By Alex Walker on November 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm
Rivals is a safe gamble, combining the worlds of Most Wanted and Hot Pursuit into the fictitious Redview County. The events are pretty much the same as Hot Pursuit’s — Interceptor, Hot Pursuit, Races, Time Trials (Rapid Responses for cops). Events are strewn throughout the open-world in the same fashion as Most Wanted: pull up the to requisite spot, slow down, hit a button and off you go.
Head-to-head and random pursuits are more satisfying, since they can be triggered at 20 or 200 kilometres an hour. Rivals feels its most natural when you’re scouring the world, running into an opponent, hitting the sirens and then spending the next 10km weaving in and out of traffic while you dodge EMPs, spike strips and the odd hairpin.
But the Alldrive system, which allows you to connect to a lobby of five other cops or racers (which can be changed just by parking in a garage), isn’t complete, and there’s a heap of engine issues and strange design decisions that mean that almost all of the changes Rivals tries to bring to the series just don’t work.