Need For Speed Rivals | Gameguide Need For Speed Rivals – Gameguide

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Need For Speed Rivals is the latest in what is possibly the longest running racing series, a series that I think I’ve played on every console I’ve owned. Rivals is the first by the newly named Ghost Studios, and keeps the distinctly arcady feel and the ability to choose what side you want to play.

Though you do have to go through the introductions to both the racers and the police before you get to decide which side you want to be on, and for the schizophrenic gamers amongst us, you can switch between sides with ease.

No matter which side you chose, you’ll get 160 kilometers of Redview County’s winding roads, highways, mountains and villages to speed through, and a skill tree of car, upgrade and equipment unlocks to grind through.

There’s not much of a plot to drive the game, but that can be a good thing, cause it lets you get down to the fun part, driving fast and unlocking new rides.

As an arcade racer the cars handle well, tap the breaks going into a corner and you go into an easy drift. Brake hard going into a corner and you slow down in a nice controlled manner allowing you to turn with ease. Initially it’s fast and furious fun.

But then you start to notice the limitations. The roads are pretty bland, and very empty. It’s almost like the place was evacuated, but a few locals decided to stay behind and drive the lonely roads. On the one hand, this makes driving fast and recklessly easier, on the other hand, when you do suddenly come upon another road user, it’s so unexpected you’ll probably crash into them before you realise they are there. It’s a minor niggle that you’ll soon forget about however as you’ll be concentrating on the next unlock and winning the next race or pursuit, or speed challenge or whatever you have selected as you mission tree.

The presence of both racers and cops makes for some interesting situations. Being a racer in a race will raise your wanted level and you could find your self in both a race and a pursuit, which works well if you’re a racer. However if you’re a cop on a timed run, and a racer blasts past you, you’ll automatically get put into pursuit of that racer, and if he turns off the route of your timed run, you’ll either have to choose to loose the timed run or loose the pursuit. Not a nice situation to be put in.

The only other minor niggle is that you can’t pause the game to bring up the map, as I found whilst being pursued by the cops. Instead of the usual gaming mechanic of the game pausing when you open the map, the game continues with your car coming to a rolling (or sudden if you hit something) stop, and if you’re being pursued, you’ll be busted before you get back to the game. There is some kinect functionality that will help alleviate this issue, but my British/Kiwi accent mix never seems to work with kinect, so is of no help to me.

Overall, minor gripes aside, Need For Speed Rivals is a solid installment in the series, and a great arcade racer to serve the 360 as it heads into retirement.

Rating: PG Mild themes and violence.

Available on: Xbox One, XBox 360, PS3, PS4, PC. Reviewed on: Xbox 360



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