Need for Speed Rivals preview

Need for Speed Rivals is EA's latest game in the NFS universe and this time sees you playing Cops versus Racers in an open world rather than dedicated race courses or set tracks like the Most Wanted and Run titles before it.

We caught up with the game at this year's E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles to find out what's in store when it comes out in November on the Xbox 360 and PS3 and shortly after for the Xbox One and PS4.

We were treated to 20 minutes of gameplay on a dev unit with graphics similar to next-gen, but not fully replicating next-gen exactly. The controller we used was the new PS4 Dual Shock.

The way that Need for Speed Rivals works is that rather than having a dedicated single-player and multiplayer-element the game is focused around something called AllDrive. The idea is that you can dip in and out of races whenever you fancy racing against the community or spend hours just driving around staying out of trouble.

As a racer the more races you enter the more points you earn and the higher your points rack up. It's a bit like an airline frequent flyer club. The longer you stay out the faster the points rack up.

But there is a catch: get busted and you lose everything. It's a bit like The Weakest Link and will be one of the main drivers of the game (no pun intended) and is sure to help raise the adrenaline. Get busted and you lose everything.

On the flipside, playing a cop is all about catching the bad guys and stealing those points for yourself. Here you police scanner can let you see who's got "heat" and then chase them down to get points.

Cops get the added bonus of working as a team in a chase, and just like Battlefield that rewards you for being part of a squad that follows orders, if you are part of the police squad that takes down a criminal, you'll all get the points the driver had rather than having to divvy them up as if you were in a lottery syndicate.

We played six cops against six drivers, although EA says the final number limit has yet to be decided. We played as a cop. We were the best in the room (natch).

As a cop you do get some toys to help you catch the bad guys you - an EPM blast that renders your adversary dead in the water, and turbo boost to speed things up a bit.

We're not going to comment on graphics. It's Need for Speed universe and you know what to expect, but what we can tell you is that the gameplay is great fun.

If you like the open world experience and the Need for Speed universe you won't be disappointed. The cars drive fast, the crashes are epic, and the overall experience very enjoyable.

After 20 minutes we were moved on to the next game on the EA booth, but we are certainly looking forward to getting the game when it comes out later in the year - a guilty pleasure, we know. 



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