Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a BAFTA Award–winning 2010 racing video game in the Need for Speed series developed by British games developer Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts for iOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. The Wii version was developed by Exient Entertainment. Hot Pursuit is the 16th title in the franchise and was released in November 2010. Digital download was available starting on 15 December 2010.
Hot Pursuit's gameplay is set in the fictional Seacrest County, an open world in which players can compete in several types of races. Players can also compete online (except in the wii version), which includes additional game modes as "Hot Pursuit", "Interceptor" and "Race". The game features a new social interaction system called "Autolog", which is a network that connects friends for head-to-head races and compares player stats for competition. The game also features paid downloadable content in the form of new cars, new race and pursuit events, and new trophies/achievements.
Hot Pursuit was well received by critics at E3 2010 and was most notably awarded with "Best Racing Game" from Game Critics Awards as well as several other media outlets. Upon its release, Hot Pursuit was met with high critical acclaim averaging 90% on both review aggregate websites Metacritic and GameRankings, making it the highest rated game in the Need for Speed series history and one of the generation's highest rated racing games. In the end of 2010, it won several "Best Racing Game" awards, including "Best Driving Game" at Spike’s 2010 Video Game Awards. Reviewers praised the game’s visuals, soundtrack, the new Autolog feature, felt the game had an excellent sense of speed and that it brought the series back to the roots. Hot Pursuit was ranked number seven on NPD's sales charts for November 2010, and GamesIndustry.biz reported that "Hot Pursuit" managed to sell 417,000 units in the US in its first two weeks. After three months of sales, it was announced that the game has sold more than 5 million units.
Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
Hot Pursuit allows players to control police vehicles and participate in high-speed pursuits, a feature absent from the series since 2002.
Hot Pursuit goes back to the Need for Speed series' roots and takes on the gameplay style of earlier "Hot Pursuit" titles in the Need for Speed franchise with exotic cars and high-speed police chases. It is primarily inspired by the original Need for Speed on 3DO. Hot Pursuit lets players be either a cop or a racer and features a full career mode for both roles. The relationship between the cops and racers is described as "a dog chasing down a rabbit", with the cops being more powerful compared to the racers. Each side has several power-ups including calling for roadblocks and radar jamming. According to Criterion the single-player section is somewhere between 12–15 hours long, but with lots of replay value.
The game takes place in fictional location known as Seacrest County. It's an open world and features over 100 miles (160 km) of open road, four times larger than that of Burnout Paradise, Criterion's previous title. Hot Pursuit features a new social interaction system called "Autolog" described as "Facebook for the game". The game features both single-player and multiplayer game modes with up to eight players; as an option to live multiplayer racing, players can post records and achievements on the Autolog feed for friends to see, which they then can try to beat. Autolog also contains an experience system called "Bounty".
The driving model of the game is described as "fun and accessible", not as arcade-styled as Burnout Paradise, but far from a simulator. All vehicles in Hot Pursuit are licensed real-world cars and SUVs, described as "all the cars you dreamed of driving, in the way you dreamed of driving them". Most vehicles are available in both racer and police variants, but a few are exclusive to each side. Also exclusively featured in the Hot Pursuit is the Porsche 918 Spyder. Ferrari however, last seen in a Shift DLC-pack but notably absent from all other Need for Speed games since Hot Pursuit 2, is also absent from Hot Pursuit.
The Wii version of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is significantly different from other versions in that it takes place in four different cities across the world, instead of just taking place in a single fictional county. This makes the game very similar to Nitro. The game features five different gameplay modes, such as Hot Pursuit, Eliminator, Rush Hour, Interceptor and Time Trial. Also, different powerups are used. The four cities, each set in a different time of day — Chongqing, China, set in the morning, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, set in the afternoon, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, set in the early evening, and Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, which is set in the late evening. The few reviews hint at only a very small significance of this version of the game.