Need for Speed: Rivals

Following the steps of the 2010 hit Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit, Rivals drop the player in another fictional county called RedView. While not being produced by the same team as Hot Pursuit, Rivals gets together a team of talents that includes former Criterion staff that makes up the newly formed Ghost Games, an EA studio. With DriveClub out of the Picture, Rivals gets the spotlight, but can it lead the genre on its own on PlayStation 4?

Arguably one of the best arcade racing games of the decade, Hot Pursuit brought the speed and the thrill back into the driving games. Rivals manages to do the same 3 years later adding shiny graphics, with the all new Frostbite 3 Engine under the hood that also powers Battlefield 4, and shaking the cops and racers formula once again. To get it out of the way, yes, the game looks and sounds great in its native 1080p resolution, running at some not so glorious 30fps. But does it matter? Well… its debatable. However, while you’re looking at those amazing weather effects and trying to negociate the turns with the nitrous on and the cops breathing on your neck with an EMP ready to blast you out of the road, you will forget all about it. Rivals kept the same all-in-one open-world scenery diversity from Hot Pursuit so you will be able to start a race in the forest, go through the desert and end up in the mountains. There is however a weird persistent wet look in the cars even when you are driving with no clouds and the sun is shining.

The game features 2 modes in the career. You can choose to run for the cops or for the racers. As a racer you can earn speed points by causing trouble and driving on the edge. The points can then be spent on upgrades, weapons and new cars. If you choose the cops path, you will be chasing racers and earning those points depending on the heat level, and while you can forget about upgrades, you will have at your disposal a set of gadgets like EMPs and spike strips along with roadblocks and helicopters that will bring balance to the chase, and lets not forget that the cars are given to you when you complete a set of challenges. Racing in Rivals is a lot about the drift, so when you manage to get it right, and its not that hard, the races will go smoothly. If you played previous iterations of the series you will get the feeling of been there, done that, bought a t-shirt. The real change here is that there is no separation between the solo and multiplayer modes, unless you don’t have an active Internet connection. You will be able to run into other players while doing your own races and pursuits. Unfortunately, the considerable size of the map and the small number of other human opponents, up to 5, might make you run for a while to catch up to them and have a proper multiplayer race. There are challenges scattered across the map that can leave you busy for a while, but the main career races are in short numbers. There are also dozens of to unlock both for the racers and for the cops that range from exotics to hypercars.

Rivals is a solid racer but feels too familiar if you take away the visuals and the small changes made since Hot Pursuit. That being said, the speed is there, the excitement is definetly there, the graphics you can judge by yourself, and you are always in a social environment, despite its shortcomings. There are also some bugs here and there, but they are more funny than they are annoying. So do yourself a favour and drive home with some of the best wet cars around.


16 Dezembro 2013 | Raiden


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