Need for Speed Rivals
There’s a touch of irony to the name of the newest Need For Speed offering, Rivals. In the market of open world street racing titles Need For Speed is practically the only participant, and it has shown in recent years with Hot Pursuit, The Run, and the 2012 rehash of their famous Most Wanted title (which was kind of a letdown. Where was Cross and his ‘vette?)
Each title has promised the same thing-the fastest, most exotic cars on the planet, high speed thrills and spills as you tear apart the road, and a police force who will stop at nothing to throw you behind bars (and seem to have a seemingly infinite budget. How does the government afford these things? I guess that’s why the U.S shut down recently…). More importantly, each title stuck to its ancestry of exotic police chases, with a few simple changes each time. Rivals looks to be a similar offering, only this time they’re looking to make it more interactive, more personalised and with more ability to choose a side than ever before.
Rivals features the ability to play as both the Police and the racers, with the ability to switch between to two throughout career mode. As usual the line up of vehicles is pure automotive porn, which also features a return to the series for Ferrari after 7 long years. There’s the usual Muscle cars, Tuners and ‘you’ll never see one in real life’ exotics, with both the racers and police having access to them. Car customisation has also improved from Most Wanted, with players now able to paint their vehicles, install aftermarket wheels, and create their own custom paint jobs and liveries which can then be saved and shared.
Career mode looks to be more personalised than ever, with several different ways to level up and earn cash/points as you progress. As racer you have access to the fastest cars in the world, and some little tricks up your sleeve to make sure the 5-0 doesn’t ruin your leisurely drive in the countryside. As the police, you too have access to the ‘sexy enough to marry’ car collection, with some tricks of your own such as spike strips, EMPs, roadblocks and helicopter air support to make sure you can stop those hoodies in the stolen Datsun.
Playing as the police was lacking in Most Wanted, so it’s nice to see them make a playable return. A new feature for the police includes the ‘undercover car’, who’s trailer reminded me somewhat of the intro for the original Most Wanted.
As you become more infamous as a racer, the police will begin to recognize you, and call you out as a marked man/woman during chases, meaning you can’t always rely on other racers to distract them. Rivals is looking to be more intense and action packed than previous titles, with a police force hell bent on your destruction. Don’t like that idea? Jump the fence and be the fastest arm of the law instead.
Risk Everything, Trust No One!
Written by Ben Rachow