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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit - a (sort of) review

6 Jun 2024

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Video Games

I started playing through Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered on Xbox last night and I’m having a blast.

I’m going to see Thirty Seconds to Mars in a couple of weeks and whilst listening through their albums in preparations, I rediscovered Edge of the Earth, which in turn reminded me of the Hot Pursuit trailer (one of my favs of all time and a video I still occasionally rewatch), and after watching it I felt like I should start another playthrough.

There’s virtually no story so going from loading up the game to jumping into my first race took only a few moments and most importantly, very little brain power. I think I’ve reached a point with video games where I no longer have the energy to commit to long, deep stories with new characters, cutscenes and dialogue every few minutes, and Hot Pursuit is very much the opposite of that. I can go from event to event, unlocking upgrade after upgrade with so much ease and so little downtime that I don’t have time to distract myself by picking up my phone or something. It’s very much a dopamine fuelled, ooga booga caveman way of playing video games but my brain likes it

Without turning this into a properly structured review of the game (I warned you it was only sort of a review), here’s some other things I like about it

The sound of the Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster is sublime and still to this day is one of the best representations of the car in any video game (this comparison video shows how NFS absolutely nailed the sound compared to everyone else). It’s nice that they let you preview the car in an early event before you then have to grind through the game to unlock it.

Screenshot of a YouTube comment. Text: "How to de-stress after a bad day: Step 1: Start playing Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010. Step 2: Select the Pagani Zonda Cinque.  Step 3: Enter free roam during sunset."

The achievements are fun! There’s a bunch of ‘Reach rank x’ and ‘Earn x medals’ achievements as you’d expect, but there’s also a handful of fun, relevant, car-specific achievements. Their requirements are somewhat novel and will often require you to specifically go out of your way to unlock them, but they’re not so challenging or grind-y that they’re not worth your time.

Iron Man - Get Distinction in a Hot Pursuit, Interceptor and Rapid Response using the Audi R8

Godzilla - Get any medal in 'Run to the Hills' driving the Nissan GT-R SpecV without using any weapons

Flight of the Bumblebee - Win the 'Muscle Reflex' race in a Bee Yellow Chevrolet Camaro SS

Snakebite in Black - Spike a cop while driving a Black Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR or Ford Shelby GT500 Supersnake

Wet in the Vette - Drive any Corvette in the wet

The soundtrack isn’t flawless but certainly has some bangers. I had a funny moment cycling through the songs and landing on Stronger by Lazee feat. Dead by April. I remember discovering Dead by April from this game when I played it the first time as a teenager, buying their self-titled album and listening to it on repeat. I’ve not thought about them for years but after rediscovering them now, I think they’ll be a staple in my listening rotation for a little while again

And just the way the game plays as an arcade racer. The handling model is exactly as you’d expect with the signature brake-to-drift mechanic at its core. It’s easy and requires little thought to execute but boy do you still feel like a boss when you fly towards a corner, quickly hit the brakes and slam back on the power to slide effortlessly around the apex. It also reminds me (unsurprisingly) of playing four-player Outrun on an arcade cabinet in NQ64; one of my favourite memories of recent times

I’ve beat this game a couple of times on a couple of consoles (it actually performs really well on Switch!), but there’s still something about it that makes me want to come back to it again and again. Fun game, would recommend.

I started playing through Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered on Xbox last night and I’m having a blast.

I’m going to see Thirty Seconds to Mars in a couple of weeks and whilst listening through their albums in preparations, I rediscovered Edge of the Earth, which in turn reminded me of the Hot Pursuit trailer (one of my favs of all time and a video I still occasionally rewatch), and after watching it I felt like I should start another playthrough.

There’s virtually no story so going from loading up the game to jumping into my first race took only a few moments and most importantly, very little brain power. I think I’ve reached a point with video games where I no longer have the energy to commit to long, deep stories with new characters, cutscenes and dialogue every few minutes, and Hot Pursuit is very much the opposite of that. I can go from event to event, unlocking upgrade after upgrade with so much ease and so little downtime that I don’t have time to distract myself by picking up my phone or something. It’s very much a dopamine fuelled, ooga booga caveman way of playing video games but my brain likes it

Without turning this into a properly structured review of the game (I warned you it was only sort of a review), here’s some other things I like about it

The sound of the Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster is sublime and still to this day is one of the best representations of the car in any video game (this comparison video shows how NFS absolutely nailed the sound compared to everyone else). It’s nice that they let you preview the car in an early event before you then have to grind through the game to unlock it.

Screenshot of a YouTube comment. Text: "How to de-stress after a bad day: Step 1: Start playing Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010. Step 2: Select the Pagani Zonda Cinque.  Step 3: Enter free roam during sunset."

The achievements are fun! There’s a bunch of ‘Reach rank x’ and ‘Earn x medals’ achievements as you’d expect, but there’s also a handful of fun, relevant, car-specific achievements. Their requirements are somewhat novel and will often require you to specifically go out of your way to unlock them, but they’re not so challenging or grind-y that they’re not worth your time.

Iron Man - Get Distinction in a Hot Pursuit, Interceptor and Rapid Response using the Audi R8

Godzilla - Get any medal in 'Run to the Hills' driving the Nissan GT-R SpecV without using any weapons

Flight of the Bumblebee - Win the 'Muscle Reflex' race in a Bee Yellow Chevrolet Camaro SS

Snakebite in Black - Spike a cop while driving a Black Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR or Ford Shelby GT500 Supersnake

Wet in the Vette - Drive any Corvette in the wet

The soundtrack isn’t flawless but certainly has some bangers. I had a funny moment cycling through the songs and landing on Stronger by Lazee feat. Dead by April. I remember discovering Dead by April from this game when I played it the first time as a teenager, buying their self-titled album and listening to it on repeat. I’ve not thought about them for years but after rediscovering them now, I think they’ll be a staple in my listening rotation for a little while again

And just the way the game plays as an arcade racer. The handling model is exactly as you’d expect with the signature brake-to-drift mechanic at its core. It’s easy and requires little thought to execute but boy do you still feel like a boss when you fly towards a corner, quickly hit the brakes and slam back on the power to slide effortlessly around the apex. It also reminds me (unsurprisingly) of playing four-player Outrun on an arcade cabinet in NQ64; one of my favourite memories of recent times

I’ve beat this game a couple of times on a couple of consoles (it actually performs really well on Switch!), but there’s still something about it that makes me want to come back to it again and again. Fun game, would recommend.

I started playing through Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered on Xbox last night and I’m having a blast.

I’m going to see Thirty Seconds to Mars in a couple of weeks and whilst listening through their albums in preparations, I rediscovered Edge of the Earth, which in turn reminded me of the Hot Pursuit trailer (one of my favs of all time and a video I still occasionally rewatch), and after watching it I felt like I should start another playthrough.

There’s virtually no story so going from loading up the game to jumping into my first race took only a few moments and most importantly, very little brain power. I think I’ve reached a point with video games where I no longer have the energy to commit to long, deep stories with new characters, cutscenes and dialogue every few minutes, and Hot Pursuit is very much the opposite of that. I can go from event to event, unlocking upgrade after upgrade with so much ease and so little downtime that I don’t have time to distract myself by picking up my phone or something. It’s very much a dopamine fuelled, ooga booga caveman way of playing video games but my brain likes it

Without turning this into a properly structured review of the game (I warned you it was only sort of a review), here’s some other things I like about it

The sound of the Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster is sublime and still to this day is one of the best representations of the car in any video game (this comparison video shows how NFS absolutely nailed the sound compared to everyone else). It’s nice that they let you preview the car in an early event before you then have to grind through the game to unlock it.

Screenshot of a YouTube comment. Text: "How to de-stress after a bad day: Step 1: Start playing Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2010. Step 2: Select the Pagani Zonda Cinque.  Step 3: Enter free roam during sunset."

The achievements are fun! There’s a bunch of ‘Reach rank x’ and ‘Earn x medals’ achievements as you’d expect, but there’s also a handful of fun, relevant, car-specific achievements. Their requirements are somewhat novel and will often require you to specifically go out of your way to unlock them, but they’re not so challenging or grind-y that they’re not worth your time.

Iron Man - Get Distinction in a Hot Pursuit, Interceptor and Rapid Response using the Audi R8

Godzilla - Get any medal in 'Run to the Hills' driving the Nissan GT-R SpecV without using any weapons

Flight of the Bumblebee - Win the 'Muscle Reflex' race in a Bee Yellow Chevrolet Camaro SS

Snakebite in Black - Spike a cop while driving a Black Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR or Ford Shelby GT500 Supersnake

Wet in the Vette - Drive any Corvette in the wet

The soundtrack isn’t flawless but certainly has some bangers. I had a funny moment cycling through the songs and landing on Stronger by Lazee feat. Dead by April. I remember discovering Dead by April from this game when I played it the first time as a teenager, buying their self-titled album and listening to it on repeat. I’ve not thought about them for years but after rediscovering them now, I think they’ll be a staple in my listening rotation for a little while again

And just the way the game plays as an arcade racer. The handling model is exactly as you’d expect with the signature brake-to-drift mechanic at its core. It’s easy and requires little thought to execute but boy do you still feel like a boss when you fly towards a corner, quickly hit the brakes and slam back on the power to slide effortlessly around the apex. It also reminds me (unsurprisingly) of playing four-player Outrun on an arcade cabinet in NQ64; one of my favourite memories of recent times

I’ve beat this game a couple of times on a couple of consoles (it actually performs really well on Switch!), but there’s still something about it that makes me want to come back to it again and again. Fun game, would recommend.

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