This year is very special for the NFS franchise, because Rivals has become the 20th instalment in the series. However, the latest games were not so good as we wanted to see them. Will the 20th instalment become the rebirth of the series? Let's try to answer to this question in our Need for Speed Rivals review.
To succeed with the new instalment, the developers have decided to keep to the beaten track and have chosen already popular and proven scenario. That's why Need for Speed Rivals game looks like one of the previous instalments in the series - Hot Pursuit. This decision is both good and bad for the fans. On the one hand, the competition between cops and racers is exciting, enjoying and entertaining. From the other hand - we have already seen it too many times. But let's forgive the developers for the reiteration, because it is actually not so simple to create the unique plot in racing simulator after 19 similar games. Just accept that Rivals is an upgraded version of Hot Pursuit and nothing more.
So, in Need for Speed Rivals you are playing as a cop or as a racer. Both types of characters are rather similar - both have cars, take part in a sort of races and have special powers to compete with the rivals. However, if you choose the side of the law, you won't need to buy cars. And with it you won't be able to tune and upgrade the automobile you have. In our opinion, it is a little bit more interesting to play as a badass racer, but of course, it is up to you to decide. Moreover, any time in the game you may swap the sides, so we recommend you to try both of them.
Playing as a racer, you need to complete different tasks (in the game these missions are instead of levels), get as much Speed Points - in-game currency - as possible, win several races and don't get caught by policemen. The cops are hunting and trying to catch the racers, and if they succeed, then the points of the lawbreaker are coming to the representative of the law. The only way to save the money you have got as a racer is to go to your garage. However, the longer time you will be staying on the streets and completing different tasks, the more money you may get. The policeman may be an undercover cop and also take part in street races. But don't forget that in this case your main goal is not to win a race, but to catch some driver.
Both cops and racers have additional superdevices, which help them to compete with the rivals. The most interesting of them are shock and electromagnetic waves. Moreover, cops may call the helicopter in the most hot pursuit.
The plot sounds rather simple, but the developers wanted to give it as many dramatic effects as possible. And that was not a good idea. The dialogues in the game are just hideous. The theatrics is everywhere. But there is a good thing about the cutscenes - you may use them as short breaks, because the speed of the project goes beyond the limit and sometimes you just need to stop and take a breath.
It is interesting that all things mentioned above in our Need for Speed Rivals review do both for single and multiplayer game's modes. Why? Because the multiplayer mode of the latest Need for Speed is something that is already implemented in the single player. Let us explain. AllDrive system, which represents online mode, allows up to 5 players to get inside your game and to drive on your roads in your single player. Imagine that lots of cops are hunting you, and you are trying to get rid of them. And in the opposite direction the other gamer is racing just now. Be careful, because the real players are much more unpredictable than the ordinary AI. This is AllDrive, and it is really cool.
However, the multiplayer is not ideal sometimes. The map of the game is rather big, and you may be playing for hours and still haven't met any real racer. The second disadvantage touches the Internet connection. If the user that plays a role of server in this session quits, your game will be also finished. And it is a pity if at this moment you were driving and getting lots of Speed Points. Moreover, you won't be able to pause a game while playing this mix of online and single player modes. Use cutscenes instead of pauses.
The next thing, about which we would like to talk, is a vehicle fleet. This year the developers have decided to bring all the most expensive sports cars and let you drive the automobiles of your dreams. Moreover, Ferrari has been returned to the series that is pretty pleasant. Also we would like to say that the physics of the cars is a little bit better than usual. Different cars have various features, and the weather may influence on the way you drive.
While writing Need for Speed Rivals review, we decided to leave the greatest advantage of the game for the end of the article. As you may have guessed, it is graphics. The last year's instalment looked very cool, but with Frosbite 3 engine the project is just stunning. The raindrops and the leaves, each smallest detail and the whole landscape, the variety of maps and climatic zones - all these things make Need for Speed Rivals the most good-looking racing game ever. But also there are too many dramatic effects and filters in the game. We can't say that they are bad, but there are just too many of them. And the last thing: to see and feel the beauty of the Rivals game, you need a next-gen console or very powerful PC.
Need for Speed Rivals is an extremely fast and dynamic game with brilliant graphics, rather innovative multiplayer mode and awful plot. It is not a breakthrough, but also not actually bad. Just another one Need for Speed in our collection.