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‘Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered’ Review: A NOS-talgic Racer Returns

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‘Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered’ Review: A NOS-talgic Racer Returns

It's 2010, you're sat behind the wheel of an exotic supercar in Seacrest County with Chiddy Bang's 'Opposite of Adults' blasting out the car stereo. It's a memory that Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit fans will fondly remember, myself included. Fast forward ten years, and Criterion is back with a Hot Pursuit remaster ready for a whole new audience to try and escape from.

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Upon booting up the 2020 iteration, players are greeted with the same 30 Seconds To Mars song, 'Edge of the Earth', which fans loved a decade ago, and it's a welcome sound both for those returning to the game and a powerful score to get newcomers pumped for the road ahead. After a brief introduction to the game's social networking-esque feature 'Autolog', you are ready to tear up the streets of Seacrest County.

It's when you're behind the wheel, putting the pedal to the metal, that the remaster really starts to shine, and you can start to see some of the visual improvements that breathe fresh life into Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. The game has accelerated into a new generation with higher-resolution models, reflections and boosted textures - but there are a few occasions which they'll go amiss and perhaps even cause you question if the graphics are the same as the 2010 version.

Credit: Criterion, EA
Credit: Criterion, EA
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One example of this is in between races, where the menu screens and cutscenes look a little tired. But when it comes to hitting the road, rest assured, after a quick side by side comparison it is clear to see that work has been done in this department; although the graphics alone might not be enough to bring players over.

The simplicity of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit back in the day was wonderful, and thankfully that hasn't been lost in this remaster. It's easy to overcomplicate racers with endless customisation and vehicle tuning, but here all Criterion gives us is a car choice, colour, and that's it - and thankfully it's all we need. Allowing you to play through two storylines at once on either side of the law, you'll always find yourself with new cars and locales to enjoy in Seacrest County.

Drifting was one of my favourite parts of the original Hot Pursuit, along with many other Need For Speed titles, and it feels just as good in this version as it did a decade ago on Xbox 360. There are moments throughout which ooze nostalgia, and it brings back memories you didn't even realise you had - whether that's through the soundtrack or by escaping from cops using a shortcut in your Ford Shelby GT500.

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The game has driving at its core, and each race is determined by what happens on the road, rather than the garage. As the game progresses, so does the arsenal of weapons you can unleash on Seacrest County's roads. These weapons can aid you in shutting down illegal races or taking down the cops trying to put you behind bars.

Cops have road blocks, EMPs, spike strips or helicopters at their disposal. On the other hand, racers can escape with the help from similar weapons, although they have turbos and jammers instead of helicopters. Much like the 2010 version, while the weapons can give you an advantage against other cops/racers, it's the driving that matters at the end of the day.

Credit: Criterion, EA
Credit: Criterion, EA
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Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered ushers in a new era of gaming. Not only does it offer enhanced graphics, but it brings with it cross-platform multiplayer which ties in well with the Autolog system, which tracks player times and shares them with friends as they progress through cop/racer career paths. The NFS franchise is no stranger to powerful soundtracks, especially Hot Pursuit, and thankfully the remastered edition contains all of the bangers from the original. Safe to say Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit is definitely up there in terms of soundtracks alongside the likes of Need For Speed: Underground 2.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered welcomes you back to Seacrest County in an interesting fashion, and for lovers of the 2010 title who are perhaps looking to redeem this year with the help of some Hot Pursuit nostalgia, then it's certainly worth checking out. With that said, playing this game 10 years on has made me wonder if I'd enjoy this remaster as much as if I was playing the original for the first time in 2020. While the remastered version does include slightly better graphics, DLC and various quality of life updates, I'm still left wondering if this is enough to wow any newcomers or die-hard NFS fans who are more interested in other series entries.

Pros: A faithful remaster of the original Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit title with enhanced graphics and crossplay, DLC included.

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Cons: Some aspects of the game haven't been touched and can look a little dated.

For fans of: Need For Speed: Most Wanted, Need For Speed: Heat, Burnout Paradise

6/10: Good

Game was reviewed on PS4 with code provided by the publisher. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit releases November 6th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and November 13th on Nintendo Switch. Read a guide to our review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Criterion, EA

Topics: Xbox One, Need For Speed, EA, PlayStation 4

Phil Boon
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