App Review: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (iTunes link), $2.99 USD, is a racing game developed by Electronic Arts for all iOS devices. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is the third installment of the Need for Speed franchise. How does this game weigh against its competition? Is it worth the buy? Let’s find out.

Presentation and Graphics

Electronic Arts used to be well known for their professional games and graphics. They no longer hold this status because every game they have made recently for iOS has had some sort of problem.

The menus are not a problem in this game. They are clean and easy to navigate. The majority of the buttons are relatively large; other, less important buttons are small though. Everything looks well put together. The main menu (which you don’t start on when you first play) is actually a wheel (similar to Touchgrind). This works well as it is a driving game.

The wheel-styled main menu in the game.

The menus for career mode. Still easy to navigate, but more complex.

The graphics in the game are passable, but not the best. They cannot hold their own against newer games that have recently been released. This game does not stand a chance against Asphalt 6, another arcade racer for iOS that is developed by their rivaling company Gameloft. Although you can tell what everything is, the graphics themselves aren’t crisp and clear. The graphics seemed sub-par to me because they were a little blurry.

The sub-par graphics in the game. They aren’t the best, but can’t get much worse.

Presentation and Graphics: ★★★★


With the audio, EA did something right, but it still isn’t perfect. The game includes a lot of audio to fill your gaming experience with some arcade sounds.

The BGM (Background Music) has some decent songs. Then they have songs that sound like they were produced by 5 year olds pressing random buttons and sliding random sliders on synthesizers. Some of their songs get really annoying, and can’t be turned off in-game. This is the only downside with their soundtrack.

The sound effects in the game fit the arcade aspect of the game. There are noises for the scrapes to the walls, the crashes, and the nitrous. You can hear every dent being put on your car. If you could see the actual dents, it’d be great .

The game also supports custom soundtracks, but you must exit the game and play your iPod music before entering it. This helps with the poor songs in the BGM.

The sound effects in the game are fun and fit fine. However, the BGM could use more work, but this is a minor problem as you can jam to your own music. Some songs in the BGM are annoying and you can’t turn certain songs off. Those problems will remove a total of one star.

Audio: ★★★★

Gameplay and Controls

The gameplay in NFS is fast-paced, but it does bore you quickly as the gameplay has many problems. The objective for each individual mission in career mode isn’t explained to you at all. You are expected to just know what to do. Sometimes it’s a chase; sometimes it’s a race. Well, which is it? I’d like to know so I can play it correctly!

The gameplay is smooth and fun, until it crashes. It is unstable at times, but more stable than Madden and NBA Elite (which are notorious for crashing quickly). However, I’m using an iPod Touch 4G, it shouldn’t c rash. Games like Real Racing 2 and Infinity Blade run perfectly on it, but this game crashes frequently. It seems like EA doesn’t test their games before releasing them. The crashing takes away from the fun you’d get out of actually playing the game.

There are two modes of gameplay in the game. One where you are the cop taking down the racer, and one where you are the racer running from the cops. The addition of the newest feature (being the racer) doubles the amount of gameplay that is loaded into the game. It was a welcome update when I saw it. The addition of weapons in the game also makes it more fun and challenging. You can quickly put your opponent in an oil spill or road block depending on whether you are a cop or a racer (there are other weapons too!). Just don’t run into your own road block! Computer will also use weapons against you, be aware of them. The addition of weapons makes the game more fun to play.

The two main games put into one big game.

The controls on this game are great. They could use some extra options, but I feel that they work really well. They are natural to an iOS game; this control scheme is here to stay. Swipes, tilts, and taps allow you to do just about everything you need to do in this game. It’s not hard to get used to the controls at all. However, I would like to see some full touch controls as motion controls are difficult when going for a car ride. One of the main things that I like about the controls is the addition of the accelerate button. No prior NFS games for iOS allowed you to manually accelerate. They finally added it, and it made me smile for a little while; then frown after it crashed.

The absence of buttons allows you to see every sub-par detail.

The controls in NFS are perfect through every touch, tilt and swipe. The gameplay is fine until you receive a crash when you almost finish a mission (happened to me too many times). On the bright side, I was actually able to start playing. I couldn’t do this with Madden or NBA (even in safe mode).

Gameplay and Controls: ★★★½

Replay Value

OK, so we’ve gone over the main game, but how much of the gameplay have they packed in? How addicting is it? Well, let’s take a look.

NFS actually has some fun gameplay if you can get into it. It makes a great pick-up-and-play sort of game. However, I wouldn’t play this for hours and hours as it isn’t that addicting. It’s fun, but not addicting.

NFS tries to add some replay value with two things. It allows you to do a quick race where you can set up exactly what you want to do, and who you want to be. It also allows you to go head-to-head with a friend in local multiplayer. They have not added online multiplayer yet.

The story is decent, and basic. Actually, I couldn’t figure out the story line. So you basically do the same thing over and over again. It’s kind of like Infinity Blade in this sense (a little less repetitive though). It does get boring, but is a good pick-up-and-play.

The game has lots of things that keep up its replay value, and lots that bring down. The crashing also brings the replay value down the most. The repetitiveness also brings it down, but not as much.

Replay Value: ★★★½

Value For Money

The app is currently $2.99 USD in the App Store. I got it while it was a buck. I would say it is worth a buck, 2 at the most. Three is pushing the price. I honestly don’t think this app is worth three dollars. Go save up a couple more and buy a better game that is more stable and has better graphics.

To date, I have only seen one other 3D cop chasing game in the App Store, it is Cops: High Speed Pursuit ($1.99 in the App Store). It offers the same graphics as this, but may be more stable. However, I don’t think it offers you the ability to be the runaway driver. Either way, they both offer similar gameplay. I doubt that the Cops game is as in depth as NFS.

For three dollars you don’t get what you pay for as you get the following in return:

  • Sub-par garphics
  • Crashes
  • A game that seemed rushed

However, you do get a lot of gameplay, and varying games with your purchase. You do get a lot, but with EA it seems they are all quantity and no quality.

NFS offers you a lot for what you pay. It gives you lots of gameplay and hours to kill. The crashing and sub-par graphics make the game not worth its price. Go out and get a better game that is worth your hard-earned dollars.

Value For Money: ★★★

Final Thoughts

The game is a good game, don’t get me wrong, but it has so many problems that were included and shoved them in the back seat. The game offers many cars, but they don’t look great. The game offers lots of gameplay, but it crashes. Every positive aspect of this game is overshadowed by something that turns that positive into a negative. The game is was worth the buy at a buck, but not at 3.

Overall Score: 3.5 Stars

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