Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (video game)
Overview: Explore the fast paced, dangerous world of street racing with “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.” You can play in two modes: the career mode, which is single player or the online mode that is competitive and multiplayer. In career mode, you are shown a map and can choose between races. Only a few are available at the beginning. There are two types of races: one where you are a racer, one where you are a police officer trying to stop the races. In both categories, you can race against other cars or simply race for the best time. Within each race you choose your car based on the specifications provided. The point of each race is to earn bounty. You must finish in first, second, or third place to receive bounty and be allowed to unlock more race courses. As a racer, you can also earn bounty for wrecking police cars.
During the race, there is a map that shows turns coming up, a speedometer so you know how fast you are going, info about which place you are in, how long you’ve been racing and how far you have left in the race. There are also shortcuts available, so it helps to be familiar with the course ahead of time so you know where shortcuts are and which are the most beneficial. The game also has different race conditions like night or day, sunny or raining, which makes it more slippery.
Critical Evaluation: This racing game has been compared to “The Fast and The Furious” movies in terms of the type of racing going on. This features illegal street racing, where you are not only trying to beat the other drivers, but also avoid getting caught by the police. It is also a more unrealistic racing game, which means that you can do things you wouldn’t be able to do in real life, like take curves at 100 miles an hour, or crash your car and begin driving again immediately. Some players seem to prefer this because it makes the game easier and more exciting.
The really interesting element of this game for me is the glorification of dangerous driving. That may seem obvious when you read that it portrays illegal races, but to me, this takes it to another level. You receive more bounty when you total police cars, and are encouraged to drive recklessly in the oncoming traffic lane to receive more nitrous for your turbo jets, which then allow you to go even faster.
Reader’s Annotation: Do you have a need for speed? In this game, you test your skills behind the wheel as a racer or police officer trying to shut down the races.
Information about the creators: Criterion Games developed this game. They are based in Guilford, UK. They have created the Burnout series of games, as well as Black, a first person shooter game. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is an award winning game.
Genre: Racing Video Game
Curriculum ties, if any: None
Booktalking Ideas: If I was encouraging teens to use this, I would draw parallels to “The Fast and the Furious,” and highlight the high speed and excitement of this game. It also provides an outlet for speeding that won’t have any negative reprecussions.
Reading Level/Interest Age: At my library, it is catalogued as a YA, which refers to the level of violence and language. There is no language in this game, and rather abstract violence, which makes it more appropriate for teen players (Though that isn’t to say that teens aren’t still playing more mature games. See my review on Halo for more on that.).
- Illegal and dangerous activities
- First, I would want to be familiar with book. As I’ve read this book, I’d be aware of potential issues that could be challenged. In the case of a book I had not read, I would want to have access to reviews.
- Then I would put together a rationale for why this book is included in the collection. This rationale would include:
- Bibliographic Citation of the book.
- A description of who the book is best suited for.
- A summary of the book and applicable other information, such as biographical information about the author.
- My justification for including the book. This would include how it fits in with the selection policy and library mission statement, and include its educational significance if applicable or the impact it could have on readers.
- Copy of selection policy and library mission statement at my library.
- ALA Library Bill of Rights
- Good and bad reviews of the book
- Alternative works a student could read
- Reconsideration form if patron is not satisfied with rationale
- When talking to patron, I would listen to their concerns without getting on the defensive and attempt to sympathize with their concerns. In some cases, all an upset patron needs is to be able to vent and know that someone is listening to them.
- If needed, I would send the challenge up the chain of command.
This video game meets the recreational needs of teens. As I mentioned in my ideas for promotion, this does provide an outlet for teens and others to “try out” racing and these dangerous activities without causing physical harm to anyone or damage to anything.
Why did you include this video game? : I wanted a representative sample, as much as is possible with three video games, of the kind of games teens are playing. Racing games are one popular kind of video game.
Who we are (2013). Criterion Games. Retrieved from http://www.criteriongames.com/about/