I managed to acquire two copies of Need for Speed Rivals for myself and the man on Monday, for the bargain price of £24.99 each. We’ve been wanting to get out hands on this for quite some time, and waiting for a decent price, so when I saw it in GAME at such a low price, it had to be bought. Even though I’m on my self-imposed game buying ban, I couldn’t resist.
We’ve managed to play it for a good few hours so far, and it’s overall much more enjoyable than the lacklustre effort of Most Wanted. Although GHOST have combined the good bits of both Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted into one game, it’s still got a few teething issues on the multiplayer, but that doesn’t really bother me.
I like the idea that you can drive around with other players in a randomly generated public map, however I have set mine to private as I’m, as you may be aware, not overly keen on multiplayer anyway. Setting it to private, I can drive around on my own, or I can invite friends, and this is quite a nice luxury. When myself and the man were playing together, it was nice to be doing entirely different events, but still be playing on the same map, and even occasionally driving past each other.
The map appears to be quite extensive, with a lot of varying terrain, which is a pleasant change from the cityscape feel of Most Wanted. It’s not quite Hot Pursuit in my eyes, but it’s an evolution I suppose. I’m still not very good at it, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.
This time around, the cars aren’t unlocked and you must earn them by completing sets of objectives as you progress through the game. The frustrating part is, that even though you have unlocked the car, it must still be purchased with speed points. This feels like an unnecesary element, but thankfully speed points aren’t too hard to come by, as long as you bank them without being busted.
This is one of the most frustrating parts, if only as a racer; if you don’t bank your speed points and your car is either wrecked or you’re busted by the cops, then you lose everything. I can see why they’ve done it, it adds an element of challenge, but I really wish it could be turned off for those of us (me) who aren’t necessarily that skilled. I probably spend more time crashing into walls and other cars than doing anything else.
It’s nice to have relative freedom to drive around and drop into any event you like, and it’s nice to have some objectives. The modification of your cars is also a nice novelty, but can be quite costly in the beginning, and you must install pursuit tech on every individual car. Overall, it’s a good, fun game to play so far, and I look forward to playing it to relax over the Christmas holidays.