I fought the law and the law won, again.
Need for Speed... ... ...Rivals. *drops mic* *walks away* Preview over.
Okay, l won't be a complete goof about this, but what can I say about NFS that hasn't already been said. This title is one of, if not the biggest, arcade racing sims to date. Other games of the genre are still trying to figure out the formula to success between action and simulation. Not to discredit other car titles, but Rivals is looking to blow past the competition this year.
With this latest installment, the theme is "Cops vs Racers," where you race around in an open world against, with, or separated from your friends. At any time you feel the need to jump into a race, it can be done with the simple push of a button. Roll up to a race already in progress, hit start, and gun it.
But it's not just about racing, in the sense of who finishes first, it's about gaining points. These points will be used to better your cars for modifications, boost your ratings, etc. And the longer you stay out away from your hideout, the higher your point multiplier will raise for you to double, triple, even quadruple your overall total. However, to make those points count, you need to race back to your hideout and bank them. The more you mess about the world, the higher your wanted level will rise and the cops (who can see every racer's unbanked totals) will be looking to steal all of your unbanked points.
While staying out of trouble at all times is important, it's just about impossible. As said before, the objective of racers is to earn points by completing certain goals and tasks, all while escaping the police. Meanwhile, the cop's objective is to bust racers. Built for combat, equipped with EMPs and spike strips, the police—Cherry Top, 5-0, Boys, Rollers, Suzy, Unders, Bacon, insert all acceptable pseudo-names—will try anything in their power to stop racers in their tracks.
The cool part about it all is that it's a persistent online world. Say you start a race, completely doing your own thing and then fifteen minutes later, your buddy starts his own game—you both may randomly end up being each other's targets. With "All Drive" being one of the underlying concepts of the game, racers and cops alike can be human or A.I.-controlled.
It's already evident that playing as 5-0s will be very popular. The perspective they bring to the never-ending story of criminals against their rivals, the law, is very important. Sometimes you don't want to be chased and instead be the one doing the chasing (like Friday night at the club, huh huh, you know what I'm talking about). Not only can you make stops alone, but working as a squad unit is just as possible, even encouraged, as you will all be rewarded in bonuses. And don't worry about how to split stolen points fairly—everyone gets the number of points taken regardless of the situation.
Beyond the whole cat and mouse run around, actual controls of the cars are on-point. NFS has always been a racing title that everyone can enjoy. Sure, the most hardcore racing nuts probably won't feel challenged quite enough to call this the best "racing sim," but they can still appreciate the wonder Electronic Arts has put into their beloved series. It encapsulates that hectic but sensational automobile life locked deep within our wildest fantasies.
Not to sound overly excited, but Rivals could be the best NFS yet. Rivals releases on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on November 19, 2013, with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions to be announced at a later date.