Need for Speed Rivals
Need for Speed Rivals cover
Cover art featuring a Ferrari F12berlinetta being chased by a Koenigsegg Agera R police car.
Developer(s) Ghost GamesTemplate:Collapsible list
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Writer(s) Will Staples
Composer(s) Vanesa Lorena Tate[1]
Series Need for Speed
Engine Frostbite 3
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Release date(s) PlayStation 4
  • NA 15 November 2013[2]
  • EU 29 November 2013
Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
  • NA 19 November 2013[2]
  • AUS 21 November 2013
Xbox One
  • NA 22 November 2013[2]
  • EU 22 November 2013
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media Optical disc, download

Need for Speed Rivals is a racing video game set in an open world environment. Developed by Swedish and British developers Ghost Games and Ghost Games UK and developer Criterion Games, this is the twentieth installment in the long-running Need for Speed series. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 19 November 2013. It has also been released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as launch titles in the same month.


Template:See also

File:NFSRivals2013 gameplay.jpg

Rivals features gameplay somewhat similar to the earlier Hot Pursuit, with exotic cars and high-speed police chases.[3] Players take on the role of a Racer or a Cop, with each side of the law offering its own set of challenges, risks and rewards.[4] Rivals features eleven upgradeable gadgets such as EMPs, shockwaves and the ability to call in roadblocks.[3] The game takes place in a fictional location known as Redview County. It's an open world and features over 100 miles (160 km) of open road, larger than that of 2012's Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but on the same size as Criterion's Hot Pursuit.[5] The open world features a similar set-up to Most Wanted, with several jumps, speed traps and unlockable cars, as well as shortcuts that are not shown on the map.[6][7]

Rivals features a full career progression for both Cop and Racer. When playing as a Cop, there are three types of career that can be followed - patrol, enforcer, and undercover.[8] Progression is by means of Speedlists for Racer and Assignments for Cop, which are sets of objectives which involve dangerous driving, maneuvers, and race standings. When the player completes a set of objectives, the player levels up and unlocks items, and is presented with another set of objectives to choose from.[9] The Autolog system, a competition-between-friends system developed by Criterion for Hot Pursuit and since used in other titles in the Need for Speed series, factors into the progression system, comparing how quickly the player complete an Assignment or Speedlist to other players' times and posts them to a Speed Wall for local and global leaderboards.[9]

Rivals features a new social system called the AllDrive, which allow players to seamlessly transition from playing alone, to playing with friends, described as "destroying the line between single player and multiplayer". This allows players to in engage co-op gameplay as well as play against each other.[4] The game also features a dynamic weather system, which makes "the world feel alive in a much bigger sense than any other Need for Speed game."[3]

Rivals also takes on some gameplay styles of earlier Underground titles in the franchise with cues on aesthetic vehicle personalization, as paint jobs, decals, rims and license plates and liveries can be modified, as well as vehicle performance, and various Pursuit Tech gadgets.[6][10] With the exception of the Aston Martin Vanquish, other vehicles are only available in either racer or police variant.[11] Ferrari officially return to the franchise in full form for the first time in eleven years since Hot Pursuit 2 in 2002 (although they have appeared in 2009's Shift as Xbox 360-exclusive downloadable content) with the F12berlinetta, 458 Spider, 458 Italia, FF, Enzo, and 599 GTO being the Ferrari vehicles featured.[12]


There are two storylines that the player can choose to play by: the Racer storyline and the Cop storyline. Upon completion of a certain number of sets of goals, the storyline moves forward, earning the player new cars in the process.


The player plays as a racer named Zephyr, a veteran street racer. Upon his posting of a video of his car outrunning cops, a number of other racers also begin to post their own videos of themselves outrunning police cars. The police force begins to challenge the racers, and in the process, Officer McManus, one of their pursuit drivers, is injured after a racer wrecked his car. After this incident, the police begin to use excessive force on racers. However, accusations of such force comes to public attention, and the entire police force is sidelined while the FBI bring in their VRT, or Vehicle Response Team, consisting of ex-special forces and ex-street racers. The VRT, however, are no better than the police force at stopping racers, thanks largely to Zephyr and other racers. The VRT only manage to endanger the public, and on the midst of this, new street racers show up, including one by the name of F-8, or Fate, that drives a red Enzo Ferrari. F-8 intentionally wrecks other racers, and eventually Zephyr realizes that F-8 is a cop in disguise as a street racer, going out to intimidate racers. Zephyr steals a Koenigsegg Agera R police car, rebrands it with Zephyr-based graffiti, and proceeds to wreck cops with that car. Due to that incident, Zephyr is seen as a Robin Hood-esque character, with public sympathy shifting towards the racers. However, the police are cleared of their excessive force charges, and return to the streets. In a public address, Zephyr sets a number of locations as places where cops and racers can face off against each other. He also organizes a Grand Tour, a race spanning most of Redview County. Near the end of the Tour, however, as Zephyr is about to win, a police blockade forms, and he crashes into the blockade at high speed, flipping and damaging his car. Initial TV reports show his car smoking heavily, with paramedics rushing to the scene. However, the video suddenly cuts to Zephyr, who is revealed to have survived the crash. He repeats the dialogue he states in the intro of the game, "I am the reality show, the 15 minutes you'll never have". He then starts his damaged car's engine, leaving the player to guess as to what happens next.


The player goes to his training to be a member of Redview County Police Department. After he completes his training, he is now a member of the police force.

One day, RCNN, the Redview County News Network, a video of street racing was trending online. Also, dozens of Racers began to upload copycat videos similar to the featured video, and was revealed that street racing became viral around the county and they seek notoriety. Because of that, the public accuses the police of intimidation, and they hold several rallies and marches against RCPD. Days later, the Mayor of the county went to the general hospital of Redview to visit RCPD officer John McManis, who recovered from multiple injuries while on patrol.

Because of sense of intimidation, the US Department of Justice has been summoned to investigate the cases. All officers have been placed on restricted duty and were accused of gross misconduct. With no agency available to serve the streets, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Vehicle Response Team, or VRT, has been called in to substitute RCPD while under investigation.

While under restricted force, the player thinks that if they want to win, they need new rules. Since the Racers operate outside the law, the player decides to go rogue and infiltrate the Racers, by means of impersonation. He uses an impounded Enzo Ferrari fitted with Pursuit Tech to wreck some racers as an officer but acting as a Racer. He also creates his own alias: F-8, also known as Fate. He uses his tactics to apprehend the racers as if he was their opponent in their racing without blowing cover.

He becomes popular online after several news reports of him wreaking havoc, as a result, violence breaks more and more. Because of that, the restricted officers have been called to be recruited to VRT. However, the VRT only accepts skilled and aggressive drivers, and they never accept many cops, because they bring chaos instead of bringing peace. F-8 decides to join VRT, and a test is given to him. After passing the test, he is accepted into the VRT. The United States taxpayer invests millions of dollars to the player, and expects that it will be well spent.

His mission at VRT begins: to disrupt the network of the Racers. They have ID'd three known associates of Zephyr, who is the protagonist of the Racer career, via radio signal decryption. The three use encrypted radios that ping during communication. Because of that, locations of Zephyr are vague because of the three, so he needs to seize the comms in order to clear the signals.

After that, the radio signals are now clear, and they are able to decrypt Zephyr's radio signal. At the signal, a message from Zephyr says that he wants all racers to bond together to protect themselves from their enemies. The VRT tell F-8 that he is the only one who can take him down. He then hunts Zephyr and takes him down.

However, F-8's car is totaled. He is in critical condition, feared to be killed in a high-speed collision with Zephyr. According to the sources of the news, he has been terminated from the force for his reckless actions. As it looks like the racing epidemic is over, F-8, who has taken Zephyr's position as the top racer in Redview County, uploads a video, issuing a challenge to all racers.


  1. Vanesa Lorena Tate. Vanesa Lorena Tate. Retrieved on 29 November 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tach, Dave (4 November 2013). Need for Speed Rivals bumped up to Nov. 15 release for PS4 launch. Polygon. Retrieved on 4 November 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Robinson, Martin (15 May 2013). How Far Cry 3 and UK racing veterans are helping bring Need for Speed to the next generation. Retrieved on 23 May 2013.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named revealCVG
  5. Need for Speed: Rivals progression system detailed by Ghost Games. VG247 (2013-10-09). Retrieved on 2013-11-26.
  6. 6.0 6.1 How Ghost Games hopes to put itself on the map with Need for Speed Rivals. Polygon (14 November 2012). Retrieved on 23 May 2013.
  7. Need For Speed: Rivals Progression System Detailed. Cinemablend (2013-10-09). Retrieved on 2013-11-26.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Yin, Wesley (2013-08-20). Need for Speed: Rivals career "can't be played the same way twice". Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2013-11-26.
  10. Need for Speed: Rivals Customization Gets Thorough Explanation. Softpedia (2013-09-25). Retrieved on 2013-11-26.
  11. Vote and Decide which Car will Play Both Sides of the Law. Need for Speed (25 May 2013). Retrieved on 9 June 2013.
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named revealVG247

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