If you have a video game system, it’s almost mandatory to have a racing game in your collection. Problem is, the majority of the mainstream games on the market feature extreme violence, explicit language, gratuitous sexual overtones, or a combination of all three. What’s a parent to do if they or their kids want to race but don’t feel like playing cartoony characters that toss turtle shells or toads/mushrooms? Thank goodness for Need for Speed Rivals from EA.
Need for Speed Rivals Review – Gameplay
Now, I’m not very familiar with the Need for Speed franchise. I know there have been several movies but I haven’t seen any of them. What really attracted to me to this particular games was the basic storyline. It’s just about racing. There’s no gang banging, drug dealing, or black market drag racing going on. It’s just about driving shiny cars really fast…and crashing them.
Players can chose to be the police or a racer and the game is set on city, highway, and rural roads. Racers challenge other racers and try to out-drive cops. The police find racers and, well, run into them so they can be apprehended. No one gets hurt in the game but make sure you tell kids not to plow into other cars in real life. You can have quick missions or play a career mode. Players can switch “sides” when they have a change in driving mood.
There’s a variety of cars available to choose from and these can be customized. More models are unlocked as you complete new missions. We have the Complete Edition of Need for Speed Rivals for Xbox One so all the downloadable content is already included. The amount of vehicle customization is mostly up to you. My daughter loves sports cars and was ecstatic to make her “girl” car.
Need for Speed Rivals Review – Pros & Cons
Graphics are fantastic. Yes, there are games out there with better graphics but this game is not to be written off. No matter how many elements flying past in any given scene, the visuals are smooth with no noticeable pixelation. That means you can clear, detailed graphics with no worry of freezing or stuttering. The music is fitting for driving (read hitting things), at high speeds. I really have no idea what the singers/rappers are saying though.
I love that the light progression throughout the “day” so you get bright sunlight to the glowing highlights of dusk reflecting on the scenery and that the weather changes. When you hit things like light poles, hedges, traffic cones, barriers, etc. it does a ton of damage but you can just drive on and on. Also, when you pass through those areas again, you’ll notice little pieces from the crashes you’ve had earlier in the game.
The major drawback is the fact that it’s only one player. No head-to-head racing is a bit disappointing in a family situation. However, it’s fun to cheer each other on and cringe when the car crashes. It’s very challenging to control the vehicle well with the standard controller. It can be done but you will be hitting A LOT of things. I’m sure you’d be able to do better with a wheel-type controller but we just like to play casually once in a while.
Overall, I’m really happy with Need for Speed Rivals. This is great for quick gaming but gets the adrenaline pumping during chases. We were very disappointed to find only one person could play at a a time. However, we probably wouldn’t be able to see much of the game if our 32″ television screen was split. With an open world to explore and a choice of busting racers or out-running cops, this racing video game is fun to unwind with after a long day.