The PlayStation 4 is launching with neither a Ridge Racer nor a Wipeout and the only racing game available at launch is from an annualized franchise from EA. However bizarre that might sound, we’re happy to report that Need For Speed: Rivals is not only a worthwhile launch game, but is also the best Need For Speed since 2010′s Hot Pursuit. It’s no coincidence that Hot Pursuit was developed by Criterion Games and Rivals is by Ghost Games, which is made up mostly of ex-Criterion developers.
In many respects, Rivals could have been titled Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit II. Its cutscenes–which are thankfully brief–feature ham-fisted voiceovers from both racers and cops, overplaying the heightened stakes of an open-world war on the roads. There’s no commitment to joining either side. In fact, Rivals encourages you to play both perspectives thoroughly, and toggling between the two is as easy as going into your garage.
(Note: This review was based off an half day long playthrough of Need For Speed: Rivals at a private event hosted by Electronic Arts on November 6. This review opportunity was a freelance assignment for insidegamingdaily.com.)
Developer: Ghost Games
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: November 15 (PlayStation 4), November 19 (Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), November 22 (Xbox One)
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC