Top critical review
121 people found this helpful
on November 19, 2011
This game is beautiful. The graphics are actually gorgeous, and the designers of the Frostbite 2 engine and the people who implemented it to should be proud of themselves.
That said, if I were a game designer on this and someone asked me what I'd been working on for the last two years...I'd lie.
1. There are quick-time events scattered throughout the game that demand that you push X, Y, A, B, etc. in a limited amount of time or you will die. On a PC, you may not be using a controller with these labels, and if you remap, it doesn't change what flashes on screen, so you get to die 30 times while trying to figure out which button they want you to push when they flash B at you insistently.
2. If you remap your controller, the game will forget you did so when you next start the game. So prepare to remap every single time.
3. The game has a system wherein if you get by a checkpoint and crash, you can then restart at that checkpoint. You have a limited number of these in a stage. Obviously, if you crash in the first leg (which will happen very frequently for reasons I will explain), you're better off just restarting than taking the deduction on the number of checkpoint restarts. The game shouldn't deduct one until you clear a checkpoint. How in the world did a tester not point that out?
4. The cars handle horrifically, but don't worry. On many of the courses you can just bounce off the track barriers and take hairpin turns at speed.
5. On the other hand, there are roads running parallel to the main street that if you get on them, your game ends. Or if you touch the arrow barriers marking the track, you will lose. Sometimes if you touch the grass on the shoulder, that's it. Other times you can drive many meters off the road in a shortcut. Feel free to engage in a lot of trial and error by losing.
6. The rubber-banding effect is insane. Being passed while at your car's absolute top speed because you got into the lead "too early" is infuriating. Watching a standard Crown Victoria police cruiser blow by you when you're driving 200+mph is infuriating. On the other hand, feel free on some missions to just sit a few seconds at the start line. You'll catch up. One of these days they need to make a game where the AI just drives. They don't cap their speed when you're behind them and they don't get a jet pack strapped to their car when you're ahead of them.
7. The gameplay types are not fun. Running from the cops in the Most Wanted/Carbon/Undercover trio involved using side streets and obstacles and hiding. In Hot Pursuit, you had abilities. Cops in this game are just around to ram you as you're driving and occasionally force you to lose a race because they've blocked your ability to turn or pull out right in front of you. There's no cleverness. There's no coordination. It would make as much sense if a pickup truck just stayed in front of you rolling barrels off the back.
8. The main character is unlikable.
9. You switch cars by pulling into optional gas stations along the way. Pulling into a gas station will, of course, make you lose time, so you are punished for driving a variety of cars. If that wasn't a strange enough design decision, sometimes they'll put the gas station at the end of the level, so you'll get to make a choice, "Do I want to switch cars and thus likely lose this race, or not?"
10. The manufacturers should get to have a say before this game is released. All else equal, given the vehicle handling, I'm now less inclined to buy any vehicle featured in this game. A walrus on roller skates could take a turn faster than some of these vehicles.
Last year's Hot Pursuit convinced me that it was worth spending $40+ on a Need for Speed title at loss. This has proven me wrong. If you love racing games and gotta have a fix, try and hold off until it's $19.99 at least. You can't get a refund on these downloads, else I would have handed it back in after 20 minutes.