As video games become a more dynamic form of entertainment, one that will invade every aspect of the social networking experience, it seems like a no brainer that eventually games would begin to replicate similar social networking tropes. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit’s Autolog provides a very similar form of social networking, allowing gamers to challenge, compete, and compare all within the game.
Criterion Games, developers of the popular Burnout series, have moved on to the grandfather of adrenaline-fueled racing games and hope to make an indelible mark upon the franchise. With Autolog, gamers will have access to a myriad of communication abilities to keep the Need for Speed experience fresh and exciting.
Not only will gamers be able to post exciting content (crash photos, by-a-nose finishes, or complete races) through Autolog, but they will also be able to keep track of stats from both your game and your friends’. Say, for example, if Mike has just beat your time on a particular track, then Autolog will alert you with said information and prod you to take back your first place standing. Each time you sign in to Autolog expect to find more and more pieces of detailed information that will keep you coming back to the racing experience hoping to establish yourself as the top dog.
Hot Pursuit looks great and it plays just as well, but Criterion’s inclusion of an entire social networking experience has created a new platform for developers to better involve their players. While this idea isn’t entirely new, Criterion’s implementation of a social networking experience is top notch and certainly a pedestal for achievement. Maybe the game might suffer from a rushed development process but from what we have seen of the individual elements, they look to add up to the potential for a great game. Gas isn’t going to be the only fuel to your competitive Hot Pursuit fire.
Do you think that the Autolog is going to provide a new dynamic to the Need for Speed experience or do you see it as a distraction from the racing?
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit releases November 16th for the PC, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360