A legendary NFS game getting remastered?
Type: Multiplayer, Singleplayer
Genre: Casual, Street-Racing, Arcade,
Cops and Robbers, Open-World
Developer: Stellar Entertainment Limited
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release date: 6th November, 2020
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered is the improved and new version of the original Hot Pursuit game which was released back in 2010. This release tries to capture the high-speed highway races with current-gen visuals without changing the basics too much as this still is a Remaster and not a Remake.
A decade ago I was casually playing this game using my PS3, I did probably put 200 hours in that game and I enjoyed every hour. Hot Pursuit was in my opinion the last legendary game for a long time. After seeing the news of a Remaster I was blown away but I knew that some people will mix up the definition of Remaster and Remake. The main goal of a Remaster is to improve the visuals of a game that still holds up well enough and fix all of the technical problems. Let us take a good look.
Hot Pursuit was a game that was drifting away from the Underground 2, Most Wanted 2005, or Carbon’s gameplay mechanics. While these games were all about city driving which meant lots of narrow turns and customization while Hot Pursuit took a rather unique decision. Highway racing was something underheard of for almost a decade, yet that was the beauty of the game, you could go 250mph and you didn’t worry about weird turns thanks to the tap brake to drift mechanics. Another reason that the gameplay of this game was legendary was because of the Cops & Robbers gameplay.
Illegal Driver gameplay:
The gameplay hasn’t changed much compared to the original release, as an illegal driver you try to beat, other competitors, in various high-speed races. Within the race, you do get the chance to drive and find various shortcuts that can be extremely useful as long as you can handle tight corners and drive on gravel with a supercar. As an illegal driver, you do have to collect your nitrous as it will not be collected automatically. The keyword is simple, it’s called Danger. By driving dangerous, basically driving on the opposite lane, evading upcoming vehicles, and drifting will give you Nitrous that you can use later on. Question is, when is the best moment to use your hard-earned Nitrous? Basically while exiting a corner as nitrous is more effective when it comes to acceleration instead of top speed. Other than Time attacks, Races, or Head to Head races you will have to fight against the police force and their supercars as well. Their means of stopping you aren’t the most pleasant. Evading spike strips, EMPs, massive roadblocks with Porsche Cayennes, and even a freaking helicopter. Luckily NFS does provide you with some neat gadgets in order to deal with those annoying police forces. You obviously do get EMPs and Spike strips but instead of roadblocks and Helicopters, you get a Jammer which stops EMPs and even disables the Mini-Map for the Police forces. The 4th gadget is the Turbo which basically is Nitrous on steroids. There are multiple uses ranging from acceleration to top speed or even taking out police vehicles with one hit.
Police Driver gameplay:
The same idea works with the Police forces. Keep in mind that police vehicles are a little bit better which pretty much resembles real life. First is that the Police cars can go over their top speed without any nitrous at all. As a drawback though your nitrous regenerates very slowly and it only starts doing it when going over 90mph or 150km/h. Police cars usually have a little more health as well which is normal as they do not possess any Turbo gadgets. Other than that some missions have some differences. Time attacks have usually slower times when it comes to Gold, Silver, and Bronze ratings but each collision will cost you 2 seconds and each traffic hit will add 3 seconds to your final time. That alone balances things out. 7 Man races usually do not take time into consideration but the number of Busts you perform in that race and as expected if you take out 7 cars in a 7 man race you will obviously get the Gold award. Other than that we do not have any changes when it comes to gameplay.
Online / Multiplayer:
After playing a couple of online matches I can’t really say much, there are basically no differences at all outside of the Crossplay they included which does make the playerbase feel a lot bigger.
- The Photo Mode improved a lot compared to the 2010 version as you can simply hide the UI instead of uploading your picture.
- The Menu got a lot more options as well. You do have a ton of additional Graphic options.
- Keep in mind that 3 vehicles got removed and 2 of them are Mclaren/Mercedes based vehicles. That is due to Licenses and probably the death of Stirling Moss who was basically pretty much associated with the Mercedes SLR 722 Mclaren.
Graphics / Audio:
Considering that this is a Remaster I would have to say that this is a decent enough improvement compared to the original version.
Better lighting and more saturation are expected things obviously. One thing that actually surprised me was the much-improved damage model. scratches actually show their depth and the car body is getting deformed a lot more now.
Audio / Soundtrack:
Another area where the game improved a lot is the engine sounds. Vehicles do sound almost lifelike, I would actually even argue that’s NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered is the best sounding racing game as of right now. The Soundtrack is legendary as well, driving 3 in the morning with the storm going on and Edge of the Earth playing in the background just hits you in a different way. Audio and Soundtrack truly is a masterpiece.
I am pretty disappointed with the way EA treated this game as far as technical problems go. First things first, the game still has a 60 FPS cap which is pretty bad considering we live in the age of 144Hz monitors. Another problem is the controller and wheel support. I could not connect my Thrustmaster T150 steering wheel as the support for steering wheels got deleted and controller support isn’t the best either, if you so wish to play using a wireless controller be prepared with lag spikes and freezes. Using a traditional 2nd Gen Xbox Controller I had constant problems with freezes especially when the controller was low on battery, truly annoying. The last annoyance was the inconsistent loading times. There were moments that the game instantly loaded after skipping the cutscene at the start of each race and other times I skipped the cutscene but because the game or map did not load in time I was simply watching the cutscene despite the initial skipping which just doesn’t make any sense to me as I did install the game on an M.2 nvme SSD by Western Digital.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700 X, 32GB Ram, Nvidia RTX 2070 Super:
I was running the game with Maxed settings on 1080p resolution while constantly hitting the 60fps cap.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, 32GB Ram, Nvidia RTX 2070 Super:
NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered benchmark completed, 16431 frames rendered in 274.750 s
Average framerate : 59.8 FPS
Minimum framerate : 40.9 FPS
Maximum framerate : 61.8 FPS
1% low framerate : 36.3 FPS
0.1% low framerate : 6.3 FPS
Bugs / Glitches / Crashes:
In 18 hours of trying to outrun the helicopter, I had no Bugs, glitches, or Crashes at all.
I do consider the Remaster a good Remaster but the price tag of 30 Euros combined with the new technical problems aren’t really the most pleasant thing to hear. Yes, the game plays out beautifully and it truly is an amazing blast from the past for a veteran like me, but the 60FPS limit, terrible Controller, and non-existent Wheel support as well as the inconsistent loading times to make this game look a little worse than it actually is, it still captures the atmosphere just like it did in 2010, the Sounds are legendary now and the visuals did improve enough and even the Crossplay option was a huge addition. Sadly for the average user, this won’t be enough. Still a nice game obviously.