Need for Speed Rivals is an incredibly fast and beautiful one trick pony, there I said it!
Rivals is a simple concept – drive incredibly fast cars – win races – score points – drive faster cars. While it seems basic, Rivals pulls this off with incredible style, however, the “Cops and Racers” dynamic can only goes so far and Rivals falls victim to repetition. Especially if you’ve previously played the excellent 2010 title “Hot Pursuit”.
The Redview County Police Force are, dedicated, to their war on illegal racing. Dedicated to the point where they will use sports cars, helicopters, emp lasers and sonic explosions to bring the racing to an end and to protect the citizens on the road. Contradiction much? Meanwhile, the racers whom are hell-bent on causing anarchy (because, why not?) will use forcefields, shock mines and super charged energy to escape the police. When playing as the Racer you earn speed points and each heat level you gain it acts as a multiplier, however, get busted and all the fruits of your labour go to waste! As a Cop, you just chase after the Racers like a dog, a dog with air support.
So yeah, that’s the game. In terms of driving games it “steers” clear of most physics and realism. Thus, in-tern making one hell of a fun game! Rivals is absolutely crazy and for that I love it! The visuals are absolutely outstanding, I reviewed Rivals on Xbox 360 (Old Faithful) and clearly it pushed the console to its limits. Bringing with it a very good looking, fast paced game with minimum issues. I did notice in later stages of the game, it seems to stutter ever so slightly as the frame rate struggles to keep up with everything happening around you while speeding down a road in a Super-Car being chased by what seems like the entire police and air force. But this can be easily overlooked, for obvious reasons, because literally outrunning the long-arm of the law is so awesome!
What can’t be overlooked however is the multiplayer, which really rubbed me the wrong way, granted I know I’m in the minority with my views on this.
Firstly the multi-player is the single player but with players interspersed with AI, it seems like a nice touch and it is. But, what happened to me on multiple occasions was that I lost all my progress because the host disconnected, or got absolutely annihilated by a lobby full of max level cops working together in a group (I might seem like a sore-loser but seriously, a dodge charger cannot outrun 5 Ferrari’s with lasers!) Unlike last-year’s “Most Wanted” where multiplayer was the best feature; there were no rules or very little order so it was literally a scramble to the objective, this just feels like the single player but with other players. There’s nothing other than the simple “Cops and Racers” dynamic, which has a certain novelty and charm to it but that quickly wears off after a few hours. Eventually, it becomes routine and the sounds of sirens and rubber hitting asphalt becomes hollow.
The game’s presentation is very slick, the cars, man they’re cool! Not only do you get beautifully sculpted cars, but those cars can be customized to your heart’s content! Objectives are marked on a list to the left and easy drive is – easy. Its wonderful that all the features you need can be accessed while speeding across the country. But, features are missing! No billboards with you friend’s faces on it are present, as are hidden cars. The game doesn’t do much to keep you coming back, which is a shame as Ghost did a great job making a detailed environment for you to speed through, even if it is all a blur!
Need For Speed Rivals is a beautifully crafted Arcade Racer with a cool Cop Vs Racer dynamic, a dynamic that runs it’s course throughout the game, I can’t help but point out that “Most Wanted” has the same dynamic but at a lower price.
[easyreview title=”The Arcade Verdict” cat1title=”Presentation” cat1detail=”Slick as always” cat1rating=”9″ cat2title=”Multiplayer” cat2detail=”Nice idea but lack of variation leaves more to be desired.” cat2rating=”6″ cat3title=”Gameplay” cat3detail=”Absolutely crazy, but crazy one can control” cat3rating=”9″ overall=”true”]