Choose a format:
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Platform: PlayStation 2
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Black Box Games Ltd.
Style(s): Sports Car Racing
Synopsis: Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is another addition to Electronic Arts' long-running racing franchise. Blatant disregard for the law is the order of the day, as players blast through numerous exotic locales in one of more than 20 high-performance sports cars from some of the world's most renown car manufacturers -- Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Lotus, and BMW, among others. The main single-player mode, Hot Pursuit, offers 33 challenges, each of which presents the player with a unique scenario and basic restrictions pertaining to it: such as vehicle type, number of laps, nature of the race, and so forth. Here, not only do players have to fend off the advances of fellow competitors, but they'll need to keep the police at bay. In order to keep the peace, the police will do whatever it takes to stop you, from bumping you at high speed to setting road blocks at various choke points and even laying down spike strips to puncture your tires. An onscreen meter indicates just how close you are to ditching the cops on your tail, and once it empties, the cops will give up the chase. This respite is temporary however, before long they'll swarm upon you once again. The Championship mode allows players to compete within the confines of the law. Similarly styled to the aforementioned Hot Pursuit mode, it offers 33 pre-defined events, but with one significant difference: no cops. Successfully completing these events will earn you points that can in turn be spent on new vehicles and tracks for use in the Single Challenge mode. Rounding out the selection of modes are Quick Race and Single Challenge, the latter houses a selection of customizable modes such as Be a Cop, Two-Player, Lap Knockout, and Free Run. Lap Knockout sees the last-placed driver removed from the race at the end of each lap. ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 26-page Instruction Manual
The manual clearly explains the modes of play and various options available, and the game offers help screens for players who are having trouble navigating the menus. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Slight pop-up in the distance and some blurriness do not take away from the often mesmerizing courses. Each car has been rendered with painstaking detail and a number of slow-motion effects (during jumps and smashing through road blocks) add to the game's cinematic presentation. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Electronic Arts' acclaimed Need for Speed series adds yet another top-notch title to its stable of arcade racing games. Everything players expect from the series, the breathtaking courses, the exhilarating sense of acceleration, and the wonderfully exotic cars, is present on the PlayStation 2, along with the option to race against Johnny Law in a mode worth the price of admission by itself. While there are a number of new twists to the familiar formula, Hot Pursuit 2 isn't quite the new experience series veterans may have been hoping for. A number of features found in previous titles have been scaled back or eliminated entirely. What <I>is</I> featured in the game, however, has been crafted with such care the omissions seem more like sidebars than front-page news. Chief among the highlights are the courses themselves, as each of the 15 main tracks (an additional 15 are available as variants) seems more beautiful than the last, taking players through forests, beaches, mountains, and even ruins. Players are given more freedom than ever before, as each environment is significantly wider than previous games, allowing for an incredible number of shortcuts. It is entirely possible to race through the same track four times and experience completely new scenery. You can literally take the high road while others take the low road as well as break through barriers, veer off to the right or left to take a shortcut through a town, bypass a bridge to weave around trees, and much more. Details include raging forest fires (while a nearby fire truck attempts to douse them with water), lightning strikes, gushing waterfalls, dissipating fog, blowing leaves, and many other lifelike details giving the courses a personality all their own. This is one of the rare racing games where players may find themselves in danger of crashing just because they can't take their eyes off the scenery. This attention to detail continues with a real-time damage model showing the effects of collisions and crashes as the game wears on. Windshields will crack, engines will blow, and doors and hoods will crumple, dent, and scratch if players continue to abuse their rides while blazing across the scenic routes. The game also shakes up some of the familiar modes of play by offering a bit more variety than in previous titles. Hot Pursuit and World Racing modes both feature a branching system of 30 events, and players can pick and choose which race to enter. Fulfilling the conditions of one event will open up one or more of the later events, and finishing first can unlock a car, course, or both for play in the rest of the modes. The events mix things up by offering traditional races against the computer drivers, a knockout challenge on a specific course, or a point-to-point race. The Hot Pursuit mode, arguably the most challenging mode of the game, typically involves racing a specific car and getting from point A to point B within a certain time limit. What makes this mode so challenging is that the cops are on your tail almost right from the start. Zipping by parked police cars and running through roadblocks increases a player's wanted rating, which in turn adds more and more police into the mix. Combine this with oncoming traffic and a time deadline, and races can become a harrowing (but enjoyable) experience. Police in this game make use of turbo and will call for helicopters, which hover ahead and drop fuel drums in your path that explode on impact. Avoiding police roadblocks is still rather easy (your onboard scanner picks up radio chatter as in previous games, letting you know where the police are ahead of time), but law enforcement's increased aggressiveness makes for a difficult time. Players will often find police cars swerving into them from the left or right while being chased from behind. Quickly slamming on the brakes can send the two closest police cars smashing into each other, taking them both out of commission as they radio in their defeat. Unlike the original Hot Pursuit, the frame rate remains rock solid throughout these intense battles, making for a white-knuckled race from start to finish. The addition of so many shortcuts also makes each race seem different, and players can toggle the frequency of pedestrian traffic to make things even more interesting. As in previous games, there's still the option to be the police officer and chase down the speed freaks, calling for roadblocks and helicopters along the way. As much fun as there is to be had with the game, there are a number of curious omissions that could have made Hot Pursuit 2 even better. Surprisingly enough, there is no garage, so players cannot see which cars they have unlocked. Nor is there any way to customize the cars, other than changing their paint scheme before a race. In fact, there's no money to be won at all in this game. In order to acquire more cars, players must simply win the required event. This takes away some of the replay value associated with building a bank account to purchase new vehicles, make repairs, or buy upgrades, but it also doesn't artificially force players to re-race the same event over and over again just to buy a specific car. Another weakness is there's no way to track statistics such as the highest point total for a race (players earn points by catching air and performing other stunts), the number of times each race was won, how many roadblocks were broken through, the dollar amount of damage caused, and so forth. Lap records and fastest times are saved for each event, but there's no easy way to view this data from a separate mode or user profile sheet. Players instead have to look at it from within the event selection screen. Some may also complain of the missing dashboard in the first-person view, and for some inexplicable reason the police comments lack the sense of urgency and despair that made the original Hot Pursuit so entertaining (where police would literally yell at the top of their voice, "Pull over <I>now</I>!"). While it seems a little more could have been done to personalize the game, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 offers an impressive amount of arcade-style fun bolstered by the number and variety of courses, challenging Hot Pursuit mode, and excellent lineup of vehicles. All of the courses are first-rate works of art, with shortcuts so long and detailed that there are shortcuts within the shortcuts. Finding them all is as fun as racing through the main route, and the ability to outrun the cops is exactly what the doctor ordered after a long day of work, school, or deciding which racing game to play next. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
While there's not enough detail in an individual's user profile, the tracks can be raced in many different ways by tweaking various settings in the options screen. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Licensed music from Rush, Uncle Kracker, Bush, and other artists spin constantly from the disc as if you were listening to a car radio. The police chatter isn't as humorous as in previous games. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
The sense of speed and the depth of courses will hook players in, but it's a shame there's no way to earn money or modify existing cars. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.