PS4 Hands-on Preview – Need for Speed: Rivals
The Need for Speed series has come a long ways during the history of the franchise. With a successful branching off between the simulator style of racing in the Shift series and the success for their latest arcade racer Need for Speed: Most Wanted, EA has created a franchise that is ready to launch into the next generation of gaming.
Developer Ghost Games and EA allowed us into their lair (actually it was Slide SF in San Francisco) where they set up a bunch of PlayStation 4s, Xbox Ones and HD TVs and handed us a controller. We were given unfettered access to the world within Need for Speed: Rivals, being allowed to play as both a racer or as a cop from the beginning of the game and allowed to travel freely around Redview County.
This decision is where Rivals steps away from other games in the series. It gives you two separate and complete experiences to play through, as it features a full career progression for both Cop and Racer. Each mode has its own tutorial and will walk you through the life and times of the role you choose. The best part is, you can check out how the other half lives and drives anytime you want.
With this just being a preview (full review incoming Midnight on Thursday) we won’t go too far in depth on upgrades and customization, but we can say that a racer can really make their car their own. Paint schemes and liveries abound. Police cars have considerably less customization but you’ll have three versions of each cop car you unlock and each version has its own sub-story to complete.
Need For Speed: Rivals features a new social system called AllDrive, which allow players to seamlessly transition from playing alone, to playing with friends, which blurs the line between solo play and online play. This allows players to engage in co-op gameplay as well as play against each other. If you are playing as a cop, and you’re buddy is also playing as a cop and is in the middle of a high-speed chase when you join him, you can help him take down that racer and earn speedpoints (NFS experience points) in the process.
The game also features a dynamic weather system which can make your car go from a super handling, road gripping, exquisite piece of machinery, to a fishtailing monster that has a hard time going 0-100. The ever changing weather, as well as the constant time of day change, can work to your advantage when it comes to hiding out, but be careful going offroad in the rain, as mud is not great for those racing tires.
If you are a fan of the arcade style of Need for Speed games, you are in for a treat. If you’re not a fan, stay tuned for our review as you may soon become one.