Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is looking like being the purest NFS game for some years. But seeing as Criterion has very publicly announced it's been looking to the 1994 3DO original for inspiration, surely there are some Easter Eggs waiting to please long-term fans of the series? Looks like we won't be disappointed...
I spoke to the game's Senior Producer, Matt Webster, who has been with EA for 20 years (five of which have been with Criterion). I asked him if there were any nods like stretches of road from old games and here's what he said:
"Oh yes, some of them were. Our first set of road - I can't remember the name of it now - was almost a direct copy of the very first game. In fact, the very first set of road we wanted to concentrate on in terms of its feel, we had to build the handling system to suit it and its look. That set of road was ripped literally from the first game. I'm sure a part of that road has remained in from very early on."
Above: Could we see this very stretch of road in the new game? Would you even recognise it if it were there?
I also asked him about that Road Rash concept video and whether Road Rash would be a franchise he would like to get his hands on:
MW: "Oh, I think we're rumoured to be doing all sorts of things, from SSX to Road Rash. You know, I'll tell you one of the reasons that bikes went into Burnout was because we thought 'let's play with bikes', so I think that's where those sorts of things came around from. We're a very small team, concentrating on getting the next installment of one of the largest driving franchises finished. We really can't see past that.
GR: "Is it something you'd like to do, though?"
MW: "There's lots of things we'd like to do." (laughs)
Above: Matt Webster's career with EA has been old enough to buy a pint in the UK for two years now
Finally, I quizzed him about Kinect and PlayStation Move, explaining that there had been sightings of a Kinect-enabled Burnout Paradise. Matt told me:
"Yeah, that was done by Microsoft. They used Burnout as a technical demonstration for Kinect. It doesn't play a part in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit."
So no motion control, but plenty of classic NFS action. Looks like this is one for the hardcore, which is a good thing in our book. Missed the hands-on preview last week? Check it out here.
27 Sep, 2010