Back in June, EA ported over one of the best arcade racers of all time that is Burnout Paradise Remastered which I reviewed. Spoiler: It’s a phenomenal port with my only issue being the high price point. Shortly after, I asked myself what other EA title would I like to see on the Nintendo platform? The one 2nd to the top (right under SKATE 3) on my shortlist was 2010’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. Well, it’s time to scratch another one off my list as Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered has arrived on the Nintendo Switch and is exactly what I wanted.
There has been a total of 24 Need for Speed (NFS) titles across multiple platforms. For the most part, many have been decent but what made NFS Hot Pursuit a standout were 2 key features. One was integrating the Burnout series takedown mechanics and the 2nd was adding a thrilling “Hot Pursuit” car chase mode in which you play as the police. One of my all-time favorite arcade games in 1988 was Chase HQ. The goal was simple, you’re as a cop chasing down bad guys on traffic-filled streets. Hit the car a bunch to eventually get the car to stop. NFS Hot Pursuit uses this simple formula and made just enough tweaks to keep you wanting to chase down every damn street racer.
NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered includes all of the released DLC that gives you a grand total of 77 cars, 78 street race events, and 63 SCPD (cop) events which equals countless hours of nonstop racing bliss. All of these races take place in the fictional Seacrest County which resembles the Pacific Northwest. The various locations all have beautiful tree-filled backdrops with damp/wet curvy roads. The controls are spot-on, providing a good hybrid of arcade/sim like feel.
This isn’t surprising since NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered was developed by Stellar Entertainment, a development studio created by former Criterion developers who worked on Burnout Paradise. NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered looks fine and runs at 1080p 30 FPS while docked but I did notice a high amount of texture pop-ins and the game doesn’t look as sharp compared to the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC version but let’s be honest, if you are interested in picking this game up on the Nintendo Switch it’s for the ability to play this classic in handheld mode. I spend 85% of my playtime in handheld mode and it ran as smooth as butter in 720p 30FPS. The game was clearly well optimized for handheld which is great.
In regards to the career mode, NFS Hot Pursuit Remastered gets straight to the point. Go out and win some street races to increase your rep aka “Bounty” or go out as a cop and take down all the street racers infesting Seacrest County. As you win races and obtain higher-finish placements, more cars along with events will unlock. As mentioned, there are a ton of cars all of which are real-world cars such as a BMW M6, Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Convertible, and Maserati GranCabrio.
You can do some minor customizations, but don’t expect the Forza Motorsport level of tweaking. After every race, you’re taken back to the Seacrest County map and can change your car as well as pick from a variety of new street races or play as SCPD. The SCPD also has the same leveling system based on your ability to takedown racers. The SCPD also has a few tricks up their sleeves such as calling in a helicopter to drop a spike strip or calling in for a roadblock along with a few other goodies. These features become handy when chasing multiple racers.
Car takedowns for racers and SCPD are both equally satisfying to watch. Just like in Burnout Paradise, you will see your opponent’s car slowly compact itself against the street barriers. Thanks to cross-platform play, there were plenty of ongoing races to jump into. Just keep in mind that everyone is using high-performance cars so I would suggest completing the career mode to obtain all the cars before venturing online.
As a complete package, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered on the Nintendo Switch is a must-own for any and all racing fans, especially if you’re looking for a great title on the go.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered for the Nintendo Switch provided by Electronic Arts.