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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit

John B. Marine | 8:37 PM | |
A quantum leap in Need for Speed's evolution came in the form of "Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit." Part of this quantum leap came with beautiful graphics and weather effects. But an even bigger part? Police chases! This game would go a long way setting the tone for future NFS titles. It would set a tone that would be met and exceeded by certain future titles, including the latest in the franchise- "Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)." Gather 'round, boys 'n girls! This blog post is about "Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit."

This blog post primarily concerns the PC version of "NFS3: Hot Pursuit," but it is also available for the PlayStation 1.

--- Need for Speed 3 at a Glance ---

Electronic Arts took NFS to a different direction and level starting with "NFS3: Hot Pursuit" in 1998. Away was the arcade fun of racing cars in intense racing and in comes the element of evading police. The open road was still the primary sort of battleground for these cars. This time, the action involves frenzied racing action across a number of open-road circuits with more intense corners and action than the previous NFS title.

NFS3 was a new experience for many gamers. You now have to contend with evading police. They will stop at nothing to take your car down. Your job when dealing with Pursuit modes was to either evade mounting pressure from the police or use every available resource to take down speeding drivers. This provided a dynamic that was different from simply running a race on open roads. You can be on both sides of the law- evade the police to become Most Wanted, or prevent all cars from finishing to become Top Cop. The venues are all open-road courses that are very long. You can run courses forward or reverse like in NFS2, but you can now run at night and/or with weather conditions. This is the first Need for Speed with configurable weather options.

Now that you know about the game, it's time to delve deeper and showcase some of the nuances of "Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit."

--- Need for Speed 3: Cars ---

Here is your look at each of the cars in this game. Not every car can be raced in every mode. This is the first-ever Need for Speed that uses actual color names. If you don't like the original colors, you can make your own custom color for cars. More cars can be unlocked. There are even downloadable cars to help expand the already great selection of cars. The class ranking for each car is in parentheses ().

Chevrolet Corvette C5 (B).

This is the second-ever Corvette to be featured in an NFS game. This one, however, was the current 'Vette- the C5. The C5 Corvette has great handling and more-than-decent top speed and acceleration. It is a very fun to drive car in this game. A Pursuit version of this car is also available.

Lamborghini Diablo SV (A).

No car is more fearful to go up against than a Lamborghini Diablo. This one is no different. This lovely car with "SV" emblazoned on the sides goes like Hell and handles pretty well. Make this your dream car to evade the cops or win races. A Pursuit version of this car is also available.

Lamborghini Countach (B).

This Lamborghini has great top speed and acceleration, but is less forgiving than the Corvette.

Aston Martin DB7 (C).

The sexy DB7 from Aston Martin is a great performer.

Jaguar XK8 (C).

Jaguar's latest (as in this game) big cat is the XK8. The beautiful British sports car boasts great performance and clearly is good to race against the DB7.

Ferrari F355 F1 (C).

Returning from NFS2, the Ferrari 355 F1 is fast and capable for its class.

Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR (A).

If you are fortunate enough to drive this car, you will be impressed with its incredible performance. It is a homologated racing demon with scary speed.

Italdesign Scighera (A).

This concept car clearly has Alfa Romeo DNA to it with its front grill design. The Scighera will not blow away any of the other A-class cars, but it is a very agile performer.

Mercedes-Benz SL600 (C).

This little Mercedes-Benz allows you to enjoy a great drive around any locale, whether top up or top down.

There are more cars than these featured machines. You will need to progress through the game to unlock them all. There is even a bonus Pursuit car that can be unlocked. Not all cars shown here is available in all modes of the game. Cars made for NFS3 can even be downloaded. However, since this game is more than ten years old, I doubt you will be able to effectively download and use each downloadable car made for NFS3.

With all of the cars in this game, you can learn more about each one by watching videos and seeing pictures. You can even compare each car against others in the game. You can see which one is better than the other by doing simple comparisons. The game allows you to choose between a number of colors for each regular car. This is the first NFS title to use actual color names for each car. If you don't like the offered colors for a car, you can make a custom color for any given car. One thing to be careful of is that in the Pursuit mode, the actual color of your car won't be mentioned by the police when you hear the police voiceover. So if you colored a car as a custom color, all your car will be described as is the name of your car. In other words, instead of " pursuit of a red Corvette...," you will just hear " pursuit of a Corvette..." with a custom-colored car.

You can even perform some simple setups for cars. Tuning elements for things like acceleration, top speed, downforce, tire choice, and more will offer a little bit of freedom in the behavior of your car. Keep everything balanced for the best performance, or tune for a more personalized driving experience.

--- Need for Speed 3: Tracks ---

These courses will get your blood pumping with these long courses. Essentially, you are racing in four environments each with two different tracks. Many options are available to you for each course. You can race any track in day or night settings for starters. You can even race tracks in the reverse direction, mirrored or no mirrored tracks, and also enable or disable weather effects.

NOTE: Track lengths estimated by nearest hundredth.


A down-home style of track, you will be racing in this small town complete with many easy-going corners. This is obviously the kind of city that would make Small Town America people very happy with the vast amount of farmland and rural sections. You will be racing in a Fall/Autumn setting here. No one corner or set of corners are truly imposing. It is the shortest course in the entire game at 3.6 miles (5.8-kilometers).

Redrock Ridge.

The desert is where you will be racing here. You will find yourself weaving around canyon walls and many different desert terrain in this 5.4-mile (8.7-kilometer) course. Look carefully for some shortcuts if you want to survive in this desert.


This 4.9-mile (7.9-kilometer) track is a very modern track with loads of waterways and futuristic structures. The scenery is among some of the most beautiful you will see in this game. It is very fun to race as I usually race this track often myself. There are a lot of split roads and other places to visit. Take advantage of some of the multiple routes to either evade the police or shave seconds off of your lap time.

Rocky Pass.

This is a very long course (5.5-mile (8.9-kilometer)) with undulating and narrow roads. A car that can turn tightly and get up to speed quickly will succeed here. It can be a knock-down drag-out brawl when doing Hot Pursuit here.

Country Woods.

This track is an evolution of Hometown that takes place in a Winter setting. You will be contending with some sharp corners and some tight hairpins here. Hot Pursuit can be nightmarish here. Watch your guard at all times here. At 5.2 miles (8.4 kilometers), there isn't too much room for error here.

Lost Canyon.

With its vast array of shortcuts and ancient structures, this 6.3-mile (10.1-kilometer) evolution of Redrock Ridge is much more demanding to win than the Beginner course. It's going to take a lot out of you to win here.


The futuristic appeal of Atlantica gives way to more of open road feel across natural terrain. It is a 5.3-mile (8.5-kilometer) long track with all sorts of environs to leave you in awe, including a tunnel through the aquarium. It even features moai statues reminiscent of the statues you'd find at Rapa Nui (or Easter Island). But always remember- this track can, and will deceive you if you try to savor the sights too long.


The longest and most difficult course in the entire game is Summit. It is an evolution of Rocky Pass at 6.6 miles (10.6 kilometers) where victory is even more difficult to come by. Hot Pursuit can be brutal here as well.

If you can survive these challenges, one more awaits for you to unlock:

(The Bonus Track).

When you unlock this course, it has a look and feel of New York City with some heavy touches of science fiction. The track itself is tough and is 4.6 miles (7.4 kilometers) long.

All of the tracks in the game are challenging and unique in their own ways. A lot will be required out of you to survive and win on each one.

--- Need for Speed 3: Racing Modes ---

Need for Speed 3 offers up more than just races. Here is a brief look at each style of racing for Single Player play.

Single Race.

You can race against nobody, have a one-on-one duel, or race against a pack of cars.

Hot Pursuit.

Hot Pursuit features two kinds of races where you choose which side of the badge you want to be on. Avoid being arrested to become Most Wanted, or arrest all speeders to become Top Cop. Obstacles that will help hinder your ability to avoid the police include road blocks and spike strips. The police dispatch will give you an indication of where road blocks or spike strips are located if playing as an outlaw.

A regular Hot Pursuit as an outlaw puts you in a race against another driver. You and your opponent will engage in a street racing duel with oncoming traffic and the police with a watchful eye on you two. What you want to do as an outlaw is become Most Wanted. To become Most Wanted, you have a limit of how many tickets from the cops you want to pick up. Each time you are stopped by the police, you get a ticket. If you reach the ticket limit, you will be arrested. Avoid the police, road blocks, and spike strips; and finish the race in 1st Place to win.

Playing as the police means it is up to you to seek and take out the speeders. You have about six or eight speeders to deal with. A certain driver must be above the speed limit for you to pursue that driver. Once you note one going above the speed limit, you can pursue that car and try to arrest him/her. In order for you to become Top Cop, you must arrest all of the opposing drivers. You can arrange for road blocks and spike strips to be deployed. Do whatever it takes to disable speeding drivers.

A LITTLE ADVICE: One last thing... if I may recommend some advice, a strategy I use when doing the Hot Pursuit as an outlaw is to intentionally let the other racer ahead so that he/she can get into trouble with the law before the police eventually starts pursuing my car.


You can compete in a series of races where you can unlock more content in the game. Have the most points through a series of races to win the tournament.


You don't have to win every race, but you have to avoid being last. The last-placed finisher of each race will be knocked out until there is just one driver left standing.

You can compete in a number of Single Player and Multiplayer races in NFS3.

--- Need for Speed 3: Final Thoughts ---

Before "Need for Speed: Underground," this game provided the overall change in character of the Need for Speed franchise. It combined the arcade thrills of past NFS titles with the intensity of avoiding the police. It offered a new character to set itself apart among various other racing games- even including the Gran Turismo and Ridge Racer series. The game offered incredible visuals for a game of its time. It was the last NFS to feature 2D interiors, but the interior view was still very lovely for what it was.

NFS3 was really the title that has defined the more Hollywood-style action that would define the modern Need for Speed franchise for years to come. Most future NFS titles would mostly have a focus on Hollywood-style action and illegal street racing. While customization would be a key impact of NFS titles moving forward, it was "NFS3: Hot Pursuit" which gave the series some unique character and provide memorable moments for many a racing gamer. "NFS3: Hot Pursuit" is a must-play if you are a fan of the NFS franchise and want to play through the history of Need for Speed. It can be played on PC or on the PlayStation 1.

Video Preview.

Now that I've introduced you to the game, here is a video showcasing "Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit." Enjoy:

^ "Need for Speed III Hot Pursuit"

You can get this game on Amazon if you're willing to buy this game online. Have a look around:

^ "Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit" for PC and PlayStation 1.

^ Need for Speed Collection for PC (which includes "Need for Speed 3: Hot Pursuit").

Always respect your elders. And in gaming culture, respect your elder games.

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