E3 2002Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 impressions

EA's police-chase racing game appears to be making an excellent transition to the PlayStation 2.

Electronic Arts is showing off a playable version of its upcoming multiplatform racing game Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2. Like the original PC and PlayStation game, Hot Pursuit 2 is all about racing as fast as possible while avoiding near-constant police pursuit.

The game will contain a handful of different modes, including standard racing, standard racing with a police presence, and a number of small challenge modes. Multiplayer will also be an option, complete with the ability to play competitively, with one person in a standard car and the other playing the police role. When driving a standard car, the game gives you a Grand Theft Auto III-like arrest meter. As more and more cars get involved in the chase, the meter goes up. At the four-star level, a helicopter will appear and begin dropping obstacles onto the roadway. Hitting those obstacles (or anything else, for that matter) damages your car. When your car sustains too much damage, you'll stop and get busted. Fighting back against "the man" involves ramming the police cars into guardrails or otherwise cutting them off. The cars get banged up a bit, and the windshields get smashed, but the car manufacturers wouldn't allow much more than that. So you won't see pieces flying off cars, except for maybe the side mirrors, which get scraped off if you brush up against a wall for too long.

Hot Pursuit 2 has a nicely detailed graphical style. The game may look a little pixilated when compared side by side with its PC counterpart, but the game's focus is on speed, and in that department, it delivers nicely. The game runs at a very smooth frame rate, and it has a very nice sense of speed. The tracks are also well lit, showing off lots of nice shadowing effects.

Fans of the original Hot Pursuit will likely find a whole lot to like in Hot Pursuit 2 when it ships later this year.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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