Preview: Need for Speed Hot Pursuit

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Preview

The last time I truly played Need for Speed was back on the original PlayStation system. I slowly lost interest in the franchise at the time, as none of the new releases could outdo Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. The title had speed, action, and was just a lot of fun. Over a decade later, we have still yet to see a Need for Speed title to receive as much critical acclaim as Need for Speed III. At least, this was until Hot Pursuit returned, developed by Criterion Games – famous for their Burnout franchise. Intended to return to the roots of the Need for Speed franchise, Hot Pursuit is fast and filled with action as the police become heavily involved.

The change in developer has breathed a lot more life into the series. For a while, the Need for Speed series has been going downhill. After finishing Burnout Paradise – a very arcade-esque open world racing game, Criterion Games have really done a great job. Whilst the title is not as arcady as their Burnout franchise, Hot Pursuit is not quite a racing simulator like Forza or Gran Turismo either. It lies between. You can feel the weight of the vehicles, and it’s not quite as fast Burnout, but that doesn’t stop the title being quite over-the-top.

The Career mode consists of two separate campaigns, intermingled together on one large open country-side world. However, unlike Burnout Paradise, you’re not completely free to roam this open world. Instead, you select an event on the world map screen and jump straight into the action. You can play both a police officer and a law-breaking racer, but obviously once at a time. Unlike Criterion’s previous work, as a racer you cannot take out your fellow racers; however, as a police officer not only are you allowed to take down other vehicles, you may also use weapons to your advantage.

Hot Pursuit also introduces autolog, an innovative means to track your friends’ times and compete with them on each event. I got confused by what it referred to as ‘posting on my wall’ whenever I beat somebody’s time. I assumed it was posting to my Facebook account when in reality it was actually autolog’s own wall. It would have been neat to have had more social integration, but the entire system is fairly neat all the same.

Graphically, the game is stunning. The cars look beautiful, and the environment is gorgeous. It really is a stunning game. The title is also very loud, with the sounds adding to the immersion as you feel even more like you’re going at neck breaking speeds. There isn’t really much else to add about the sound except that the soundtrack is hit-or-miss.

I’ve been playing the game for a while now but I’ve seemingly not even put a dent into what it holds far, so the game appears to be rich in content.

Overall, this is a pretty solid racing game and a great debut into the franchise from Criterion. Whilst I still somewhat prefer Burnout Paradise because I’m more of a fan of the arcady style, this game is still great fun.

Farming Simulator Developers Looking To Expand Their Field to Console

In a surprising and exciting move, it appears that Farming Simulator, the silent hit franchise of two million sales since it launched in 2009, will be returning. To top it off, it’s no longer Windows-exclusive. That’s right, we can now take up the rake on console. Farming Simulator 2013 is due to launch on Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 early next year. 

The new title will be bringing with it some new machinery, vehicles, crops, animals, environments, online functionality, and so on. I seriously can’t wait, and this is easily the best gaming news I’ve had all year.

Orcs Must Die 2 Demo Now Available on Steam

Orcs Must Die 2 Demo on Steam

Anyone getting excited yet? The sequel to the fantastic Orcs Must Die! indie title that was released last year is due for release in just three more days. For those of you unfamiliar with the title; now might be the time to try the game out as the demo has been released on Steam. Go give it a download here.

Orcs Must Die! was a well received tower defence game released in 2011 by Robot Entertainment. The sequel, Orcs Must Die! 2 is due to launch on the 30th of July. The title blends a great sense of humour with incredible strategy and tower defence elements with some nice action to boot. Now, finally, Orcs Must Die! 2 will also allow users to share the experience with a friend through the brand new co-op mode. The demo will feature two of the game’s early levels, both available in single player or co-op. The player may select one of two classes and even test out some of the new traps and upgrades in the game. 

Orcs Must Die! also had a great soundtrack. To celebrate the new release, the original’s soundtrack has been permanently reduced, and the sequel’s soundtrack will also be made available on Steam. I have this title pre-purchased, so it will be mine on launch. I suggest you do the same, but at the very least try the demo.

Here’s Some Week Old Metal Gear Rising Comic-Con Screens

Metal Gear Rising comic-con screenshots

I’m in a very excited mood for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and have just realised I have little on it on this site. This absolutely needs to change. So here are some screenshots of this game that has been my most anticipated title since Platinum Games were announced to be developing it. I just wish it’d stop getting delayed!

PS. I don’t even know what’s going on in the second screenshot after the jump. But it’s awesome.

Comic-Con Screenshots for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Comic-Con Screenshots for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Comic-Con Screenshots for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Comic-Con Screenshots for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Comic-Con Screenshots for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Brand New Metal Gear Rising Trailer Shows How To Play

We’re a bit behind on this, but I wanted to share it anyway. The latest Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance trailer reveals just how the combat is played. Take a look.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is developed by Platinum Games and Kojima Productions, to be published by Konami. The game is an over-the-top action game spinoff of the Metal Gear franchise, and is an attempt to do something different but set in the same universe; the title delivers an experience with the character Raiden that is accurate to his portrayal in Metal Gear Solid 4. It also looks absolutely fantastic. 

Total War: Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes DLC Now Available On Steam

Total War Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes Screenshot

Just today SEGA launched the latest downloadable content release for Total War: Shogun 2. The DLC pack, titled ‘Saints and Heroes’, delivers nine new units – each whom excels in their own field. For those looking to get an extra advantage in the game, or just want to be able to gather more unit types, this pack can be purchased on Steam. Screenshots after the jump.

Total War Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes Screenshot

Total War Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes Screenshot

Total War Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes Screenshot

Total War Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes Screenshot

Total War Shogun 2 Saints and Heroes Screenshot