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'Need for Speed Rivals': A true next-generation game

Need for Speed Rivals (PS4)

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Story? No. Character development? No. Arcade-like racing with next-gen visuals? Yes. Need For Speed Rivals is the beginning of racing games for the future. Combining EA's Frostbite 3 engine with Ghost and Criterion Game's gameplay, this racing game sets the bar high.

Rivals runs on the highly popular Frostbite 3 engine, which is also used by Battlefield 4, and is rendered in 1080p at 60 frames per second. Motion lag and choppy images are nearly never seen so fast-paced cop chases are as clear as the racers' heads they are chasing. Well, maybe not so much. Colors are vibrant, yet realistic. The colors are applied perfectly to the different environments that encompass Redview County. From frozen mountains to crowded wooded areas to the wide open desert, cops and racers experience different worlds driving through the large county.

After getting a small taste of both the cop and racer careers, players get to choose which one is more appealing to them although they can change whenever without losing any progress. There are a few different kinds of events to do, with sixty overall objectives for each career. Events include hot pursuits, interceptors, and timed trials. The events are nearly identical in both careers but playing as a racer provides a completely different experience than during the cop life. Cops and racers each have three semi-different sections that have twenty levels within them. Escaping cops, reaching destinations flawlessly, and winning races are just a few of the ways to earn points in Need for Speed Rivals.

Points earned by completing the previously mentioned events and can be used in many different ways. For racers, they are used to buy newer cars or to upgrade current vehicles. Cops do not have to buy any vehicles, which is why I chose that career to being with, so points are spent on Pursuit Tech upgrades. Racers have Pursuit Tech as well which include turbos, spike strips, EMP's, and many more. Each vehicle requires separate purchases of the Tech so it can get expensive quickly, especially when you upgrade each Pursuit Tech to make them stronger.

Overall, levels are not hard to complete but generally they are just time consuming. It is not a tough game to earn the Platinum trophy in, but it will take up a lot of your weekends. With a wide variety of cars to choose from, decent upgradable abilities, and smooth gameplay, Need for Speed Rivals is the top racing game currently available on the PlayStation 4.