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'[GAME] Need For Speed Rivals (PS4)'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Need For Speed Rivals'.
Mon 24/02/14 at 13:51:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 1,990
Ghost Games is behind the wheel for the latest entry to the long running Need For Speed franchise but is it just me or does it all seem spookily familiar?

Rivals is essentially a follow up to Hot Pursuit and with a lot of the Criterion team who developed that game on board with Rivals, this doesnít come as much of a surprise. I was quite a fan of Hot Pursuit and was rewarded with a shiny platinum trophy for my efforts so there are no complaints about a follow up from me.

As in Hot Pursuit, Rivals lets you experience both sides of the legal divide; driving as a law breaking racer you will be evading the cops whereas as a cop youíll be busting those bad boy racers. The events on offer are all familiar and by familiar, I mean identical to Hot Pursuit.

As a racer you can participate in race, hot pursuit, interceptor and time trial events. Hot pursuit is the pick of the bunch and where the most fun is to be found. This is a first to the finish line event with a concerted effort by the police to stop the race. The police are aggressive and prefer to ram you off the road rather than ask you to pull over. Race events start off without a police presence but chances are it wonít remain that way. Interceptor is a racer versus cop event where you need to escape the police presence. It starts off with one police car on your tail but more will join the party the longer you take to evade the police presence. And finally, the time trial events are simply getting to the desired location within the time limit.

As a cop you will involved in hot pursuit, interceptor and rapid response. Hot Pursuit events are the same format as the racer equivalent with you chasing the pack and trying to put an end to the race. Interceptor is again, the same as the racer equivalent with you playing the role of the police. And Rapid Response is the equivalent of a time trial only this time more harsh as any collisions with solid scenery and other cars results in a time penalty.

To help both racer and cop there are weapons available. Each car can be equipped with 2 weapons. The weapons take the form of offensive and defensive. Offensive weapons cause damage to other vehicles and defensive either get you out of a tight spot at speed or counter an incoming attack. The police have the extra ability to call for backup in the shape of road blocks or a helicopter to blind the racers and deposit spike strips. The range of weapons has been extended slightly from Hot Pursuit but this time round the road blocks seem completely useless. The helicopter shining the light to obscure the view works a treat and is a real nuisance as a racer.

So far all very familiar so what has changed? Well there are 3 main differences between Rivals and Hot Pursuit.

First up is the location. The action all takes place in Redview County; a fictional location offering 160 miles of open road and plenty of opportunity to push the selection of exotic sports cars to the limits. The environment is very similar to that of Seacrest County and is of similar size but the major difference is that it is an open world setup and you are free to explore Redview County at your leisure. This means that when you cross the finish line the game doesnít end and take you back to a menu screen, the actions continues and any police tail you have remains or any racers you are pursuing are still there to be taken down. Other than jumps to try out, there is little purpose to exploring the county. I miss the security gates and billboards from Most Wanted. There are speed cameras and speed zones but youíll come across these as you play events anyway and even the jumps are all marked on the map.

The open world setup does come with a frustration which was well and truly hammered home to me by a police car. As I was sat waiting for an event to start, a police car that had lost sight of me rammed my car from behind. As a result, when the race started my car was facing the wrong way and was in a right state. If you end an event with a police presence you may not be able to just jump into the event unless you completely lose the police tail. The open world setup does also introduce other races outwith race events which you can challenge for an ad-hoc race. You may also witness a pursuit going on and at times, struggle to get past as it interferes with the even you are currently taking place in.

The 2nd major difference comes with AllDrive on the label. This is billed as a seamless to playing alone to playing with friends and strangers. You are not alone in Redview, the county is populated with other players who you are free to mingle with or just go about your own business; there is no distinct single player or multiplayer modes. AllDrive does open the doors to some twists to the standard events; you could be racing against a mix of AI opponents and real people. And midway through the race, a player who is playing on the side of the law may decide to try and take you down.

As someone who predominantly prefers single player, I find the always connected setup an interesting idea which hasnít really lived up to its potential so far. Iíve sank hours into this game and at the time of writing, a mere 2 trophies away from the platinum trophy but there are only 2 moments I can recall where there was any engagement with another human player. My experience so far seems to be with a group of individuals who keep themselves to themselves. This does illustrate how it works well for the anti-social gamers although I do suspect a bit of unwelcome interaction at an inconvenient moment could be frustrating. What is more frustrating however is when the host leaves. This seamless connection doesnít quite live up to the hype as you are taken out of your solo event to sit and wait for the host migration to complete. It seems like the map is too large with too few players to make the most of the idea; a separate multiplayer mode would have been much better.

A big drawback to the connected aspect is that you cannot pause the game whilst out on the road. Youíll have to go back to the hideouts or cop base (more on these later) to take yourself out of the action. Logic suggests that switching the single player setup with no online connection would bring back the ability to pause but no. As someone who can be interrupted frequently when playing, I have found the lack of a save to be highly frustrating. It simply doesnít make sense if you are no connected.

The 3rd difference is the use of bases and hideouts. As you progress you accumulate speed points for various actions as well as accumulating a multiplier to boost the points awarded. The points can be used to buy cars (for racers) or upgrade weapons. This is fairly standard but where the twist comes is for the racer; those points are not guaranteed until you get to a hideout. If you get busted by the police, you lose the points and multiplier. If you get to the hideout then the funds are yours to keep but you do lose the multiplier. The concept of losing points has a bigger impact when playing with others; as a cop you will be awarded the racerís points if you bust them.

A ranking system exists in the game with 60 rankings to climb for both racer and cop. It is an interesting system as you can reach the max rank without having completed all of the events. Itís a strange setup. In order to rank up you need to complete a set of challenges called speedlists. There are a wide variety of tasks to complete such as slipstreaming, jumping a set distance, drifting a set distance, successfully using a certain weapon a set number of times and so on. Sometimes it demands you complete an event in first place. Within the 60 ranks, you are seldom asked to complete a hard event so you may find yourself replaying easy events to speed up the progression. The ranking progression really does feel disconnected to the progress through the events.

Autolog is back and is pretty much the same as in Hot Pursuirt and Most Wanted; there is plenty of opportunity to get the better of you times recorded by your friends. A noticeable difference is the time taken to complete a speedlist is recorded. Itís not a time comparison I feel should exist since it is hard to compare to another player when you donít know what events they did when recording their time.

Graphically it is a good looking game. It didnít blow me away by any means but after playing Forza Horizon on a demo pod, Iíve come to appreciate how busy the environment is with nice touches like leaves blowing about. You get a nice close up of your car as you wait for events to start which shows off the attention to detail nicely.

It is all very Hot Pursuit but for some reason it doesnít seem to be as good. I donít know whether that is over familiarity but I also suspect that it is because this game comes with a few more niggles. Other than those mentioned already, Iíve found Iím driving so fast that I see cars literally dropping from the sky. It also feels like the other racers are much harder to take down this time and the weapons only seem to tickle at times, even when fully upgraded. The AI is a mixed bag, Iíve seen some impressive evasive moves from the AI bit at the same time Iíve had a fellow police car turn right into me as I was passing. Other traffic can seem pre-scripted at times. I was doing a rapid response event and came across a situation with a car in either lane which caused me a bit of bother to get past. In the subsequent 2 other attempts I had at the event in order to get the gold medal, I came across the same 2 car scenario at the same point. The checkpoint system is too rigid at times. Shortcuts are there to be exploited but on rare occasions it can result in you missing a checkpoint and having to turn back. Iíve also seen a checkpoint at a junction turn off which I missed. I drove past and took the next turn off but as far as the game was concerned, Iíd missed the checkpoint. And finally, respawning of the car has random results. When I crash during an event Iíd expect to respawn back on the road facing the way I should be going but that doesnít always happen. Sometimes you respawn facing the barrier you crashed into and need to reverse. Other times you respawn facing the wrong way. And Iíve even respawned onto the wrong road after crashing at a junction. I didnít notice and hit the boost to try and make up for lost time only to discover I was hurtling off in the wrong direction. I donít recall these niggles in Hot Pursuit and as time has progressed with the game, some do start to frustrate.

A very good arcade racing game but it feels too similar to Hot Pursuit for me and the some annoying aspects mean it isnít as good either.

7
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 24/02/14 at 13:51:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 1,990
Ghost Games is behind the wheel for the latest entry to the long running Need For Speed franchise but is it just me or does it all seem spookily familiar?

Rivals is essentially a follow up to Hot Pursuit and with a lot of the Criterion team who developed that game on board with Rivals, this doesnít come as much of a surprise. I was quite a fan of Hot Pursuit and was rewarded with a shiny platinum trophy for my efforts so there are no complaints about a follow up from me.

As in Hot Pursuit, Rivals lets you experience both sides of the legal divide; driving as a law breaking racer you will be evading the cops whereas as a cop youíll be busting those bad boy racers. The events on offer are all familiar and by familiar, I mean identical to Hot Pursuit.

As a racer you can participate in race, hot pursuit, interceptor and time trial events. Hot pursuit is the pick of the bunch and where the most fun is to be found. This is a first to the finish line event with a concerted effort by the police to stop the race. The police are aggressive and prefer to ram you off the road rather than ask you to pull over. Race events start off without a police presence but chances are it wonít remain that way. Interceptor is a racer versus cop event where you need to escape the police presence. It starts off with one police car on your tail but more will join the party the longer you take to evade the police presence. And finally, the time trial events are simply getting to the desired location within the time limit.

As a cop you will involved in hot pursuit, interceptor and rapid response. Hot Pursuit events are the same format as the racer equivalent with you chasing the pack and trying to put an end to the race. Interceptor is again, the same as the racer equivalent with you playing the role of the police. And Rapid Response is the equivalent of a time trial only this time more harsh as any collisions with solid scenery and other cars results in a time penalty.

To help both racer and cop there are weapons available. Each car can be equipped with 2 weapons. The weapons take the form of offensive and defensive. Offensive weapons cause damage to other vehicles and defensive either get you out of a tight spot at speed or counter an incoming attack. The police have the extra ability to call for backup in the shape of road blocks or a helicopter to blind the racers and deposit spike strips. The range of weapons has been extended slightly from Hot Pursuit but this time round the road blocks seem completely useless. The helicopter shining the light to obscure the view works a treat and is a real nuisance as a racer.

So far all very familiar so what has changed? Well there are 3 main differences between Rivals and Hot Pursuit.

First up is the location. The action all takes place in Redview County; a fictional location offering 160 miles of open road and plenty of opportunity to push the selection of exotic sports cars to the limits. The environment is very similar to that of Seacrest County and is of similar size but the major difference is that it is an open world setup and you are free to explore Redview County at your leisure. This means that when you cross the finish line the game doesnít end and take you back to a menu screen, the actions continues and any police tail you have remains or any racers you are pursuing are still there to be taken down. Other than jumps to try out, there is little purpose to exploring the county. I miss the security gates and billboards from Most Wanted. There are speed cameras and speed zones but youíll come across these as you play events anyway and even the jumps are all marked on the map.

The open world setup does come with a frustration which was well and truly hammered home to me by a police car. As I was sat waiting for an event to start, a police car that had lost sight of me rammed my car from behind. As a result, when the race started my car was facing the wrong way and was in a right state. If you end an event with a police presence you may not be able to just jump into the event unless you completely lose the police tail. The open world setup does also introduce other races outwith race events which you can challenge for an ad-hoc race. You may also witness a pursuit going on and at times, struggle to get past as it interferes with the even you are currently taking place in.

The 2nd major difference comes with AllDrive on the label. This is billed as a seamless to playing alone to playing with friends and strangers. You are not alone in Redview, the county is populated with other players who you are free to mingle with or just go about your own business; there is no distinct single player or multiplayer modes. AllDrive does open the doors to some twists to the standard events; you could be racing against a mix of AI opponents and real people. And midway through the race, a player who is playing on the side of the law may decide to try and take you down.

As someone who predominantly prefers single player, I find the always connected setup an interesting idea which hasnít really lived up to its potential so far. Iíve sank hours into this game and at the time of writing, a mere 2 trophies away from the platinum trophy but there are only 2 moments I can recall where there was any engagement with another human player. My experience so far seems to be with a group of individuals who keep themselves to themselves. This does illustrate how it works well for the anti-social gamers although I do suspect a bit of unwelcome interaction at an inconvenient moment could be frustrating. What is more frustrating however is when the host leaves. This seamless connection doesnít quite live up to the hype as you are taken out of your solo event to sit and wait for the host migration to complete. It seems like the map is too large with too few players to make the most of the idea; a separate multiplayer mode would have been much better.

A big drawback to the connected aspect is that you cannot pause the game whilst out on the road. Youíll have to go back to the hideouts or cop base (more on these later) to take yourself out of the action. Logic suggests that switching the single player setup with no online connection would bring back the ability to pause but no. As someone who can be interrupted frequently when playing, I have found the lack of a save to be highly frustrating. It simply doesnít make sense if you are no connected.

The 3rd difference is the use of bases and hideouts. As you progress you accumulate speed points for various actions as well as accumulating a multiplier to boost the points awarded. The points can be used to buy cars (for racers) or upgrade weapons. This is fairly standard but where the twist comes is for the racer; those points are not guaranteed until you get to a hideout. If you get busted by the police, you lose the points and multiplier. If you get to the hideout then the funds are yours to keep but you do lose the multiplier. The concept of losing points has a bigger impact when playing with others; as a cop you will be awarded the racerís points if you bust them.

A ranking system exists in the game with 60 rankings to climb for both racer and cop. It is an interesting system as you can reach the max rank without having completed all of the events. Itís a strange setup. In order to rank up you need to complete a set of challenges called speedlists. There are a wide variety of tasks to complete such as slipstreaming, jumping a set distance, drifting a set distance, successfully using a certain weapon a set number of times and so on. Sometimes it demands you complete an event in first place. Within the 60 ranks, you are seldom asked to complete a hard event so you may find yourself replaying easy events to speed up the progression. The ranking progression really does feel disconnected to the progress through the events.

Autolog is back and is pretty much the same as in Hot Pursuirt and Most Wanted; there is plenty of opportunity to get the better of you times recorded by your friends. A noticeable difference is the time taken to complete a speedlist is recorded. Itís not a time comparison I feel should exist since it is hard to compare to another player when you donít know what events they did when recording their time.

Graphically it is a good looking game. It didnít blow me away by any means but after playing Forza Horizon on a demo pod, Iíve come to appreciate how busy the environment is with nice touches like leaves blowing about. You get a nice close up of your car as you wait for events to start which shows off the attention to detail nicely.

It is all very Hot Pursuit but for some reason it doesnít seem to be as good. I donít know whether that is over familiarity but I also suspect that it is because this game comes with a few more niggles. Other than those mentioned already, Iíve found Iím driving so fast that I see cars literally dropping from the sky. It also feels like the other racers are much harder to take down this time and the weapons only seem to tickle at times, even when fully upgraded. The AI is a mixed bag, Iíve seen some impressive evasive moves from the AI bit at the same time Iíve had a fellow police car turn right into me as I was passing. Other traffic can seem pre-scripted at times. I was doing a rapid response event and came across a situation with a car in either lane which caused me a bit of bother to get past. In the subsequent 2 other attempts I had at the event in order to get the gold medal, I came across the same 2 car scenario at the same point. The checkpoint system is too rigid at times. Shortcuts are there to be exploited but on rare occasions it can result in you missing a checkpoint and having to turn back. Iíve also seen a checkpoint at a junction turn off which I missed. I drove past and took the next turn off but as far as the game was concerned, Iíd missed the checkpoint. And finally, respawning of the car has random results. When I crash during an event Iíd expect to respawn back on the road facing the way I should be going but that doesnít always happen. Sometimes you respawn facing the barrier you crashed into and need to reverse. Other times you respawn facing the wrong way. And Iíve even respawned onto the wrong road after crashing at a junction. I didnít notice and hit the boost to try and make up for lost time only to discover I was hurtling off in the wrong direction. I donít recall these niggles in Hot Pursuit and as time has progressed with the game, some do start to frustrate.

A very good arcade racing game but it feels too similar to Hot Pursuit for me and the some annoying aspects mean it isnít as good either.

7

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