Forza Motorsport 5 and The Crew got a lot of attention at E3, but I couldn’t resist the all-out arcade fun of Need for Speed Rivals. I’ve been a fan of the NFS series for years now, and Rivals looks to put the NFS series on steroids. For 15 minutes of behind-closed-doors time at E3, I got to play the Cops vs. Racers mode, and I did pretty well for the first two-thirds of the demo.
By “pretty well,” I mean I had the most points on the Racer team, avoiding the Cops with (surprising) skill and racking up points along the way. As for the last third of the demo period … let’s not talk about that. Suffice it to say, spike strips eat through tires even if you do try to drive over them at 130 MPH in the hopes of not having them catch the rubber. Note to self: don’t try that tactic when the game actually releases.
Our Need for Speed Rivals demo at E3 was running on the PS4, and it looked absolutely fantastic. The Frostbite engine has looked good for a while now, but seeing Need for Speed Rivals running on a next-gen platform on the next-gen version of Frostbite was enough to give my inner graphics whore goosebumps. It wasn’t just the graphical details and lighting that wowed, though, but the rock-solid 60 frames-per-second framerate. That much on-screen detail is impressive; seeing it race by at ridiculous speeds is jaw-dropping.
From the streets of Redview County, Need for Speed Rivals let players choose a side as either a Cop or a Racer. In the E3 demo room we were racing through the AllDrive mode. This mode, which will probably provide the meat of the final retail game, lets players enter and exit their friends’ races on the fly, creating one massive world where races and chases collide. Online and offline modes are essentially one and the same, which in and of itself isn’t new, but its seamlessness is really executed well.
The video below is HD footage directly from the E3 demo of Need for Speed Rivals running on PS4. The speed, the graphics, the framerate and all multimedia aspects should come through loud and clear. What you won’t be able to tell from the video is how much flat-out fun Need for Speed Rivals is while playing it. It’s fast-paced to the point that franchise newbies will have an adjustment period, but franchise stalwarts will feel right at home in the next generation of Need for Speed, and even newbies will feel comfortable after just a few races.
If you haven’t grabbed Need for Speed Rivals yet to go along with your console pre-order, you can do so here: Need for Speed Rivals for Xbox One | Need for Speed Rivals for PS4 | and yes, Need for Speed Rivals for Xbox 360.