Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit E3 Impressions

Criterion Games, the folks behind the popular Burnout series, are developing this “revolutionary” take on the Need for Speed games. PSLS got some hands-on time with the racer during this year’s E3, so all you speed junkies take a pit stop and check out our impressions.

For starters, the graphics in this game are excellent, perhaps the best seen yet in a Need for Speed title. The Murciélago that was available to drive in the demo glistened in the sunlight, before eventually being trashed in the road after being pursued by the police. Though the EA booth was bustling with noise around me, I could clearly hear the roar of the Lamborghini’s engine and the high-pitched whir of the turbo when activated.

A good racer conveys a good sense of speed, and the Burnout team does not disappoint in the land of Need for Speed. The cars seem to be larger in this game, which also means the rate at which you fly by pedestrian vehicles and the environment is a bit less as well. However, the cars seem to have much more weight to them than other games in the series, which makes drifting seem all that more risky when flying around a corner at over 100 mph and the cops hot on your tail. One wrong turn of the wheel or an unlucky motorist ahead of you in a blind spot and you’ll slam to a stop.

The damage model used here seemed realistic as well, though what a Lamborghini looks like after a high-speed chase I’d rather not find out. Though there was not enough playtime to see if the damage model affected the car’s handling, what was shown had a high level of detail such as scuff marks on the sides and broken lights. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is racing towards November 16th and 18th release dates in North America and Europe respectively