Need for Speed: Rivals Preview

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We are big Need for Speed fans here at NGB, so when the chance to sit down and play Need for Speed: Rivals cam along we were just a tad excited.

Rivals works differently compared to many other racing titles already available for purchase today. With such a huge focus on online play, with the likes of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One pushing it even further, developer Ghost Games and EA want to mix it up a little by including a single player and an online multiplayer mode together, resulting in a more realistic and logical approach.

How it works is that you can race around on your own like you could do previously, but with the ability of hopping into online races when you wish through something that the developers are calling AllDrive. It all becomes a seamless world without any intrusions of quitting and loading up a separate mode for online play etc. While the name ‘AllDrive’ does sound corny, it makes sense as to why it’s called what it is as the developers wanted to have everything all in one place.

We sat down after a brief presentation to start our play test with 6 stations on either side of the room (6 for the cops + 6 for the racers) and were explained to as to how the game works. As a racer, you rack up points in various ways including saying out for longer or for totalling other racers. The more you do, the more points you receive. There is a downside though as you have the cops chasing you to bust you and if that happens, you lose all of your points so you have to be very careful as to how you go about your racing in the game. Become sloppy and you’re done for.

During our play test, I was on the cop’s side so I had the job of hunting down the racers to steal their points and ultimately bust them. Playing as a cop, you have some added extras that help you out like a police scanner, turbo boost and even an EPM blast if you should need it. Being part of the police side of the game also brings into play a team aspect, as you work with other players to bring down the racers.

The whole experience was super-slick and even though it didn’t exactly scream “WOW! NEXT-GEN!”, the game looked very nice as you sped around fictional lanes at 200mph. There were a few slight bugs that popped up during our time with the game like cars that you could drive through, but this is expected of such an early version.

Thanks to ‘AllDrive, the connected nature of Need for Speed: Rivals is arguably going to be its biggest draw. That said, it handles well and is undeniably fun to play which, combined with the online side of things, bodes well for the game when it’s released later on this year.

I'm a huge fan of the PES, MGS and Uncharted series', and anything else in between. If you love a good gaming discussion or want to talk about anything else, then feel free to get in touch.

@GariClark

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