect for the modern gamer.
Of course there is also a “traditional” multiplayer mode, which we will talk about later. For now, we’ll focus a bit more on the gameplay and premise of Hot Pursuit, for those of you who are not so familiar with the game’s core concept.
In Hot Pursuit, we take control of the cops and racers as a battle for supremacy unleashed in Seacrest County, the fictional location in which this title was developed. By being able to play on both sides of the law, there will be times when we have to escape the police or stop illegal races.
The game constantly rewards the player through a satisfying level progression system. Each “faction” has its own separate progression, and every time you level up, you get new cars, new classes with faster racers, and equipment such as spikes, EMP detonators and police barricades. Especially at the start the system constantly rewards you. Needless to say, Hot Pursuit can provide many hours of fun with this system, although the magic quickly dissipates.
Even though there are tons of events to enjoy, it won’t be long before you see the same songs over and over. Yes, it is possible to play in “free mode”, but without a goal to complete the gameplay is pointless. Unless you want to relax and drive quietly without anything or someone bothering you. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remaster includes all previously released DLC for the original game, but nothing else is ‘new’. Since this is a remastering, there are of course a few new features that will keep you up to date with current games, such as a photo mode.
For collectors and car enthusiasts, the developers have implemented a new garage that allows you to observe in detail all the vehicles you have unlocked so far. In addition to the DLC and previously mentioned items, this remaster offers a new system to customize your cars. In the original it was only possible to choose certain predefined colors, but now you have an extensive color palette at your disposal so that you can apply the style you like best.
Visually, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit doesn’t look too bad, and the graphics look decent, and especially on Nintendo Switch it’s good quality. But I admit it fell short in this section. The vehicles have a new level of detail that will surely make you appreciate them even more, but the real jump comes with the ability to play at 60FPS, although this is only possible on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remaster feels like that old game from 2010, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While we essentially think of it as a “remastering”, we don’t consider it the correct term either, since, as I said before, very little was done in the visual part to justify it.
We can safely say that Hot Pursuit is still a very fun and entertaining experience, and it is exactly this level of simplicity that makes it so satisfying to tear around the track, whether as a cop or as a racer. If you were a fan of the original then we cannot recommend this remaster highly enough.