Need for Speed III Hot Pursuit
- Developer: Electronic Arts Canada
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: 1998
- Genre: Racing
- Platforms: PlayStation, PC
In this 3rd version of the Need For Speed franchise you will hit the streets in more then a dozen of supercars and race them on a variety of tracks and the returning of police pursuits is a major part of gameplay. Hot Pursuit remains focused in racing using exotic sports cars, but features races that primarily take place in locations within North America, including varied settings and climates. In addition, police AI is significantly improved over its predecessor, utilizing several tactics to stop both the player and opponent.
There's an all-new Hot Pursuit mode wherein you scorch the streets on either side of the law: elude the fuzz as a speeding motorist or enforce justice from a police patrol vehicle. You also can download more cars and tracks from the Need for Speed III Web site. This game supports hardware acceleration, but you can play it software-rendered too. In the demo version, you race against the other cars (no Hot Pursuit mode).
There are a few great different kinds of gameplay. You have the choice of playing it in Single Player mode, Career play and over the internet. In Single Player mode you can only play the levels that you have already opened while playing your Career mode. There is no damage or anything that can effect your car which is nice to practise with. In Career Mode you can pay money to enter tournaments and earn money depending on the amount of skill you have and how well you placed compared to the other racers. Trophies are won as well. On the internet (the game supports one or two players with a modem or serial connection) you can find new cars that are not shipped with the original game and you can also play people who you have never met who have more skills than the computer most of the time. It is also possible to play over LAN (up to eight players ).
I think I can best describe Need for Speed III as something that looks like a top-of-the-line sports car, but drives like an average US sedan – vague, imprecise and without driver feedback. But, that kind of car seems to please millions of drivers who want something that gets the job done with little fuss and excitement, and if you're one of those, then NFS III: Hot Pursuit will deliver what you desire. But if it's sophisticated, realistic sports car thrills and spills you're after, you'll probably be left wanting.
- Single Race: is just that – a one-off race against a variety of computer opponents.
- Hot Pursuit: is where the player races another driver around a cop-infested track with a simple mandate: cross the finish line with no tickets. This is definitely great fun, and is enhanced with a "scanner" that picks up police radio chatter and lets you know what the "good" guys are up to so you can take avoiding action if need be. The police AI is pretty good, and they try to bump you off the road and even set up roadblocks in an attempt to catch you. And if they do that more than three times, it's off to virtual jail you go.
- Knockout: is a straightforward race where the driver who finishes last is eliminated. Eight drivers start the tournament – only one can win it.
- Tournament: is an eight-round championship in which drivers compete for points. The better the finishing position, the more points scored – and the driver who has scored highest by the end of the final round wins. Driver AI is very good on this and all races, and provides a good challenge to even the most hardcore of racing fans.
There are bonus cars and tracks available to win on all races (except the single race), depending on whether the beginner or expert levels of gameplay are selected.