Today is a release of a very special game. “Special” in the sense that I’m actually willing to pay full price for it and
buy it at launch. This game I speak of is not Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
, though I am interested in the multiplayer. It is none other than Electronic Arts’ Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
. I am very excited for this game. Actually “excited” probably doesn’t do justice for what I feel. Drawing inspiration from mrandydixon
, I have at least five
boners for this game. At once. Anyways what better way to celebrate the release of Hot Pursuit
than share why I am psyched for this game.
1) It is made by Criterion Games.
There is an exclusive club of developers that literally can do no wrong in the eyes of their fans. One of the developers that falls in this category so happens to be Criterion and they are fully deserving of this honour. Makers of the critically-acclaimed Burnnout
franchise, EA gave them the task of rebuilding their flagship racer back to its former glory. So far so good as the game has amassed a 90% rating on Metacritic for the PS3 version. Our very own Nick “wait this isn’t Rock Band
” Chester gave the game 9.5 out of 10, Editor’s Choice Award
. Of course the review felt a little off due to the lack of serious butthurt in the comments section but we can excuse Nick this time.
1.5) I really, really liked Criterion’s last game, Burnout Paradise.
Sure it may look terrible, partly due to being unfinished and partly due to the crappiness of glue sticks, but it was something I needed
to put up on my wall. The boxart for Burnout Paradise
is one of my favourites of all time. I always wanted a poster of it but could never find one anywhere so I just made my own. I often use the bike version, with inverted colours to give a midnight look, as my laptop’s background. This is a game that I love dearly. Whether it was the competitive racing or cooperative Free Burning, this was a game where you could go from relaxed to hell-possessed on the turn of a dime. It was beautiful, it was fun and it kept you busy for hours. On top of that, Criterion was doing what was unheard of at the time and releasing post-release content for free! New free burn and timed challenges, day and night cycles, crotch-rockets, trophies (remember when that was an issue??), new features....all for free! Eventually they did start providing paid content, though while a little pricey, was definitely worth the cost of admission for fans. Big Surf Island is still one of the best pieces of DLC on the market. This was a developer who knew how to do things right.
2) Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit has gone back to its roots. Need For Speed
hit it big with the Underground
series. These were the games that really brought the racing franchise to the mainstream. While I had fallen out of the loop long ago, it seemed as if the games were becoming bland, though Shift
was another step in the right direction. Now it’s looking like there will be a second step
as well. For me, Need For Speed
was remembered for Hot Pursuit
and High Stakes
back on the computer long ago. Already the updated game sounds like it does the name proud.
Bringing back Racers and Coppers, one team races while the other cops. You know what I mean. As a racer, you most compete with other drivers to post the fastest time. As a cop, it is your job to make sure that those “street-punks” are shutdown and thrown in the slammer. Further pushing the game into the much-adored realm of “arcade racer” is the use of items by both sides. The cops can employ such weapons as spike strips, road blocks, EMPs and helicopters. The racers get an assortment of offensive and defensive weapons like the radar jammer, turbo, spike strips and EMPs.
3) Hot Pursuit is doing everything it can to one-up Burnout Paradise.
Well this could go without saying. It would be expected that Criterion would want to make their new game better than what they previously developed so it really isn’t that big of a surprise. But let’s humour me so we can move on in this article. Seacrest County, the location that all this street racing occurs, is massive. Paradise City was a pretty big metropolis so it is both amazing and intimidating to hear that Seacrest County is at least 4x bigger. While it doesn’t have the density of city roads, the locations in Hot Pursuit
appear to be much more varied. There is the Mediterranean coast, the outback desert, evergreen forest and whitecapped mountains. Each area looks distinct enough from one another.
Also unlike Burnout
is the presence of real-life cars. No more empty stares from people as you forget that a Hummer is not called Hunter Olympus. These are exotic-brand vehicles that you will be driving and crashing. Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Austin Martin, Maserati....many of the vehicles I get boners thinking about. While I am more than a little disappointed with the lack of a Toyota Celica in the mix, I think I can live with using cars several leagues out of my tax bracket.
If that wasn’t enough for Criterion to top its older games, in comes Autolog to wreck everything I loved about Road Rules.
4) Road Rules + Facebook = Autolog
If you have me as a friend on the PS3 and own Burnout Paradise
, chances are you have called me a dick on more than one occasion. Switch over to the bikes and the insults get dramatically nastier. Earlier this year I completed my goal of becoming “The Mayor of Paradise City
”. By that I mean I turned every street sign gold on the bikes and owned the majority with the cars, all with a friends list over 60 at the time. This is Road Rules, a seamless leaderboard system that compared times of all your online friends. Owning one record on a road gave you a silver sign. Own them both and you get the highly coveted gold sign. Criterion seems to have fleshed out this idea to another level.
Autolog is the new leaderboard system used in Hot Pursuit
. It seems to be a bit of a mash-up between Road Rules and Facebook, meaning that there is increased competition with more social capabilities. Whereas on Burnout
you could on see who owned the Road Rule and had to dig a bit deeper to find out who was also faster than you, here in Hot Pursuit
it is laid out in plain view when you are NOT in first. It looks to give you motivation to not just get 1st Place but to also beat the person directly above you with a faster time. You can view it online on your PC as well at the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit website
I consider it a Facebook-hybrid because of the presence of a wall. As you can see, not only are race times posted but you can also leave messages for people. In this case, I am giving my trash-talking muscle some warm up.
The game also recommends times for you to beat and your time for others to beat. What this does is put a big bulls-eye on your back, essentially calling out the manhood of everybody and their mothers who can’t beat their time. Up above is an example from linuxguy
whose time I’m being challenged with.
5) As a pretty competitive person, sometimes people just give me a reason to get pumped up.
Isn’t that right, Talia
?? Also, I used New Dtoid. Suck it haters! :P
If what I wrote at all got you excited for the game, great!! I really do need more people to beat! Daxelman
, I know you're a BP fanatic! If Criterion showed us anything with Burnout Paradise
it is that they will continue to show their game some love long after its released. The game is lacking the coop-friendly Free Burn from Paradise City and it is something I would love to see transferred over to Seacrest County. Also bikes! OH GAWD DO I NEED BIKES!! I wouldn’t be surprised to see vehicles in paid DLC for sure.
And now, I must head to the store and pick up a copy.....
*checks school schedule for next two weeks
* Just a little stressed. I’ll live. Probably.
LOOK WHO CAME: