A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a racing game for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch. This is the latest title in the Need for Speed franchise, which is a remake of an older title. In it, players engage in illegal street races on roads that are open to the public. Players not only have to avoid oncoming traffic, but also have to outrun or take out any police officers who try to stop you. That's unless you play as a cop, in which case the situation is reversed. Either way, the game does have rather violent crashes, and while you hear the police asking for medical assistance, you never see anyone being hurt or killed, and there's no blood or gore. But there are songs on the soundtrack with racy lyrics -- though they're more suggestive than explicitly sexual -- as well as ones that mention drinking alcohol. The game features real cars -- including by such companies as Chevy, Dodge, and Porsche -- and includes information about both the cars and the brands. Communication between online players isn't monitored.
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What's it about?
In NEED FOR SPEED: HOT PURSUIT REMASTERED -- a remake of 2010's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit -- you engage in a series of illegal street races at the same time locals are driving to work, the supermarket, and so on. Not only do you have to avoid hitting oncoming traffic, you also often find yourself being chased by the police, who will knock you off the road... unless you knock them off first. You can always play as a cop as well, and stop those illegal racers with their sports cars driving dangerously. Playable both alone or against friends online, this features a variety of racing events that will test your mastery of the game's arcade-like controls.
Is it any good?
While you can debate the wisdom of remaking a game in which you can be a cop or someone who knocks cops off the road, this is still a spot-on remake of a classic and still fun racing game. In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered -- a remake of 2010's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit -- players take to the fictional streets of the California- and Pacific Northwest-esque Seacrest County to engage in a series of illegal street races, during which they not only have to weave in and out of traffic, but they also have to avoid being stopped by the police. Unless, of course, players chose to be the cops, in which case they have to stop the illegal racers before they finish the race and get away.
As for what this remake adds, well, aside from giving the game a visual upgrade, it also boasts most of the cars they added to the game later. Unfortunately, a handful of vehicles are still missing in action. It also now lets online races take place between players on different consoles. What isn't different, though, is how much fun these races can be. Sure, weaving in and out of traffic is harrowing in real life, but it's exciting in this game. Doubly so since this not only has nicely twisted tracks, but it also has intuitive arcade-esque controls, as well as cars equipped with nitro tanks for when you need a jolt of speed. While knocking cops off the road is a thrill when you're a racer, it's even more fun when you're the cop and can not only ram criminals but use such toys as spike strips and an EMP to disable their vehicles. Although the game's lacking some modern amenities -- like optional assists that can change it from an arcade game to a realistic simulation -- and the soundtrack hasn't aged well, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered still manages to be as fast and furious as it was when there were only four of those movies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about road safety. In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, you engage in illegal street races on roads that are also being used by regular drivers, but why is this dangerous?
In Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, you can play as a police officer chasing illegal racers, but given everything that's been going on lately with the police, how did playing as both a cop and an illegal street racer make you feel? Did it give you perspective on either side? Or both?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Release date: November 13, 2020
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Lyrics, Mild Violence
- Last updated: November 22, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.