With already mode than a couple of years since its release, one would imagine that a racing game like Need for Speed: Rivals would have already been made outdated by newer titles. And yet, until today, this game is still one of the most exciting racing games you can ever play. There is a good balance between the title’s open world mechanics, multiplayer race systems, single player storyline, and of course, amazingly rendered cars that you not only get to drive, but also take on ridiculous ramps and dangerous crashes. While Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a joyous first merging of the combative systems of Burnout and the fancy cars of NFS, the combination we see in Rivals is that of polished perfection.
What is Need for Speed: Rivals?
Rivals is the second Criterion-developed NFS title (with previous NFS games being made by other developers). Since Burnout was Criterion’s original hit game, it was not surprising that they have adapted the Takedown and Revenge mechanics into NFS and have a big lineup of real life cars (Burnout’s vehicles are all fictional). In Rivals, we get to see this mix once again, but in a world that is designed and fully revolving around aggressive nature of the game’s driving mechanics.
In this game, players explore an open world where you have to speed towards specific objectives. Races are wild and dynamic –allowing you to make full use of the various turns and side streets. Players are encouraged to use this to their advantage not only for getting to the finish line first, but also for being able to strategically taking down other vehicles.
What makes Criterion made racing games so fun is the fact that you do more than just speed your way through courses; there is an emphasis put into slamming your car against another racer in order to take them down. From light fender benders to head-on collisions, there will be all sorts of various crashes and mishaps in the game –and good bulk of those that you witness will be ones you start. After making a successful takedown, the game takes a brief slo-mo shot of the impact and crash in order to celebrate the attack.
Racing in Rivals is eye-candy, from the dynamic weather systems to the incredible lighting effects, everything you do in the game results in a visually resounding treat. Sparks fly out when you trade paint with rival cars, and fiery bursts of explosion fill the screen when you drive past your victims. It looks and feels good –giving you the satisfaction of knowing that it was you who skillfully took down the lead racer before taking their position. With all the action running at a sweet 30FPS, the game looks great even on the PS3 and Xbox 360 –though there is no doubt that the PS4 and Xbox One versions are vastly better looking.
Fast Paced Action
Need for Speed: Rivals takes many of the good elements of previous iterations of the series, from the cop chases, to the use of various police abilities, to some of the driving mechanics. But what it benefits most from is Criterion/Ghost Game’s vision to create a truly high-speed, adrenaline pumping experience. Competing in the races is an exciting experience, with you and your opponents all aggressively ramming and slamming into each other as you all race towards the finish line. This game is good not only for fans of the NFS series, who will certainly love the way it improves upon the new stuff in Hot Pursuit, but also for those who have long been waiting for a proper sequel to Burnout Paradise.