When I lived at home, my parents had a BMW Z3 that I took for a very high-speed drive down a curvy country road. Adrenaline just surged through my veins; it was amazing.
Â â€œNeed for Speed: Hot Pursuitâ€ is the cheap â€“â€“ and safe â€“â€“ way to drive performance cars with the reckless abandon I had years ago. However, the thrill of driving video game cars isnâ€™t close to the real thing, but it is still addicting. Being an adrenaline junkie, I hope one day a game can come close to the real thing.
For now, â€œNeed for Speedâ€ is an adequate substitute.Â
The most important thing in recreating the mystique of dangerous driving is how real the game looks. â€œNeed for Speedâ€ is a success in this department. I donâ€™t know how it was done, but Electronic Arts created a very realistic looking racing game that blurs the line between game and reality.
Â Aside from the overly blurred landscape when you are driving over 250 miles per hour, the environments were superbly rendered.
Â The next step to recreating an accurate rendition of speeding down highways is the sounds of the powerful cars. I donâ€™t know much about how different car engines sound, but the roar of all the different cars I raced were very powerful sounding and what I imagine to be the real deal.
Â The music of the game ranges from speed-inducing rap beats to mellow rock and alternative rock tracks. All of the songs in the game are songs I would expect to be playing from my car stereo while I was flying down country roads â€“â€“ â€œNeed for Speedâ€ packs them all into one game.Â
Unfortunately, a video game controller doesnâ€™t accurately recreate sitting behind a real steering wheel. Electronic Arts took the standard racing game controls and worked magic to give â€œNeed for Speedâ€ responsive, arcade racing controls. Donâ€™t mistake this game for a â€œForzaâ€ or â€œGrand Turismoâ€ styled racing simulator, â€œNeed for Speedâ€ is all power and racing fantasy.Â
All of these great qualities in â€œNeed for Speedâ€ create a fluid, addicting video game to play. Speeding through a multitude of race courses in these fancy Corvettes and Zondas is even more fun when the cops start chasing you down in their lightning-quick Bugatti Veyrons, helicopters, and numerous other wily police tricks.
Â The police arenâ€™t the only problem though; winning races against opponents while flying through traffic is intense and cops will crash races and try to bust you.Â
The one problem I have with this game is this: if you donâ€™t buy the game new you donâ€™t get a free access code to play online. I already pay $75 a year for Xbox Live; I donâ€™t need to pay another $10 to play online too.
Â If you play offline, youâ€™ll enjoy the game; but, otherwise, be wary because playing this game to its full potential is priced like the Ferrari of video games.
Video game reviewer Ian Hopkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.