Feeds

Speeding cops, fearsome drops and Death Star shops

Enough next-gen kit already – here’s the best of the rest

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

Need for Speed: Rivals

It seems we’re steaming irreversibly onwards to a point where our single-player and multi-player worlds merge into one. Need for Speed: Rivals fires a marker into such untested waters, where the likes of Destiny and Tom Clancy’s The Division are soon to follow.

Rivals’ persistent online world is at least fairly unobtrusive. A handy tracking system means you can hook-up with real racers to compete in ad hoc events easily – or use it to avoid them. That said, you might still have a player-controlled cop car repeatedly run you off the road whether you like it or not.

Need for Speed Rivals

That’s because Rivals is an almost identikit copy of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. And, where developerCriterion crafted a Chase HQ-style game – where cops hunt down fleeing racers – new developer Ghost Games does much the same here.

What this means is that in any given game you’re bound to find at least one joker looking to smash you to bits. Depending on your mood that’s either brilliant or incredibly annoying, especially as player-controlled police cars are much more adept and bloodthirsty than their AI-controlled counterparts.

Still, Rivals does carry an ace up its sleeve: score multipliers. These award event participation and race wins, and carry on ramping up your score – and therefore your cash – the longer you survive without being either busted or checking yourself into a safe hideout.

Need for Speed Rivals

So once your car is in severe danger of being totalled and your dashboard is covered in warning lights, things swiftly accelerate into squeaky bum territory. Especially if you’re still miles from a hideout – where you can stash your cash – and suddenly come into the sights of a cop car.

Reach the hideout and your score is yours for the taking, get arrested and it’s goodbye to all your multiplied cash. All in all, it’s a good formula for getting the blood pumping.

You’re not forced to always be the prey either, as you can freely swap between the two styles of play at your leisure. Both roles have car unlocks and upgrade chains, and you can even buy Bond-inspired gadgets, such as mobile EMPs, with which to cause havoc to your fellow road users.

Need for Speed Rivals

It’s not all high praise for a job done well though, as heavy handling, a dearth of new ideas since Hot Pursuit, some pretty iffy AI and server delays – seemingly caused by a host leaving and a new one being selected – hardly scream ‘must buy’.

The roads you race across are hardly inspiring, either. Redview County is home to some nice backdrops, but you never really get anywhere. You won’t suddenly find a city for example, or even a noteworthy town.

Consequently, the playable expanse does tend to blend into one rather featureless piece of track. And while the illusion of speed is handled well, the visuals, even on next-gen systems, don’t exactly push the pedal to the metal.

Need for Speed Rivals

On the whole, though, the sense of speed, some cool weather effects and the pulse-racing nature of those high-speed pursuits do make Rivals worth playing. Especially if you’re into old-school arcade racers.

Score 3.5 / 5

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?