Need for Speed diehards might not agree, but Criterion's Hot Pursuit was a triumphant arcade racer back in 2010. A slick handling model and a choice selection of vehicles led to epic police chases through miles of winding roads, and the Autolog feature brought addictive asynchronous multiplayer to the forefront. A decade later, the game returns in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, and for the most part, it's aged very well indeed.
The core of what made the game such a success is retained in this incarnation. To start with, the handling model is deliberate and wonderfully drifty. Cars have a weight to them, and you need to be pretty decisive about your manoeuvres, but when it clicks, the handling feels great. A breakneck sense of speed coupled with wide, sweeping roads make it a joy to play, and that's no different in this remaster.
Meanwhile, Autolog is just as neat a feature as it was 10 years ago. You're in constant competition with your friends list, basically; every event has its own mini leaderboard just for you and your buddies. Almost like a social network, the game alerts you when someone's beaten your time, and it streamlines the process of getting your revenge with intuitive menus and prompts. This version of the game includes crossplay, too, so you can compete with your friends regardless of platform. There are "proper" online multiplayer modes, and we're pleased to say this aspect works perfectly.
You swap between cops and racers as the two sides battle for supremacy in Seacrest County. Driving on both sides of the law, you're either escaping the police or stopping illegal races. The game constantly rewards player progression; you level up as both a cop and a racer, and as you do, new cars are added to your garage. New car classes featuring faster rides, and equipment like spike strips, EMP blasts, and police barricades keep things ticking at a fair pace. Especially early on, it feels like you unlock something after nearly every event, keeping you playing to test out any new stuff. With all the DLC vehicles and events thrown into the mix, there's lots to do.
There are a good amount of event types, but they do begin to get repetitive after spending hours and hours haring around familiar roads. You can even play in a free roam mode, but with zero objectives, it feels pointless — unless you're looking for a peaceful drive. That said, it's hard to have a bad time when the handling, along with strategic use of the equipment and weapons at your disposal, is so fun.
So, the game is still a raucous good time — what about the remaster itself? Well, visually the game doesn't look noticeably better than it did on PS3, but that's difficult to judge without direct comparisons. Vehicles look good, and some extra detail has been added to the roads and scenery. The biggest jump is on PS4 Pro, where a performance mode allows you to play at 60 frames per second, double the frame rate found on PS3 and standard PS4.
Other enhancements include the ability to select from a much wider range of paint colours for each vehicle, and a basic photo mode. Small additions, but appreciated nonetheless. Overall, the remaster work is good, but much like Burnout Paradise Remastered, it's a pretty tame effort compared to other examples. Still, the important thing is Hot Pursuit, one of PS3's best arcade racers, is playable on PS4, and that's a win in our book.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered brings back a fantastic arcade racing game, and is still brilliant fun 10 years down the line. Autolog feels right at home in 2020, and the over-the-top cops vs. racers gameplay is a blast. While the remaster itself is a little underwhelming, and some of the original title's issues remain, this is nonetheless a great game for petrol heads and adrenaline junkies everywhere.
Happy to take any questions of course
Sounds pretty much what I was hoping for. DLC included, updated Autolog for modern consoles. I didn't really expect more after the Burnout Paradise remaster.
My favourite Need for Speed game and timely release with Criterion doing the next NFS as well.
@Quintumply What's the soundtrack like? Did all the tracks from the original release make it over?
About what I expected, nothing too flashy but I can't wait to get back behind the wheel of this game. One of my absolute favorites from the PS3! Thanks for the review
@pip_muzz As far as I can tell the soundtrack is complete, not totally sure on that but I definitely recognised a few of the songs.
@PeterN80 1) It's pretty meaty, especially with the DLC incorporated. Probably looking at more than 12, 15 hours.
2) I'll check on the difficulty settings as soon as I can.
3) No pedestrians!
Can you fast travel on the map and easily restart races? Or do you need to find the starting point for each event on the map and drive there manually?
I believe the latter was true in the original game until a patch was released further down the line.
I remember playing this online in 2010, it was sensational.
Good old EA with the bare minimum remasers
The price for this remastered is outrageous
The barren opened world is a plus honestly. It means the game or focused on jumping in races and getting online instead of a weird hole you find someone to race with model like Heat.
But good review. I’m glad to have a good NFS game again.
@PeterN80 There don't appear to be any difficulty settings.
@ThaBEN You don't access events on the open world mode. The open world mode is called Freedrive, and the only thing you can do in it is drive around. You access actual races and other events in the Career menu.
@PeterN80 "Are there pedestrians in the open world which your car can interact with"
This made me chuckle... Such a polite way of asking if the game includes GTA style hit and runs 😄
Doesn't make me confident for Mass Effect remaster and that is very disappointing!!
Better be careful now xbox fanboys will show up saying it runs in so called Fake 4k 60fps on ps4 and Fake 4k on ps5 and 8k on xbox1x/ series x cuz there delusional 🙄
$56 CDN... I feel a Need for 56% Off! Sub $25 I might think about it and as it's something I've played I can wait for the price drop.
@Quintumply How are you? How is your general and mental health during these times?
You said any question and I hope you’re doing well.
@Dr-M Haha I'm okay thanks! Hope you're doing well too.
@edulanza10 yeah, but it is worth it
I read it has a 7GB day one patch what a joke for a remaster.
.. got to love PS review consistency (or lack thereof) - this universally acknowledged sloppy / lazy / overpriced remaster gets 8/10 (same as Dirt 5!!!) and WD Legion gets 5/10?!?! Ouch. PS needs some review quality control...
Compared to the original it is complete and utter garbage. As I am sure it has been said multiple times already the visuals are ugly the original was better in that department however it wasn't as smooth but still better. That however can be overlooked, The control on the other hand is what absolutely kills it. The braking is delayed the steering and feels way too sensitive, I'm constantly having to fight with it to even make the simplest of turns. All in all it does make me rather fire up the old one instead even though the servers are barren
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