January 4, 2011

Mobile Pursuit

Lasting First Impressions of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit HD for iPad from EA Games

I love racing games.  More precisely, I love street racing games.  Since the first Need for Speed game was released on PlayStation in 1996, I have been a die hard fan of the series.  While there have been a few bumps in the road along the way, the announcement last year that a new Need for Speed Hot Pursuit was on the way excited me to no end.

Need for SpeedWith the game finally released on the XBOX360, PC, and PS3, I am having a great time playing Criterion Games’ interpretation of the long lived franchise.  Soon after, EA released a version of the game for the iPad for a measly $9.99.

Unlike the console version of the game, this mobile version was developed by Australia’s IronMonkey Studios, also responsible for the iPhone/iPad versions of Need for Speed: Undercover and Need for Speed: Shift.

Like Criterion’s NFS: Hot Pursuit found on the consoles, the iPad game also gives you two different career modes to choose from.  You can choose to be a racer or take on the role of the cops trying to take down the racers.  I personally enjoy the racing career on the iPad over the Police career.  In this game, the software takes care of the vehicle’s acceleration automatically for the player, leaving the steering and deployment (Oil Slicks, EMP, Road Blocks, etc.) the only thing the player needs to worry about.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is definitely not a short lived game with two different careers and 4 Tiers of races for each branch.  Each Tier presents at least 5 to 6 different challenges bringing in a total of over 50 races.  Three levels of achievements also adds to the replayability of each race.  Unfortunately, the game and these achievements are not linked to the new Game Center application.  A future update to the game, brining it into Game Center would be a welcome addition, and would bring better value to gaining these achievements.

Although the iPad version of Hot Pursuit does not employ Autolog, allowing you to compare your results with your friends, there is still a multiplayer option in the game.  Using more than one iPad, players can link games using either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to compete in races.

Although the vehicle models aren’t nearly as high-res as the console game, graphically, the game is beautiful and is another example of the power the iPad truly possesses.  IronMonkey Studios has done a fantastic job instilling a shear sense of speed during each race with absolutely no slowdown in the software.  The scenery blurs by as the vehicles reach speeds of over 250 km/hr and more.

With each race only lasting a few minutes at a time, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit HD is the perfect game to jump in and out of when you only have a few minutes to spare.  As a fan of the Need for Speed franchise, I am really enjoying this portable version of the latest NFS offering.

EA Games, I gave you an hour and I am heartily IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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