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Review: Need For Speed Rivals

 Need For Speed Rivals has a perfect mixture of competitive racing and arcade like elements. Whether you’re a racing fan or not, you will get a kick out of this game. The series that has never stopped moving just got better, and it’s the best we’ve seen it. Combing a single player campaign into a multiplayer open world with many red lights to run. Being able to jump in and go is quick and intuitive, it just has a few drawbacks preventing it from being a game changer in the series.

Choose your side, because it’s cops verses racers. Don’t fret because at any time you can switch between the two careers. If you ever wanted to flee from the cops at dangerously high speeds in million dollar cars you are in the right place. Flip the script and you can chase down a Porsche 918 Spyder around sharp bends and crowded highways as a cop. Both are ultimately satisfying and I recommend playing both careers to their fullest extent.

If you’re playing as a cop you will have various command posts spread through the world which will act as your garage. The nice thing is they are usually all around you but never in your way. It’s at these posts where you can select different cars, upgrade and change pursuit tech, and personalize your car. Basically, it’s your home base, and the place you start when loading up the game. If you’re playing as a racer it will be called your Hideout. Just about the exact same idea as the command post, except in different areas and different exteriors. While in the garage, you can also shuffle between the map, settings, and all drive settings. The all drive menu will be most of your online components. Need For Speed Rivals is really pushing online integration this time around, which is great. You’re always going to have someone to play with in this open world.

Every part of the map is unlocked from the start and there is plenty to see. Right after getting out of the garage, you will be able to choose where you want to go and what exactly you want to do. The map will show you what the other people in your game are doing at that exact moment. After a little bit of driving I soon found my favorite parts of the map. Al though I usually would select an area based on the objectives I was given. This is where the fun begins. If you’re playing as a cop, you will have to do things like bust racers before they finish a race. That means smashing into them until they basically explode. A damage meter will display on top of their car to show you how much damage is left. Keep in mind that you aren’t exactly invincible, and will also “wreck” if you make the wrong moves. Other times you will have to use pursuit tech multiple times against racers; pursuit tech is basically gadgets that help you bust racers. There are ones like shockwaves, turbo, stun mines and so on. You can only equip two at a time, but they help a great deal as the objectives become more difficult.

Playing as a racer is a lot like you think, and just as fun as playing as a cop. The objectives are similar but have more of a racing theme to them. In certain aspects, there can be a “come in 1st place” objective, but in most cases there isn’t or doesn’t have to be. To keep the game simple, you will receive what are called Speed Points. They work as in game currency, you will receive them for completing objectives, busting racers, losing cops, and just about anything else that goes on in game. If you wreck or get busted you will start to lose them. Speed Points will allow you to buy different car, pursuit tech, and car upgrades. Usually after competing a set of objectives, you unlock a new car. There is always motivation abound.

Need For Speed Rivals is absolutely stunning, especially if you’re playing on PS4 and Xbox One. The open world will allow you to travel through different landscapes and environments. The game shines when it’s raining or snowing because of the dynamic conditions. The screen if comparable to a real life wind shield in certain elements, making the game that much more realistic.

My favorite thing about Rivals is that there is always something going on. If you’re casually driving you can pick up a race on the go with a press of a button, without shuffling through any menus. Same goes for if you’re playing as a cop, and see a racer driving by with a high number wanted level over them: you can turn on your sirens and instantly start a pursuit.

An unfortunate game breaker is losing connection with the host, and losing all current progress in that game session. No matter what, this happens often and will completely ruin the fun. It’s a part of the sacrifice of being an always online game. The game also shows you if any of your friends have completed a set of objectives when you go to select them. If so, it shows their time and makes it that much more competitive and exhilarating.

Need For Speed Rivals is the best in its series and continues to push the racing genre. It’s a blast for all ages and gamers alike. The new AllDrive system makes it easier and more fun than ever to instantly race or chase someone online. Losing connection when the host migrates is frustrating, but a chance that had to be taken to push the series. This title is an absolute must buy this holiday season.

Is Need For Speed Rivals on your holiday wish list? Leave a comment below telling us why!

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