In general, Need for Speed Rivals accomplishes what it sets out to do. It provides you with a plethora of fast, gorgeous cars and a large world through which to drive them and it nails the sense of speed that's been missing from the series for a while now (ironic given the name of the series is Need for Speed to begin with).
That said, it doesn't take these many steps forward without bringing some faults along for the ride. The cops versus racers foundation serves the game well for the most part, but shows a few rough edges when the going gets fast and rough. Players must earn points to upgrade or buy new cars, the catch being that you don't earn then if you don't manage to bank them. You can bank them by managing to return to your hideout in the middle of a session, but in the later stages of the game this becomes almost too much of a struggle as more potent enemies arrive on the scene and begin to wear out their welcome. Furthermore, the series trademark rubberband AI returns in full form, this time with the suspect ability to teleport from miles away right onto your rear bumper, which will undoubtedly lure forth its fair share of profanity. This AI becomes the biggest hassle when as a racer you're forced to deal with the cops, a frustrating experience without fail.
The game's setting is smaller than it looks, though the Frostbite 3 engine does a great job of bringing it to life on the PlayStation 3's aging hardware. Dust, leaves and grass swirl throughout the courses as you blur through them, and lens flare and color grading effects manage to be mesmerizing, but not too distracting. There's a decent variety of environments in Redview County - your typical desert, city, forest, beach, farmland and snowy mountain areas - but they're all pretty small and you'll often be saying to yourself, "Wasn't I just here?" since most of the game's courses loop around on themselves and their surroundings.
Recommend for Need for Speed fans or racing fans in gener
posted by tiberius1993 (THORNTON, CO) Dec 14, 2013
Member since Dec 2013
The first game I rented from GameFly was Need For Speed Rivals. I do not like this game at all, I don't even have the want to explore the world. I shouldn't hit a car/wall and bounce off like its nothing, I should crash in a dramatic fashion. Graphics are ok, compared to previous installments, you see the graphics were downgraded. The driving and mechanics of the game feel great, different and a little easier to learn. The aspect that the game is constantly online, with both racers and cops, is pretty grand to think about. But it's not fun when you're racing and someone who is not in the race decides to go head on with you and knocks you out of the race. Overall: score of 6/10.
Criterion Games may had their name on the game, but the game does not show they had any involvement at all. I hate NFS games, until Criterion Games were handed the key to the franchise. Now they are fun to play. Just not this one.