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GorDoom
11-24-2010, 02:25 PM
Five things you didnít know about 'Need for Speed Hot Pursuit'

Electronic Arts' latest racer may share the same name as 1998's Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, but this new model is packed with new features, high-definition graphics and a huge, open-world in which to burn asphalt.

But there's a lot more to learn about the new Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (released last week for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC), so Game Hunters put Matt Webster, producer at Criterion Games, in the driver's seat for a test drive.

Wheel good time
"Our intention is to always deliver a driving experience that is fast and accessible," Webster says. "We want players to pick the pad up and be able to drift the car around a corner at 150 mph with a big smile on their face inside the first few minutes of play."

However, the driving simulation is anything but simple. "We have a sophisticated physical simulation going on underneath the hood with over 40 values required just for the tires," he says. "As we're dealing with real cars for the first time, we utilized detailed information from each of the manufacturers. For example, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition should be capable of reaching a top speed of 210 mph but after entering real data such as the engine torque curve, gear ratios, and aerodynamic coefficients provided by the manufacturer it would only manage 204. Every other car would hit their top speed as expected so this was really confusing. We checked and double checked all the data and finally found that we had entered the wheel diameter 2 millimeters less than what it should have been. We entered the correct wheel diameter and headed out onto the freeway where the car topped out at 210 mph."

Like the 'ol country
One of the Lamborghini Gallardo Police cars in the game features an actual design livery that Lamborghini used for real with the Italian police, Webster says

Exclusives, too
"We have an incredible relationship with all of the manufacturers that we feature in the game and that gets us fantastic specials," he says. The exclusive Porsche 918 Spyder featured in the game is unique to Need For Speed Hot Pursuit. "They announced the car at the Geneva motor show this year, and we had it in-game and drivable just two days later."

Didja know?
The Top Speed detailed in the game are those that the manufacturers detailed to us," Webster says. "In actuality many of these cars can go much faster Ė particularly downhill!"

Retro racing
There are a couple of places within the game that feature road configurations inspired by the original version of Need For Speed on 3DO and from Hot Pursuit 2. "We think real fans will dig these references," Webster says.

"(The track) Grand Ocean Road is special in that it was developed from data directly from the original 3DO/PC game data." he says. "If you drive it in a southern direction, then from the bridge onwards you are following part of the original route on the 3DO game, as you pass the diner you would originally have been seeing the hot air balloons. Obviously we changed the road data a lot, it is smoother and wider than the original data, but the road ribbon is still *just* about the same between the bridge and the lighthouse."

Oh, and Webster also tells us, "We watched a lot of American Idol when making this game!" We weren't exactly sure of its relevancy Ė but thought we'd share it with Game Hunters readers, too.

By Marc Saltzman/USA Today