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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (Windows)

78
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  SifouNaS (1317)
Written on  :  Jan 12, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
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Summary

Same episode, only the cast got more glamorous.

The Good

The Graphics are very well polished, very sharp and crisp making them a bit too unreal I think. The car models are very well detailed and shiny. The physics models are satisfactory and differ on each car. The tracks got longer, more detailed and a bit more complex. Now we have the addition of detours and shortcuts. Some new challenges as well! Now you have to compete in different kinds of races to earn some money with which you're unlocking cars and tracks. My best tip here would be to unlock the Maranello Spyder first (it's a Ferrari you fool! lol) cause this is the smoothest to drive and the fastest car for your early challenges. The different races range from knockouts to test drives, uniform cup races etc. The old cops are here too. Only this time they have that attitude, they don't issue tickets anymore (perhaps their notepads gone flat after all, or they got fed up from the prequel - EA doesn't explain this change). Now cops have gone mad! And they are bad! Once they stop you, that's it! End of the race for you boy! And if you push it too much on them, they release their mighty helicopter (complete with it's ace pilot) that throws some bombs on your race path. Alrightey thennn, shiny cars, super nice environments, cash to be earned and races to be won and an army of badass cops on your tail. Musically HP2 is top notch, featuring a bunch of artists who have contributed their chugging nu-metal tracks for our listening enjoyment! Hot Pursuit will always be the same no matter if the cast gets glamorous or not and you can still play both sides of the coin.

The Bad

Remember that in the original Hot Pursuit the car controls were a bit.. uuhhhmmm... sloppy? Well, I guess progress haven't got these under it's wings. The car you're driving has still the same quite awkward beharior. No effort was done to smoothen that -somehow too sudden- behavior. Things aren't getting any better with the steering wheels... Which reminds me: The game does not recognize the Guillemot Force Feedback Steering Wheel, so if you have one of these I guess you're on keys, until they release some fixing patch. Cops, although they have the helicopter on their side haven't got any smarter. It's only yourself and the leader of the race they are after, but mostly you, as if all the other racers are on a Sunday drive cruising around for an ice cream!!! (hellooooo!!! wakey wakey mr. blue suit!!!). The cops reach your tail before you can say Murcielago. In general the game looks nice, but, there's always that feeling that someone at EA had that idea to boast the same old idea with a few gimmicks in order to revamp it and make it sell again.

The Bottom Line

So, how could one take an already very good racing/arcade concept and make it better? They didn't. The concept remained the same as the prequel: Pedal to the metal before the cops pull you over, or some other rich kid reaches the finish line before you do! All the basic ingredients that made the first Hot Pursuit so popular are here, even some of the basic exotics are here too, the graphics got polished to be of Y2K standards, some new cars added up, extra challenges (which come from the Porsche Unleashed experience), the earn money to unlock cars and tracks feature and the cops have a new trick in their bag. It's a good game it is. It's exactly how one would expect the 2002 edition Hot Pursuit to be, nothing less, nothing more. I'm sure that if you liked the series you'll love this one, it's just that since I loved every piece of the NFS series, I have expected this to be something more than it actually is and not just a polished rebundle with the odd extra little bits. I fear that most of us will get bored quite easily with this one cause hey! We've seen that episode again, and shiny gimmicks don't last.