Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

 
Well done arcade racer, but you can take cops out.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sends mixed messages: allows the player to race illegally and evade or smash into the police; but you can also play as the police in this game.

Positive role models

This is a racing game in which you can play as a street racer or the police. If playing as a street racer, you can do illegal things including ramming into police cars and purposely ramming others. You are allowed to use any means possible to win including shooting weapons at others. You can be rewarded for taking out a police car.

Ease of play

Gamers who've played past Need for Speed or Burnout games will find this title is fairly easy to pick up. You can play with assists off or drive the vehicles like an arcade racer, including a turbo button.

Violence

This racing game contains violence (or to be more specific, vehicular violence) as you must take down your opponents by any means necessary. This includies smashing into them, forcing them to crash or blasting them with weapons. Windshields shatter in slow-motion, cars crumble and flip in a dramatic way.

 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game features real-world cars, such as Lamborghinis, Porsches and Aston Martins.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is an illegal street racing game that encourages you to win races by any means necessary -- this includes smashing into cars, using weapons (like an EMP blast), or forcing others off the road to crash. The crash sequences are overly dramatic -- including slow-motion camera angles that sensationalize the smash -- and gamers will see words on the screen such as "Wrecked Cop" and receive a "bounty" (reward) based on their takedown.

What's it about?

One of the most successful arcade racing game series is back for more with NEED FOR SPEED HOT PURSUIT, an intense cops vs. racers video game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Despite the fact it shares the same name as 1998's Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Electronic Arts' latest racer is packed with new features, high-definition graphics, and a huge, open-world in which to burn asphalt. Climb into real-world exotic cars (you likely can't afford in real life!) such as the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione or Porsche Cayman S and tackle friends online or the game's smart A.I. and race to the finish line -- while evading the police. Or you can play as the police, if you prefer. This game offers multiple solo and multiplayer modes, varied environments (coastline, forest, desert and mountain) and numerous weapons for both the cops and racers, be it decoys, EMP blasts, nitro boosts, and more.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is a blast for those who love combative, white-knuckle racing games. While the three online modes don't have all the weapons and cops found in the solo modes (they're more straight-forward racing games for up to eight players), Need For Speed Hot Pursuit is an exhilarating racer. New to the franchise is a comprehensive Career mode (play as both sides of the law) and an Autolog feature that tracks all your stats and lets you compare yours to friends. The handful of exotic cars look amazing and handle well, such as the Lamborghini Reventon or Pagani Zonda Cinque, plus using weapons and other tools to win the races add more excitement to the game. You will earn "bounty," an in-game currency, to buy goodies with the points collected for each successful move, which may include cutting off a police car so that it falls off a cliff. While not a game for good role modeling, it is a blast for teens old enough to enjoy a well done arcade racer.

Online interaction: The game lets you play online with other racers, including the option to chat via headset microphone if desired so that kids exercising that option might hear offensive speech and asked inappropriate questions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it's ok or not to play games that reward you for smashing into police cars. At what age should kids be allowed to play this game? When are they older enough to understand this is just a game, but not one to be emulated.

  • Families can talk about the importance of abiding by traffic laws, how defensive driving keeps people safe in real life, and the need for seat belts.

  • Parents who have teens learning to drive may want to consider a study that suggests playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life and share it with their children.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$59.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:November 16, 2010
Genre:Racing
ESRB rating:E10+ for Violence (Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written by360gamer March 18, 2011
age 10+
 

An awesome game for 10+

This game ROCKS. I have it for 360 and it is the cooolest. I dont recommend this to anyone under 10 cause the gameplay gets a little tricky at some spots. If your family doesn't like games where you break the law, this game is not for you. When you play as a racer you can fire EMP's, Spike Strips, Jammers, and use no2 to get away from the cops. You can also earn money for wrecking cops and racers. If crashing and ramming cars is your idea of violence, then you may not like this game...
Teen, 16 years old Written byBrendan Conway December 2, 2010
age 2+
 
fun game to play
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byDrake123432 July 3, 2011
age 8+
 

It is appropriate for kids of 8

It does not teach your child anything about crime. Although it does have cop chases and crashing, you will not see anybody getting hurt or arrested. No guns are held by cops. It is a fun arcade game that is appropriate for ages 8 and up

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass