What distinguishes Hot Pursuit games from the rest of the Need for Speed franchise is that instead of straightforward racing, racers will have to put up with pursuing police cars who try to stop them from racing by any means possible. Not only that, but players also get to play as the police, on a mission to put a stop to street racers. There have been three Hot Pursuit games so far:
The first Hot Pursuit game was Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit
, and as the name suggests, it was actually the third game in the main Need for Speed series. The game was unique at the time, in that it was the first NFS to include police cars that chased the player as they competed in races. Players could also switch roles and become an officer of the law themselves, chasing down street racers and putting a stop to them with the use of various tactics, including tickets, spike strips and road blocks.
In 2002, EA released Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
. This was the first NFS game to be released on sixth generation hardware, including the PS2
. This sequel also marked the first sub-series within the NFS franchise. The game was well-received by players and critics alike, especially the PS2 version. Hot Pursuit 2 was also the last 'classic era' NFS title, before the release of Need for Speed Underground
, when the series changed focus from conventional exotic car racing to imports, tuning and detailed car customization.
After years of mediocre and poorly received games, EA decided for their next Need for Speed game to make a switch; instead of EA Black Box
, who had worked on most games in the series, the game would be developed by another one of its subsidiaries: Criterion Games
, best known for their Burnout
series of racing games. On June 14th 2010, during EA's conference at E3 2010
, EA and Criterion together announced their latest work: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
. EA expressed that this title would take the Need for Speed series back to its roots, featuring exotic cars and high-speed police chases. The same formula from the older Hot Pursuit games was used, but improved with such features as added weapons to both racers and the police, and also a social network known as the Autolog. The Autolog was designed to keep players up to date on what their friends are up to in the game, and would show any records set by them. This is to evoke some healthy competition between friends to see who can get the fastest time on a specific track, or to see who is the most ruthless cop.