Rules? They're made to be broken. Pushing boundaries has always been a hallmark of the best racing games, but Need for Speed Rivals takes this far beyond your average racing experience. It's no longer just about squeezing every bit of juice from your finely-tuned speed machine and shaving precious seconds off your run. This latest entry in the venerable franchise lets you push the needle into the red zone, embrace danger, and risk everything for a chance to hit it big. Welcome to the dark side of racing, please enjoy your stay.

As you cruise through the open terrain, trouble and thrills are never more than a split second away. On these snaking roadways, the structured solo campaign mixes with the chaotic unpredictability of online encounters. Rivals' innovative new AllDrive system seamlessly blends the single-player and multiplayer experience like never before. You might be enjoying a blistering solo time trial one minute, then see a friend zip by with a squad of cops in hot pursuit the next. As the distinct racing situations of different players encounters meld into one frenetic event, there's a lot of craziness and fun that can unfold.

Stumbling into a race in progress, you can make the split-second decision to gun the engine and join the chaos or ignore it and move on. Racing dirty at 100+ mph and slamming into opponents is always fun in a pinch, but beware: the heat is out there watching, and it wants a piece of you.

As you're motoring along enjoying the beautiful scenery, you never know when you'll suddenly find yourself bumping fenders with a pack of ramped-up gearheads. Within seconds, a straightforward competition across the countryside can erupt into a free-for-all dash to avoid capture, as you powerslide around a tight curve to find a swarm of flashing red and blue lights waiting for you. Then the real chase is on. Dodging spike strips, choppers, roadblocks, and shock charges makes these encounters all the more harrowing, but Rivals also lets you fight back with jammers, turbos, and other pursuit tech. Do you cut and run or make old Five-Oh work extra hard for its overtime pay?

Skirting the law alone doesn't push the envelope enough here. Ultimate risk is what makes the rewards so sweet. Rivals builds on the already intense dynamics of cat and mouse racing by letting you play fast and loose with the valuable speed points you accumulate. After a racing win, you can high-tail it to your hideout and safely bank your earnings, or push onward to the next race and receive a tremendous boost to your multipliers. Of course, you never know when The Man might get the jump on you, make a smooth bust, and take it all away. With a hundreds of thousands of points hanging in the balance, these heated pursuits get rowdy in a hurry.


High speed rogues don't get to have all of the fun, though. Hopping over to the other side of the law lets you experience the thrill of the chase from a totally different perspective. Are you a good cop or a bad cop? Where do your morals lie? You'll find out soon enough. As aggressor, you can hunt down miscreant motorists by teaming up with other cars on the force for collaborative busts. Singling out rebel racers on a whim is another option, since you can throw on your lights and siren or just straight-up ram them to get a jump start on the action.

The good news is you don't have long to wait before you can kick the adrenaline into overdrive. Rivals is nearly upon us, so will you walk the line or burn rubber through it? Head here to find out.