Why did this happen? Was no part of my data being saved locally? Was a running total not tacked to my profile? Was it lost in host migration? I have no idea and therein lie the perils of an always-online game. While the appeal of AllDrive is apparent, cracks like the one above make me wonder why the developers didn't make the feature something that runs in the background. Even the worst punk in the world doesn't deserve to have their session scuttled by network woes.


When it's working as intended, Rivals presents a strong case for games that intentionally blur the line between playing by your lonesome and being part of a virtual community. All the game design chops in the world can't hold a candle to the elation of winning out over another person in competition, or helping a buddy complete a tough pursuit. But the best iteration of that impending future is still a ways away and Rivals also illustrates going to be a turbulent journey to smooth, reliably connected always-online console experiences. But Rivals looks good enough and plays sharply enough to make me want to stick around and watch how the kinks get ironed out.

Update: A previous version of this review said that there is no offline mode in Need For Speed Rivals. That was incorrect. It's a better experience with an online connection but can be played without one. We regret the error.