Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Date of publication: October, 2002
Platforms: PC and Playstation 2.

Update:Sasha Gabba Hey and PyramidHead both inform me that it has also been released on the XBOX, so kudos to them. Ian_Bailey informs me that it also appears on the Gamecube. PyramidHead also tells writes "Did you know that the PC & XBOX versions of NFS:HP2 were written by a different team to the (much better) ps2 version?". Game description: Arcade racing game where you compete against computer, trying to avoid being caught by the police, and yet still be faster than computer opponents. Has multiplayer functionality

The Cars
Aston Martin Vanquish
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Dodge Viper GTS
Ferrari 360 Modena
Ferrari Barchetta
Ferrari F50
Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Falcon TS50
Ford Mustang Cobra R
Holden HSV Coupe GTS
Jaguar XKR
Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0
Lamborghini Murcielago
Lotus Elise
Mercedes CL55 AMG
Mercedes CLK-GTR
McLaren F1
McLaren F1 LM
Opel Speedster
Porsche 911 Turbo
Porsche Carrera GT
Vauxhall VX220

The Tracks

Coastal Parklands
National Forest
Scenic Drive
Island Outskirts
Palm City Island
Fall Winds
Alpine Trail
Autumn Crossing
Wine Country
Calypso Coast
Mediterranean Paradise

The Good

  • A decent selection of cars unlike NFS V (yes yes I know the point of NFS V was to have only Porsches, but still...)
  • Unbelievably sweet graphics (well sort of...the cars look hot)
  • Music is nice and grungy / full of guitar

The Bad

  • The game likes to crash. A lot. In addition, it seems to take ages (30-40 sec) between loading each race.
  • There doesn't appear to be much gameplay involved. It takes about 4 hours to basically win this game if you get stuck into it. The tracks are also repetitive since they seem to have basically copied and pasted some of the maps together.
I wouldn't pay for this game. I guess it's a good thing I didn't. Don't get me wrong. This game is probably good for a few buddies to race against each other. And I'm not going to start a flame war about how Electronic Arts should have made this game. I liked NFS V: Porsche Unleashed because of the realistic physics, whereas NVS:HP2 seems to have made this game into "hold accelerator; bump off walls; smash into opponents" type game. I still play this game but the piss poor tracks and poor programming can really piss you off.

This game feels unfinished, rushed out the door like it was something made by a certain monopoly. Wait, but Electronic Arts is no monopoly. Oh, wait...

Among the features I find missing (in comparison to previous versions (NFS: High Stakes and NFS: Porsche) of the game:

  • Weather
  • Day/Night Mode - in High Stakes, 4 looks-simple-enough-to-implement INI files control what the track looks like during the different weather/daylight conditions. This was no longer there in Porsche.
  • Lights on the Cars that go on-and-off (other than brakes) - but hey who needs them when it's always sunny and clear* out there. In Porsche, even the blinkers worked.
  • In-Cockpit Mode - they tack only the speedometer (ooh but they're modeled just like the original car!) on the see-the-road mode
  • Car Damage Simulation - you can hear the windshield crack when you go 160 mph into that tree, the hood is bent a bit, the car starts smoking after too much redlining, but it will still go 200 mph and handles like it's brand new.
  • More Varied Tracks - the game features only 4 "environments", and 12 tracks (8 looping, 4 end-to-ends) are just different roads in the recycled environments. The screenshots of the tracks look really nice and detailed on their website, too bad it's not a helicopter simulation!

* Apparently at least one of the tracks do feature fog, but my graphics card is too slow for it.

I suppose they didn't have time to do the new graphics engine properly so that they just removed support for weather and different lighting conditions (from day, night and car lights). Budget shortage probably prevented them from having more than 4 environments as well. Or maybe it's just the limitations of the different platforms (Playstation 2 vs the X(86)box).

Knowing the history of this series, maybe (hopefully) they'll release Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2: Special Edition with all the lacking features.

Crashes? The game runs nice and stable on my Windows 2000 SP3 computer.

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