NFS: Hot Pursuit: Review (Xbox 360)

I tried and tried to get someone else to review this game for me as I am a huge fan of Criterion and tend to not see any problems in their games. That is not the case in Hot Pursuit. It has problems and even more upsetting the problems seems to be one sided.

I bought Hot Pursuit being a huge fan of the Need for Speed series and a huge fan of Criterion Games. So the fact that the two brands were coming together was a huge draw for me. Criterion’s and EA’s gaol was to redefine the series and put it back on the map as one of if not the best Arcade Racing games on the market. I think that even though they may not have achieved this goal entirely, they have come as close as they can when referring to a game series that has been drug through the mud like NFS. The game definitely goes back to it’s roots by giving you intense races, intense pursuits and a straight forward goal at any given time.


Criterion Games done a great job making this game. At first glance the first thing that will come to your mind is Burnout. That is until you pick up the controller and begin to play. As soon as you start playing your career you realize that even though from a visual standpoint it has Burnout all over it, but from every other aspect in the game it is NFS. The long tough races and merciless AI reminds you that they have taken the game back to it’s roots. Hot Pursuit gives you the option to play through two career paths and being able to switch between the paths at anytime in the game. One as a Cop and the other as a racer. The career is not super long and it’s also not something you will get done over night. It’s about as long as the career on Burnout: Paradise and the map is about the same size. With huge races the maps can feel like they are merging together as you will see the same scenery multiple times, in different races. Several classes of cars are available to race. Everything from a Shelby GT 500 to a Bugatti Veyron.


Like any game that come out now days, the online was one of the primary reasons I wanted this game. I was hesitant on the subject, due to the fact that it’s not free roam like Burnout was. Once you get in a room to play online in one of the three modes available you realize that the lack of free roam is not a problem and if anything is something that is a nice change. The online modes are some of the most intense experiences I have ever had in a racing game. There are Interceptor, in which you have a one on one Cop Vs. Racer event. The basic Hot Pursuit multiple Cops and racers. Then there is the straight up race event. It can have it’s boring moments, but all in all the online experience is a good one and brings the replay value a lot.

I said at the first of this review that the game had problems and they were one sided. What I mean by this is that if you own the game on the 360, as I do you are going to have some issues. For one the servers are not close to being reliable and as with past Burnout problems the 360 seems to have been left out in the cold. With the current updates that have been released the 360 we have already had problems with those and are continuing to. Also the PC version will not be getting any DLC for the game, and was plagued with problems from launch. I will say that Criterion has jumped on some of those problems, but have yet to show any support to the 360 beside fixing recent problems from the last update.


All in all Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a great addition the the NFS franchise and accomplishes it’s goal as giving new life to the series. Criterion Games has some what disappointed me on this game, but still done a spectacular job.. This game is very much worth a buy and with continuing online support will give entertainment for a long time to come.


Author: Eric Baumgardner View all posts by
I operate this site. I also have been gaming for 23 years. I am an Xbox LIVE Ambassador and an Xbox Community Xpert. Need anything find me on Twitter @junegore or email me at