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Review: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered (PC)By Nayu At 08.09.2022 08:03

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Hot Pursuit's main draw is the battle between the police and the racers. This is the plot framing, though the plot it frames is basically non-existent. Players will delight in the ability to be both the police and the racers, with the two having unique goals in each of their missions. Each of these is prefaced with a little briefing, and some sweeping shots of the cars and environments. It's all very well presented and polished, but the previous releases of the game also sported this design.

Missions are placed on the map, and take place in the area in which they appear. It's all very slick and cool. Progression through the "narrative" is handled in a fairly linear fashion with each mission's completion unlocking one or more consecutive missions to playthrough. It does offer options with the police and racer routes, with plenty of unlockable vehicles. Unlocking cars is done via levels in the campaign. In these players need to beat a par time on the track, and avoid crashing penalties to pass - they are insanely hard, to begin with, due to some control and design quirks not to mention the insanely tight time limit for top ranks.

Visually everything is nice and crisp, with nice clean edges. The colour work, when combined with shading, helps cars stand out from the tracks and backgrounds, helping to declutter the play space. This is then enhanced with a small user interface that does no more than supporting the gameplay without covering the play area. Overall, it's a very clean presentation focussed on highlighting the gameplay, and not over-complicating the play screen. Cars themselves are well realised and have plenty of detail, with lovely shiny highlights, while tracks suffer from being a bit plain without much going on in terms of layout and scenery. This is still just a remaster, though, so it doesn't have many modern bells and whistles to help de-age it.

Gameplay is a standard driving affair, with a few vices it gets stuck in. Handling is very stiff unless drifting or boosting, and tracks feel endlessly wide lacking many "threading the needle" moments. That said, controls are responsive and smooth, while also portraying a decent sense of speed. Playing as the police players can deploy traps to try and stop the racers, which adds an element of strategy, making it the superior way to play. Driving close to other cars, on the wrong side of the road and drifting, all build a boost meter in a very… Burnout style that also helps intensify and deepen the gameplay.

Lacking in this version is the local co-op play which, for a driving game, is unforgivable, even on PC. This mars the experience significantly by limiting multiplayer to online only. Single-player racing games usually have a unique draw like Forza Horizon 4, with its large open world and story progression, but even they would be enhanced with local co-op gameplay. This is abundant in racing games at the moment, and it's a sad trend to keep following. Luckily the online racing is decent and was basically lag-free even if it lacked any true communication features or unique modes. There is very little worth returning to once the game is completed.

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Final Score
An unfortunately thin experience [i]Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered[/i], is a fun romp while it lasts, but it lacks any draw to return to it after completion. The multiplayer options are limited, but the online mode is solid and functional. For anyone who loved the remaster in the past, this will feel exactly as it did back then, but missing local play. A decent driving game with some weird changes.



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