Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 78% (based on 37 ratings)
Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 70 ratings with 3 reviews)
In retrospect, this game is better than I originally thought. It's the last true Need For Speed game - where you get to drive fabulous, exotic cars through fabulous exotic locations. These days the franchise is all about riced-out imports and dark unrealistic cityscapes, which, to me, lacks the nobility of the original intent. Anyone can glue some plastic crap to a Honda and drive like an idiot through downtown at night... but driving an Aston Martin or Ferrari through beautiful, flowing countryside is the stuff of dreams.
On to the game itself. well, it looks simply gorgeous. Even 4 years on, it still looks fantastic. The car models themselves are real nice, albeit a little too shiny to look real - a fault shared with many games, especially including the later NFS games. The locations and scenery are outstanding and hold so much detail you want to get out of your car and walk around.
Sound effects are appropriate for the game and give you all the required feedback for racing. I especially like the way you can hear the engine of a car that's right behind you - not realistic, but damn handy in a race.
I love the choice of cars in this game - a range of real sports cars from the real fun Vauxhall VX200 to the awesome McLaren F1. Plus it's nice to see a decent number of British cars for a change.
There is a decent variety in the different game modes. The Hot Pursuit challenges can get trying after a while, but you can just switch over to the regular Championship mode and not worry about the cops for a while. Plus single races give you the opportunity to be the cop, which makes for another entertaining distraction. There's also a cash system, although they call them credits in the game. Every time you win a race, or evade a cop pursuit or even lead a lap, you get awarded credits which you can spend unlocking cars and tracks for use in single race and multi-player games. It's a nice touch - it allows you to decide what you want to play with next.
Well, my first gripe is that the game doesn't support my G25 wheel and can't even see my shifter. NFS 5 (Porsche) could so I don't understand this backward step from EA. I don't mind that much. As this is a true arcade racer, I'm faster with the keyboard anyway...
There's a real lack in the multi-player game too - there's no option to play Hot Pursuit together - just circuit races and lap knockouts. EA really dropped the ball with this one.
I could also moan about the stupidity of the AI, but it doesn't bother that much. It's a simple arcade game - I'm not looking for a serious challenge - just a bit of fun!
The Bottom Line
It's fun - a lot of fun - just don't take it seriously. The car handling is far from realistic and there's no damage model and the cops are stupid, but remember - it's an arcade game. If you want real racing sim look elsewhere. If you want to throw a sports car through some fantastic landscapes with the stereo up loud, this is just the ticket.
Windows · by Steve Hall (329) · 2020
Graphics are cool. The car models are beautiful, levels are very detailed, textures are large, polycounts are high. Everything is very pretty in an "unreal2esque" sort of way. What else is good about this game? Did I mention the graphics? Oh yeah...
Buses. These are not the regular buses that you can see in the streets of GTA3. No, these are rectangular blocks that for some unknown reason were placed on the road where you are racing. The AI for the bus drivers is non-existant, not only they manage to hit you regardless of how you drive, they also hit trees and other non-moving objects on the sides of the roads. Add to that their enourmous size and everytime you meet them you will curse the game designers.
My second gripe is the damage model. It is completely inexcusable. I don't care about licensing terms at all. I just can't suspend my disbelief when a head-on crash into a bus just slows you down a bit and when the worst thing that could happen to your car is an opened hood or a few scratches on your stop-lights.
And last but not least the AI sucks, especially the cop's AI. They are only slightly more intelligent than bus-drivers and bus drivers are utterly braindead. Cops have only one strategy - accelerate their extremely fast cars to come alongside you and drive next to you. To say it is boring is to give this game a compliment. After a very short while I opened the Options menu and started looking for a switch to turn off the buses and the cops. Too bad for a game which presumably revolves around cops chasing you (Hot Pursuit).
The Bottom Line
Unreal2 of racing arcades - beautiful graphics, but fun is missing.
Windows · by Paranoid Opressor (181) · 2020
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.
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.
Windows · by SifouNaS (1309) · 2020
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Critic reviews added by Alsy, jaXen, vedder, nyccrg, Patrick Bregger, Jacob Gens, Marid Aduran, Tarquinius Superbus, Xoleras, Zerobrain, chirinea, Wizo, Caliner, shphhd, GTramp, Emmanuel de Chezelles, Big John WV, RhYnoECfnW, Evil Ryu, Cantillon, Alaedrain, Jeanne, Giu's Brain.