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108 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need for Speed Rivals: The gauntlet is laid down for DriveClub and The Crew for the #1 racer on PS4
Need for Speed: Rivals takes parts from the most successful NFS games of the past generation (Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted) and molds them into an exhilarating, challenging, fun racing game.

The major knock on NFS: Hot Pursuit was that you were restricted to the events; in other words, no "free driving" around the map. Outside of that, the games handling was...
Published 10 months ago by J. Cummings

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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Host Migration= Zero SP points
I'm a huge NFS fan, and I played all of them from the beginning on PC all the way to this one. The only thing that I want to mention here is that this game might be frustrating at some point. Not because of cops or glitches, but because of host change. Imagine you are playing as cop, and you have reached 100000 points, and suddenly the host needs to leave the game; what...
Published 10 months ago by SRS47


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108 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need for Speed Rivals: The gauntlet is laid down for DriveClub and The Crew for the #1 racer on PS4, November 15, 2013
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
Need for Speed: Rivals takes parts from the most successful NFS games of the past generation (Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted) and molds them into an exhilarating, challenging, fun racing game.

The major knock on NFS: Hot Pursuit was that you were restricted to the events; in other words, no "free driving" around the map. Outside of that, the games handling was tight and especially online, you had to work as a team to win.

The major knock on NFS: Most Wanted was the multiplayer playlist; much like Burnout Paradise, everyone had to "meet" in a specific spot for an event to start.

Need For Speed Rivals fixes both of these issues in a big way.

You'll start out going through training as either a cop or racer; it's basically your "training wheels" in the game. But once you go through those (it'll take you about 20-25 minutes tops), you're let loose to go down the Driver or Cop trails, and you can jump back and forth at ease.

Instead of basic "race here, time trial here" you're given a playlist, which consists of a few objectives. Once you complete a list, you get special items, such as cars, upgrades, etc. Pretty standard fare.

And so here's the first major improvement from NFS: Hot Pursuit, it's a true open world. You can drive where you want, CHALLENGE who you want, there are no rules. Outside of, if you're a racer and get busted, you lose all your SpeedPoints (which serve as money in this game) that are not banked in your hideout, and if you're a cop and wreck, same result. So it adds an element of danger and penalty for just going all willy-nilly which is largely absent from most other racing games. This is a MAJOR plus and step forward for the series.

Now, the line truly is blurred between single player and multiplayer, which was the problem with NFS: Most Wanted, as in terms of starting events, you were largely at the mercy of everyone meeting up. Not so in NFS: Rivals. You could literally jump in with your friend in an cop event, working together to take down the racers, and go right back to your game, so single player to multiplayer to singleplayer. Things they do can sign things off your playlist. It truly is incredible and you can't really explain it in words, you have to experience it for yourself!

Obviously, this game has seen a massive graphical upgrade, and everything looks awesome. You'll be hard pressed to simply keep your eyes on the road vs. looking at all the scenery! The game runs butter smooth, no dips in the framerate to be had, no matter if your friends are out in the game or if you're on your own. The controls are pretty much how you remember them, and Easydrive is beyond awesome, you can choose events, mark places (like your hideout) on your GPS, and I think it's a better interface than Most Wanted.

The bottom line is until at least March or April of 2014, this will be the only racing game on the PS4. And it's set a very high bar for others to get to. If you need a racer to get you by until then, NFS: Rivals is a worthy successor and a good start for EA on the PS4. Does it break a ton of new ground? Probably not. However, it shows that they are learning from their mistakes and improving their product (Goodbye, NFS: The Run!) Buy with confidence!

UPDATE #1(11/15/2013)
There has been reports (and I experienced it once) of spotty online connection with the AllDrive service. I was in an event and got "booted" out while the game searched for another host. This will mean you'll have to start the event over.

If you consider that with any system launch that sometimes games will have issues, and are OK with that, it's not a deal breaker by any means. There's only a couple missions (like one that requires you to accumulate 100,000 SP) that it would be a real pain to have to do over, but again, I've put well north of 12 hours into this game already and it's only happened once, I was able to run two 15-30 minute streams to UStream/Twitch using the "share" button with no issues.

UPDATE #2 (11/19/2013)
Apparently, people are getting a little bent on the "open world" definition people are applying to this game.
In the most general sense:

NFS: The Run & NFS: Hot Pursuit were NOT open world. They were set routes that you could only choose and race on, 100% linear.
Burnout Paradise, NFS: Most Wanted and NFS: Rivals ARE open world. Maybe the content is not the same across all 3 titles, but you can still drive freely to anywhere and almost any place on the maps.

Take this game for what it is: An attempt by EA to captialize on the push-back of Drive Club to March 2014 to have the first 4 months of launch all to themselves as a racing game, and that while some will feel it has flaws, I've played every NFS that has trophies on the PS3, and I've enjoyed this more at least as much as HP, if not a little bit more to this point. I'm not a shill for EA (go ahead and read my review for NFS: The Run if you think so), and this review is simply my opinion. If you want a racing game on the PS4, it's the only one in town. If you want an arcade racer, for sure, it's the only one on the horizon. If you're more of a sim racer, then Drive Club might be more your speed and you should wait.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Host Migration= Zero SP points, December 4, 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
I'm a huge NFS fan, and I played all of them from the beginning on PC all the way to this one. The only thing that I want to mention here is that this game might be frustrating at some point. Not because of cops or glitches, but because of host change. Imagine you are playing as cop, and you have reached 100000 points, and suddenly the host needs to leave the game; what happens is that you have to wait for almost 30-40 seconds till migration is over then when you look at your hard earned Speed Points, they are all GONE.
The idea of free drive is good and interesting, but you really can't expect racing with other players. If you have played Test drive Unlimited 2, you know what I'm talking about. Players usually tend to mind their own business and do their missions by themselves. So, if you expect intense online experience like Hot pursuit or Most wanted, DREAM ON.
-Soundtracks are horrible ( it's matter of opinion tho ) rather than giving me adrenaline rush, they take it away.
-Car selection is ok, but I like to see Nissan 370Z-GTR-Mitsobisshi-Mazda... The only cars that I really enjoyed driving was BMW and Dodge challenger. The rest of them were super sport cars. Not that I can't handle the speed, but because I like to play with cars that are regular sport cars that you may see on the streets.
final words: Buy the game when it's cheap. Graphics are great, engine sounds are perfect, handling is MEHH, acceleration for different cars feels ok, the game overall feels easy once you learn how to escape caps, car paint customization and engine upgrades are nice and cool.
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67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with aggravation; best for online gamers, December 17, 2013
By 
Edubya in Texas (Kerrville, TX, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
I am a thirty-something casual gamer, new to PlayStation (although I've played video games off and on since the Atari 2600), and I like to blow off a little steam in the evening after the kids go to bed. I played (the first?) Most Wanted on the PC and generally enjoyed it. If you're an expert gamer and really into online gaming, you'll probably love this game. If you're a bit more like me, read on.

I was tempted to give this game one star out of sheer frustration, but that wouldn't be a fair review. The truth is the game has a lot of great stuff going for it, and I can see why some people love it. So here's my assessment:

Positives
-Nice visuals, including dynamic weather and time of day.

-Cars sound great to me. Very visceral.

-More or less open world.

-The online aspect is really cool if you're into that.

-Being able to choose either racer or cop is a great idea.

My Complaints
-While the visuals are great, everything starts to feel cluttered at high speeds.

-You can crash through a lot of things in the environment: fences, signs, barns. But certain things, like guardrails, which are quite bendable in real life, will stop you dead from 165 mph. As it's sometimes hard to distinguish what you're approaching at said speed, you don't know if you're about to be utterly destroyed (thence suffering through a painfully long crash sequence), or merely battered by debris. And to top off this problem, there aren't nearly enough repair stations to fix your broken vehicle after you've crashed the seventh time.

-AI driving behavior: while in cop mode, I noticed the AI racers seem to have some kind of super turbo combined with a driving-on-rails cornering ability, which is engaged at various inopportune moments. The AI will sometimes slow down to let you catch up, too. Either way, it's maddening and silly. If you're good at this kind of game, your likely conclusion is that I suck at driving. That may be true, but if that's the case, why can't there be some kind of difficulty slider if I'm not playing in online mode?
-Which leads me to my next point. There are hardly any options for changing the game to make it easier or more challenging. Number of racers, cops, other drivers, weather, time of day. None of it can be changed. Again, I assume that's because of the online component, but why can't I just play in single-player mode and change the game to my liking?

-As a racer, you must enter a hideout to bank points. Adds to the challenge, sure. Of course, cops swarm you on the way to and coming from every race, so challenge turns into aggravation.

-The music is really bad. Really, distractingly bad. The only available remedy is to turn it down or off.

-And finally, dare I say there just isn't that much to do? Ultimately, this game has very little substance because the focus is on the multiplayer aspect. Despite all the above frustration, I'm finding myself bored after just a few weeks of play.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid first effort for next-gen from Ghost Games, with fun factor strong enough to trump some odd design decisions., November 23, 2013
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
When Driveclub--Sony’s exclusive racer which was set to debut at launch—joined the list of games delayed for the PlayStation 4, early console adopters looking for a racing game were left on the side of the road. Enter Electronic Arts, whose Need for Speed: Rivals was moved up a week and launched alongside Sony’s new console.

For longtime fans of the Need for Speed game series, even though Ghost Games took development reins for the first time, it’s easy to see that classic feel to the game in Rivals. As the twentieth installment in the franchise, formulas have been fairly well-established by this point; especially by the last few games on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (especially Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, released in 2010, and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, released in 2012).

Does Ghost Games help bring Need for Speed racing onto next-gen consoles in a manner which keeps the series relevant as gamers prepare for all-new experiences?

Game Design

While the franchise previously went with an open world concept in other games including Need for Speed: Most Wanted, the open world of Rivals adds even more to the experience which makes the game not only open world, but also an incredibly social experience for those who choose to play it online.

Players begin by establishing themselves in training missions as both a Cop and as a Racer as Need for Speed Rivals gets started. Regardless of which side of the law you’re playing as, you’re tasked with Speedlist items—tasks to complete within the game world which can range from earning a certain clearing medal on the various events to drifting for a set amount of distance—which need to be completed in order to level up and unlock new cars and equipment. Both Cops and Racers can choose from three difference Speedlists at each level, which offers both variety to customize your experience and also allows you to avoid requirements which might be difficult to complete.

As you play the career mode for both Cops and Racers, each level up is accompanied by a short video with some (it must be said) cheesy lines and voiceovers from the Cop or Racer that you’re meant to be playing as over the course of the game. While the story is largely inoffensive, it’s also a retread of nearly any Cops versus Racers movie we’ve seen out of Hollywood in the past few years (fans of the Fast and the Furious movies will likely feel right at home) and doesn’t bring much new to the table. Obviously there aren’t many people who will go into Rivals looking for a great story, but this is worth noting because the story plays a central role in the overall progression of the game.

Racers can partake in spontaneous Head to Head races, Race Events against multiple opponents, Getaways where they are chased by the cops, and Time Attacks where you try to beat a set time. For cops, there are spontaneous Pursuits where you chase down a single Racer, Hot Pursuits where you try to bust all Racers involved in a race before the race is finished, Rapid Responses where you’re tasked with getting from one point to another without driving recklessly and crashing, and Interceptor, where Cops take down an AI racer within a specific window of time.

The best part of the variety of events is that, when you’re playing the game with online enabled, you can end up in situations where nearly every car involved in an event is controlled by a living, breathing person. Racers can team up to turn the tables on Cops, while Cops can try to bust Racers in the midst of a high-octane race. Knowing that behind the next bend could be another player waiting to help or hinder you really makes Rivals live up to its name and keep you on your toes about what will happen next.

Unfortunately, there are some odd design decisions which make the game stunted in some areas. Although Racers and Cops can explore the open world to their heart’s content and play through every single event on their own, the Speedlist system is continuously prompting the player to return to their Hideout or Command Post (depending on which role you’re playing) once the items on the list have been checked off. This design flies in the face of the open world philosophy, as it actively encourages players to stop experiencing the open world and instead go back to the menus of the Hideout/Command Post to level up and get a new set of tasks. It interrupts the flow of the game, which is a shame.

While Cops can get away with a little bit more exploration, for Racers it quickly becomes essential to hightail it to your Hideout as soon as your Speedlist is completed if you want to keep all of your earned Speed Points (essentially XP). Cops can end up wrecked and still earn all of their Speed Points as long as they completed their Speedlist; however, Racers who get busted before getting back to their Hideout will lose all of their Speed Points (!) and get no credits for which to buy new cars or buy upgrades for their current cars. Sure, there’s a “heat” system where the Racer can build a multiplier to get more Speed Points as they get more notorious in a single session, but Cops will swarm you quickly (especially if you’re online and a Cop is looking for a high-profile bust) and it’s all too easy to end up busted just a short distance from your Hideout and lose everything. As a risk/reward gambit, it’s understandable, but in practice the failure rate is too high, even in the early going.

Gameplay

Need for Speed: Rivals does a great job of preserving the overall “feel” of the series, offering gameplay which falls somewhere between arcade and simulation without getting too comfy with either end of that spectrum. Cars for both careers start off slow and gradually level up in all facets, but regardless of what you’re driving, you’ll find yourself quickly getting used to throwing the back end around as you drift through the curves of the open world.

With the Cops versus Racers rivalry in place, both sides have Pursuit Tech which can be purchased and added to your vehicle to help protect yourself as well as to take the offensive during events. Both sides have access to familiar tools like the EMP which disables a vehicle and often sends it careening into a guardrail. Racers get Turbo Boost to aid their escape, as well as the Jammer to interfere with Cops, while Cops can use the Helicopter or Spike Strips to bust the Racers. All Pursuit Tech has four levels to level up, with the tech becoming more and more effective (and gaining more uses at a time) along the way. Each piece of tech seems to have its use, though after playing for a little while you’re likely to arrive at one or two that feel more effective than the rest and that will focus your purchasing decisions.

Repair points exist in the form of gas stations throughout the open world, which help to fix your car after it’s taken damage as well as to replenish your use of Pursuit Tech if you’ve used up your available attempts; as a Racer, these points will become an essential lifeline if you hope to keep all of your Speed Points.

The directional pad can be used to bring up GPS information and set your mini-map to bring you to any event on the map or even to just the closest Hideout/Command Post or Repair point from your current location; alternately, you can go directly into the pause menu and choose destinations from the 100 miles of drivable open world visually. Given how much road there is to travel, using the GPS is largely essential to the experience; once you’ve set a waypoint, the mini-map as well as the road itself will display which direction you need to go.

As with any good Need for Speed game, there is also the ability to upgrade cars as a Racer and personalize them with new paint jobs, new graphics, new liveries, and even new vanity license plate information. Personalization for Cops, as expected, is limited to what kinds of Pursuit Tech you intend to be using.

If there are negatives to be found in what is generally a fun gameplay experience, it would largely deal with the AI and how the game tends to have a “rubber-band” experience where racers who you think have been left in the dust will suddenly surge back into contention. This type of AI has been a standard in not-full-simulation racing games for almost as long as the genre itself, so it’s not all that surprising; and, really, it’s not all that offensive if you know that this is the experience you’re getting into. That being said, it would be great for future Need for Speed games to be slightly more organic with regards to the flow of these races.

Graphics and Sound

Even though Need for Speed: Rivals isn’t meant to be as artistic a masterpiece as a game like Forza, this game isn’t slouching at the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game outputs in 1080p—already an upgrade over the experience of Need for Speed on the PS3 and Xbox 360—and keeps a fairly solid 30 frames per second.

The car models look great, but it’s the environmental and particle effects which really steal the show. As you drive around the open world, the weather will change and you’ll go from dramatic lighting and lens flare to gusts of wind which blow leaves across the front of your car, as well as to full-on downpours which streak raindrops across the screen. Use of Pursuit Tech like the EMP or the new Electrostatic Field (ESF) also results in impressive particle effects as electricity courses around the vehicles.

Unfortunately, the game’s frame rate seems to dip at times, mostly when there’s a lot happening on screen at once in terms of other vehicles and weather effects. These dips don’t generally last that long—a few seconds at the most—but they are nonetheless noticeable in a game like Need for Speed where so much is about twitch gaming. You’ll also want to install the game completely, regardless of your console, as frame rate inconsistencies were most prevalent before the initial install completed.

The game boasts some impressive sounds throughout the experience, whether talking about the electronic soundtrack which serves as a solid complement to the game or talking about the great, roaring engine sounds from the cast of vehicles which feature in Rivals. Police chatter also adds to the experience whether you’re playing as a Racer or a Cop, letting you know where to avoid or where you’re going to have backup depending on the role you’re currently playing.

While the frame rate dips are disappointing, one thing we’re learning in the early days of the new console generation is that games can see improvements, sometimes without even realizing that any work has been done on the back end. Hopefully EA and Ghost Games have some plans to tidy up this issue so that the game keeps a more consistent frame rate and provides a more solid experience in the weeks to come post-launch.

Overall

For fans of the Need for Speed franchise (and PS4 racing fans in general, since there is no other alternative), Rivals is a great installment and a great start to consider how the series may be able to progress in future iterations on the new consoles. The ability to seamlessly compete with other players online within the same overall game world as the “single-player” experience is a great accomplishment, and truly blurs the line between what it means to have a campaign and multiplayer at the same time in a game. Whether fighting against or working alongside other players, the social experience of Rivals helps to cover up many of the weaker parts of the overall package.

As a first attempt at making a Need for Speed game, Ghost Games has proven itself up to the task to follow in the footsteps of the work established by Criterion Games. Here’s hoping they’ll be given another opportunity at the franchise, one which can learn from the few career-related issues to put together an even more impressive overall effort.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as you think..., December 31, 2013
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
Need for Speed has been one of my favorite franchises growing up. I've played almost every need for speed game growing up since I was 10. Need for Speed struggles with story lines and bringing new ideas to the table. In Need for Speed Rivals there are two different story lines you can choose from "Cop" and "Racer". I started the "Racer" side first. The story line follows a racer wanting to make it "viral" on the web by beating people racing. But the corny "I am a racer" "I will do this" "I am your rival" crap ruined the game in my opinion. I just want to race, customize, and play against my friends.

On to some good things about the game. The environment look incredible in this game! Need for Speed had a few different scenes that remind me of the old Need for Speed games (big redwood forest, mountain top races, racing threw the country). Excellent job! It would have been cool if you had multiple "maps" to play on. With the new consoles having so much potential I would like a scene where your racing away from a volcanic eruption or back in the old Need for Speed games where you could trigger booby traps. I could run into a support pole on a water tower and block an entire road. That would look sweet seeing a huge water tower falling on you then barely make it out alive.

Need for Speed has so much potential in a game and it is one of the most popular games on the market. But corny story lines, very limited customization, limited performance upgrades, and generic pop/dubstep songs is not the way to go.

Need for Speed Underground was the best need for speed game invented. It had great graffics at the time, cool races, great beats, crazy amounts of custom paint and performance upgrades. If your looking for an exciting new game for your new console I would wait till one of the other racing games comes out. I hate how video game companies like Call of Duty/Need for Speed can put the same crap out every year and people pay for it. I know they have lost my respect as a dedicated fan to the series after this game. EA is ruining some of the best games by pressuring these companies to release stuff to early.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One MAJOR flaw, December 1, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
I have one major issue with this game -- it's not 2 player! I wanted a game that I could play 2 player with my roommate so I figured it's a racing game, it's gotta be two player. Even the setup of the game is perfect for it. One person is a cop, the other a racer. Guess what? It's not two player. You can play multi-player with people online, but I guess they don't want you to interact with people in real life anymore.

That aside, I LOVE the game. I love the leveling up, I love that you can play as a cop or a racer and have different objectives in each, and I LOVE the little intro clips when you unlock a new car. Also, when you unlock a new car as a racer, you can customize it. Because of this feature, I have a fleet of bubblegum pink cars.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NFS Coming HARD for Next Gen!!, November 24, 2013
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
Need for Speed Rivals brings street racing from the perspective of both the racer and the police officers trying to stop them. Supercharged speed machines are everywhere in this game and it really is a challenge.

No seriously... this game provides a challenge, which makes it great! the computer controlled cars will give you a hard time and push you as you advance though the game. You can choose to work on the "Racer" or "Cop" portion of the story at any point and switch back and forth at will. That certainly makes things interesting and helps keep the game from getting repetitive.

Possibly my favorite feature is that if you choose to play online, your friends can jump in with you at any point. They can jump in and race against you or as cops and try and take you out! Through multiple races I can see my friends top scores/times and try to beat them.

As far as the car selections, there are plenty... you unlock them quickly as well. You do have spend speed points to get the cars once you unlock them but I have yet to run low on those. Speed points come with completeing tasks and races. Points seem to be plentiful. But just because you have a fast car doesn't mean you will dominate... learning proper driving tactics and using defensive upgrades such as mines and EMP charges will help get you to the finish line.

Overall this game is a blast... while I'm not yet ready to call it the king of racing... I will say it is a must buy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arcade racer, March 26, 2014
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This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
This game is not what i expected.I expected a driving sim/arcade racer but this is mostly an arcade racer because of the cartoony graphics and the perks that you can use:for example nitrous boost,ram shock,shock mines,emp,etc.. i expected something more realistic like street racing and outrunning the police but it is basically a 'try to catch me' game to me.I ended up selling it and waiting for a real racing sim like driveclub or gran turismo 7.The online is also not what i expected there are about 10-12 real racers and the rest are bots that will race you and if you try to play with people they will assume that you will try to race them or catch them (it's basically a free roam game with a bunch of cars running around).Next time i buy a game i will see gameplay first instead of looking at the trailer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Racing real people while outrunning player cops is AWESOME :D, November 24, 2013
By 
A. Silva-Sadder (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
First off read all the reviews here, because they each make good points about the game, including some important points about wheel support, arcade vs sim, open world vs huge interlaced tracks, etc.

My two cents (on PS4 version) is that this game is worth the price if you like arcade-ish racers (NFS series, Ridge Racers, etc.). It is especially worth it if you want to fairly easily race against real people and be chased by real players driving cop cars. The thrill of out running and in some cases just outwitting real drivers is absolutely amazing. Especially if you keep challenging each other and ratcheting up the heat (the level of attention the cops place on you). The points start accumulating quickly and thus the risk you could lose it all.

Some people might not like this type of pressure. Since you earn your unlocks regardless of whether you lost your SP (currency) this doesn't matter that much. You need SP to buy stuff, but big hauls are not that hard to bring in over time (for cops you barely even need SP). I found that even though I lost several huge point hauls (60-140k), my progress in the game was not impeded. Yes it sucks to lose everything you spent the last 6-12 minutes racing for, but I guess it is all about how you choose to deal with it mentally. Buckle down and Drive better!

I appear to be a good racer, so maybe my experience is different. I did not find the attention of the cops to be excessive. It does get VERY hard to see though when there are 8+ cop cars flashing lights, helicopters spotting you, and several other racers in the way :). I am only level 11 though. I have hit Heat level 9. This is challenging but not impossible or unfair. How challenging you'll find the driving or heat levels I can't say, BUT I can tell you that the game seems very balanced so far. The drive-ability and challenge seems to be a smooth progression, although I do feel the cops are underpowered (as low level cop).

Don't want a lot of heat? Then just race one race at a time and tuck your pristine ride away each time. Or you can learn to power slide through repair stations, punch through the weak spots in roadblocks, use your pursuit tech to nudge cops into solid objects, and scream down winding roads chasing or being chased by another racer who is probably having just as much fun as you are :).

I gave it four stars because, the map is awkward to use and the load times so long going in and out of the garage (really the only loading). This also means that if you are trying to pick a place to intercept or challenge someone (without driving there, which is not all that bad but time consuming), by the time you load in they will be probably somewhere further away. As a racer, I don't care because you can always race a bot until you get to the real racer, but as a cop taking down bots is tedious and boring. Finding real racers to takedown is thus much harder (also more difficult since you don't have as much cool stuff). As much as I'd like to spoil other racers' fun it is just much easier to tear around as a maniacal racer and give everyone (cops and racers) a big target.

The game looks great (although there is rare magenta pop-in flashes in the distant landscapes, and garage on loading), the weather effects are great, and the car selection and customization options decent, but not exhaustive. The game makes it pretty easy and painless to race against other real people (without lobbies and nothing to do in the meantime). So if you want a fun arcade racer, that allows you to seamlessly race bots, or race real people for a more interesting challenge, this is the PS4 racer to get (the only racer I know :)).

NOTE: As of this review (PS4 1.51), I have not noticed ANY crashes or stability issues. Yes hosts sometimes migrate (a problem in player hosted console gaming) and everything you were doing resets itself (not progress but race, event), but it doesn't happen that often? (6 times for me in about 8-9 hours of playing?). It takes 2 minutes or so, which can give you a drink/bathroom break. Aside from garages the game has no pause so this is not unwelcome aside from the reset drawback. Also the iOS app doesn't seem to work? It never says connected, and it terribly unintuitive. I have heard it makes joining other racers and pursuits easier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Need for Speed Rivals continues success (and formula) of NFS franchise, November 24, 2013
This review is from: Need for Speed: Rivals (Video Game)
Need for Speed Rivals follows a similar formula to 2010's Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, featuring cops vs. racers. However, with next-gen technology some new twists are added in.

The major addition is that of "AllDrive," which blurs offline and online play, allowing others users who are competing in their single-player campaign/mode to appear in your world. The world is expansive enough, that you may never run into them, however you just might run into them (literally) when attempting to elude cops or crash those pesky drivers. Basically (if your console is connected to the internet and online) there is no differentiating between online and offline in the game.

Visually, the game looks stunning. The cars, the environment, weather effects, even the user interface - the first time you get hit by some of the takedown technology, you'll be impressed with the visual effect, even if you get wrecked or busted.

As you drive through the world, you will see the standard speed checks, jumps, and races; complete with the times accomplished by those on your friends list who have played the game. NFS Rivals is much more enjoyable if you have numerous friends who play it as well. Though, when I tried to play this with two friends directly (joining the same session), we did not feel it was easy to connect (sessions are often full) not get into the same events, though I have heard others say the opposite. It seems there should be an easier way for this to happen.

While there are many events for the user to compete in, there are a relatively limited number of event types. At times, this can make some aspects of the game feel repetitive. Though, when that occurs I switch from racer to cop (or vice versa) and that can help this issue.

Overall, Need for Speed Rivals is a good game and I recommend it. (I would be remiss, however, if I did not say that is also makes me clamor that much more for a next-gen Burnout Paradise, also an EA racing franchise.)
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Need for Speed: Rivals
Need for Speed: Rivals by Electronic Arts (PlayStation 4)
$59.99 $49.64
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