One of Criterion’s best installments is back as a reminder that the studio has a talent capable of making time go to waste.
Let’s start with the basics: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is one of the best installments in the series. Criterion Games, part of Electronic Arts since 2004, made Burnout an emblem with deliveries like Burnout 3: Takedown or the anarchic Paradise back in 2008, remastered just a few years ago with more than remarkable results. Now, the North American giant has once again looked back to recover another of the famous works of its other great intellectual property of driving with a lazy remastering that, despite the minimal changes with respect to the original, is still clinging to the elixir of eternal youth.
Because surely Hot Pursuit has much more Burnout elements than Need for Speed compared to previous iterations of the latter, but what difference does it make? Regardless of the nomenclature, regardless of the surname and the logo that accompanies the cover, there is one thing that does not change: Criterion Games does not fail. The credit this time goes to Stellar Entertainment, who have already done the same with Burnout Paradise Remastered with a philosophy very similar to the product that arrives this November on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch: total respect for the playable mechanics and a shy technical facelift on textures, lighting and resolution.
Adrenaline of all colors
Hot Pursuit was the beginning of something new, of a path of successes and errors that give for a long history, but the first thing we understood when starting our first game of the remastering that concerns us today is that to choose this and not other beloved titles (and demanded) by the players makes all the sense in the world; Which is not an obstacle for us to have the return of Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) or Burnout 3: Takedown in a few years. Ten years have passed since Hot Pursuit became known as a reminder that Need for Speed could regain that vibe, that intensity and that love for doing things right. Every vehicle design; each stage design; with extremely narrow paths and others with greater spatial clearance; still feeling intact in the middle of 2020, and that has a lot of merit. Regarding the sensation of speed, a couple of notes: we have played on Xbox One X, which, like on PS4 Pro, runs at 1080p and 60 FPS or 4K / 30 FPS; but in the base consoles of Microsoft and Sony we will have to settle for 1080p and 30 FPS (also Nintendo Switch in TV mode). The debate on whether or not the difference is notable leaves room for the subjective interpretation of each one. Our opinion about it is that it does show, a lot, and that is why we recommend going for the versions that guarantee 60 frames per second. That is a sensation of speed.
Seacrest County is not an open world like Paradise City, which catches us very recently, but it is a cohesive map where the routes have a specific place on the map. It is possible that some missions take place taking sections and routes already covered in part by other pursuit tasks or races, and the truth is that it was a good decision to make that decision, because as the hours go by you think you are there … without the need to be manually traveling each road to go to the next phase. This point is essential for users who prefer to pay short games. That takes Hot Pursuit to the letter, with races rarely exceeding three minutes in length and a variety of options in the main campaign enough not to tire you out. Repeating in your head that “I’m going to play last” is more than recurring.