Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 redefines the series for the PC with four play modes, five types of races, and online multiplayer action. In Single Challenge, players earn points based on performance to unlock new cars and tracks, while Hot Pursuit and Championship modes offer a series of races leading to 'Ultimate Road Racer' and 'World Champion' titles respectively. Hot Pursuit mode gives players 33 high-speed challenges ranging from fast getaways to chasing down speeders as a cop, while Championship mode consists of 33 events focusing more on skill than police evasion. Quick Race mode offers randomly generated single-player races with unlocked cars on available tracks.
Race types available in Single Challenge, Hot Pursuit and Championship modes include standard race-to-the-finish-line events, 'Be the Cop' races (chase down and run into targeted speeders), Lap Knockout (elimination racing against up to seven computer-controlled drivers), Tournament (design your own multi-race event), and Free Run (no time limits or opponents). In Single Challenge races, options include a choice of police presence or not, number of opponents, type of opponent vehicles, three difficulty settings, traffic, time limits (three, five, or seven minutes), and the number of races in a tournament (two to eight).
Tracks in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 feature shortcuts, escape routes, tunnels, reversible directions, mirror images, and much more, while Hot Pursuit and Championship modes include 'trees' that allow gamers to select a specific path through an interconnected series of challenges and rewards. Directions google maps. Players can choose from and unlock more than 20 world-class licensed cars from manufacturers including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW, Viper, Corvettes, Mustang Cobras, Lotus, Vauxhall, and many more.
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Automatic or manual shifting, slow-motion replays and other camera tricks, vehicle color selections, selectable HUD features, and customized audio with more than a dozen tracks from EA Games (including songs by Uncle Kracker and Rush), are but some of the options included. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 supports up to eight players via the Internet or a LAN.
It's hard to ignore the beauty of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. The car models are gorgeous (complete with fully articulated drivers), the tracks are stunning and jam-packed with details, and even the interface is sharp. The Need For Speed series has always been a leader in the graphics department, and this latest version firmly cements this position. Framerates remain consistently high, even on moderately powered systems (these days, around the 1 GHz mark) at the highest resolution with all the features cranked and a full retinue of cars onscreen. Small touches abound, such as leaves drifting in the wind and signposts spinning when hit just right. The audio is excellent, with meaty engine sounds, cool chatter from the cops, and a super soundtrack. Like many of this year's EA titles, you can even play your own MP3 music files or pop in your favorite CD.
Unfortunately, there are some problems. First, the gimmicky slow-mo jump cam just doesn't work -- when you catch air, the camera does a Matrix-like pan, totally disorienting you for when the view and speed shift back to normal. There are also a sad number of camera views (four), and using the 360-degree cam from the third-person view is guaranteed to have you hurling in no time. Thankfully, these features can be turned off. Replays are also given the shaft, with only one angle available for viewing. This would be less egregious if it were a TV-cam that showed interesting angles, but all you get is a sterile third-person view. Cars can display damage, but it's limited to a crumpled hood, and even then you have to beat the hell out of the car for that to happen.
Gameplay is something of a mixed bag, although there's far more good than bad. The physics are extremely arcade-based, which isn't a bad. The problem is, however, that the controls feel sluggish and the cars feel like they're pivoting around a pole running through their center. You're constantly reminded that like you're controlling an object on the screen rather than steering a real vehicle. This becomes less problematic as you get used to the quirkiness of the game, but a more robust and realistic physics model would have helped put Hot Pursuit 2 over the top.
Difficulty levels are well-balanced and ramp up nicely as you improve your driving skills. The AI of the CPU cars is tuned to give you a good race, and they're not afraid to push you out of the way if you're impeding their progress. Many of my races ended in close finishes, and there was plenty of jostling along the way -- good stuff.
The amount of things to do is absolutely staggering. The modes include a quick race, single race challenges, 'hot pursuit' mode, and championship mode. The latter two mods consist of 33 events, each setup in a branching format that assign you tasks and give you points depending on how successful you are. These points can be used to unlock cars and tracks in the single race challenge mode (which also lets you decide the police presence, if there's traffic, etc.).
The races themselves are fantastic. The 12 tracks are enormous; in fact, it would have been nice to be able to chop them into smaller pieces for shorter races. With the ability to race them reversed and mirrored, there are 48 track variations in all. Combine this with the huge number of cool shortcuts and alternate routes, and you'll be doing plenty of exploring trying to find optimal paths. Then there's the 'pursuit' part of Hot Pursuit. Here you can choose to play as the police, running down scofflaws and doling out your own justice in the form of tire spikes, roadblocks, and even bomb-dropping helicopters. As long as you're playing on your own, there's really no shortage of things to do.
Face it: if you're the kind of gamer who demands realism in your driving games, then this isn't the game for you. Pick up a copy of NASCAR Racing 2002 or Grand Prix 4 instead. But, if you're an arcade racing fan who doesn't own a PS2 and can get past the PC version's flaky controls, you should find a fun ride in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.
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Size : 8200 MB
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Criterion Games
Release Date: 16.11.2010
■ Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7
■ Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 Ghz, AMD Athlon X2 64 2.4Ghz or higher
■ Memory: 1.5 GB Windows XP, 2 GB Windows Vista, 7
■ Graphic: 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 7600, ATi Radeon X1950 or higher with supporting Shader Model 3.0
■ Sound Card: Sound device compatible with DirectX ® 9.0
■ Hard Disk Space: 8.0 GB available
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a 2010 racing video game in development by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and iPhone. A version for Wii is also developed by Exient. The game will support 3D-display output on PlayStation 3 and Windows. Hot Pursuit has been described as a “revolutionary” addition to the Need for Speed franchise, it is the 14th title in the franchise and is scheduled for release in November 2010.
Hot Pursuit goes back to the Need for Speed series‘ roots and takes on the gameplay style of earlier “Hot Pursuit”-titles in the Need for Speed franchise with exotic cars and high-speed police chases. It is primarily inspired by the original Need for Speed on 3DO. Hot Pursuit lets the player play as either a cop or a racer and will feature a full career mode for both roles. The relationship between the cops and racers is described as “a dog chasing down a rabbit” with the cops being more powerful compared to the racers. Each side has several power-ups including calling for roadblocks and radar jamming. The game takes place in fictional location called Seacrest County. It is entirely open-world and features over 100 miles (160 km) of open road and, as a reference, it is four times larger than Paradise City, the city of Burnout Paradise. According to Criterion is the single-player section, somewhere between 12–15 hours long, but with lots of replay value.
Hot Pursuit also features a new social interaction system called “Autolog” described as “Facebook for the game”. The game features both single-player and multiplayer game modes with up to eight players; as an option to live multiplayer racing, player can post records and achievements on the Autolog-feed for friends to see, which they then can try to beat. Autolog also contains an experience system called “Bounty”. So far the only game mode revealed is “Interceptor 1 vs 1″, where one cop chases one racer, but more game modes are to be revealed. Other features include the player being able to add custom soundtracks to the game.
The driving model of the game is described as “fun and accessible”. It is not as arcade-styled as Burnout Paradise, but far from a simulator. All cars in Hot Pursuit are licensed real-world supercars, and the carlist is described as “all the cars you dreamed of driving, in the way you dreamed of driving them”. Most cars will be available to both racers and cops, but a few will be exclusive to each side. Also exclusively featured in the Hot Pursuit is the Porsche 918 Spyder. Ferrari however, last seen in a Shift DLC-pack but notably absent from all other Need for Speed games since Hot Pursuit 2, will also be absent from Hot Pursuit.
Recent games in the Need for Speed franchise included a story, but Matt Webster, producer of Hot Pursuit said “We didn’t really think it was necessary to include a story. If you’re a cop, the aim is to go up the ranks, while a racer’s aim is to get to the highest rank they can.”
Review Scores:Aggregate scores
GameRankings 89.39% (PS3)
Metacritic 90/100 (PS3)
Computer and Video Games 9.0/100
Game Informer 8.75/10
Official PlayStation Magazine (US) 10/10
Joystiq 5 STAR Rating
Destructoid 9 .5/10
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