Lately, my nephews and I have had the opportunity to spend some quality time in Seacrest County, the fictional land featured in Need For Speed Hot Pursuit. Thankfully, designers of this racing game have foregone obsessing over telemetry and torque curves generated on the world's most famous race tracks. Leaving that to those crafting Grand Turismo 5, NFS creators instead made the solid decision to offer up a dynamic new twist on a childhood favorite: Good Guys vs. Bad Guys.
Adrenaline levels run high as convincing near photo-realism is placed in just the right places. It starts with the diverse and beautifully rendered vistas of Seacrest County, which span coastal roads, open desert highways and snowcapped alpine routes. These stand out as heros of the title alongside the fastest police response units. Creators of the game follow through with a great range of the world's most exciting vehicles. I for one was most happy to see the BMW Z4 sdrive3.5is and the Lamborghini Reventon among the list of beautiful cars one can try their had at.
The game delivers on a few well-honed gaming principles:
1. Support immersion- Convincing visual details in the landscape and vehicle modeling are convincing and invite drivers into the world of Seacrest County.
2. Cause and Effect Loops- Dramatic and sufficiently detailed damage simulation reinforces just enough cause and effect consequences to keep things interesting.
3. Collectibility- An impressive range of vehicles each with their own overview provided by an ecosystem of manufacturers keeps one engaged and moving forward in the game as does the addition of technological enhancements.
While there are surely a number of alternative driving games out there with more realism that would be far better to use as training platforms for your next trip to the Nurburgring, few can match the levels of sheer joy that come along with busting bad guys or racing at high speeds across the deserts of Seacrest county. Thanks goes out those who put quality time into creating the vistas of Seacrest County and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit.