The EA blog had a chat with Criterion's Matt Webster the other day, and he says that Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit will be about 'four times bigger' than Criterion's last big racing hit, Burnout Paradise. There are a few reasons for that. First and foremost, Criterion wanted the cars going upwards of 250 miles per hour, so more speed means more room needed. There will also be more elevation in the levels, as well as more space to do things like hide your car in the bushes and find off-road shortcuts. Webster says there are over 100 miles of tarmac, and lots of other space to explore as well.
He also talks about the game's "Autolog" system, which will allow for ghost competitions between players, and what he's calling the "Speed Wall," a set of leaderboards which shows how close you are to overtaking your friends, even if they're not online. And finally, Webster says that Criterion has been hard at work replicating real cars for the game -- they had to fine tune the wheels of a McLaren out 2 mm just to get it to hit the right top speed in-game. Sounds like the game is coming along well -- it's scheduled to hit the lights and punch it this November.