Review by M. Fletcher

"Not as good as Burnout 2 and GT3 but still well worth the money."

Need for Speed, Hot Pursuit 2. With so much competition in the way, in the forms of the Burnout series, the now platinum Gran Turismo 3 and others, is this game worth it. It may not be as good as the aforementioned GT3 and Burnout 2 but it sure as hell is worth the money.

Gameplay: 9/10
The producers have paid for the rights to use licenced cars and smash them up. Something people have always wanted to do. On a base level, its appeal is high but other aspects of gameplay are just as good. The 8 player races between you and 7 AI opponents are fun, although the cheap AI tactics employed can and will result in a few controller throwing moments. The pursuit levels are a nice touch with you speeding away from the police instead of chasing the criminal as in Burnout 2. There are a hell of a lot of shortcuts you can take through wasteland etc. There are 60 racing challenges in all allowing for some lengthy times of gaming.

Graphics: 9/10
Solid. The cars look nice, especially when damaged. The backgrounds and scenery are very well done and look quite realistic. With 8 cars racing at once, you'd expect a bit of slowdown. But no, NFS has no noticeable slowdown which is quite amazing considered the amount of Hz it is running at. No complaints at all.

Sound: 8/10
It's ok. The sounds that the cars make such as engine noises, unique to each car and horn noises, again unique to each car, are nicely done and the screeching of brakes is a nicely done aspect of the game. The background music is absolutely awful and if there are more than a few tracks on the disk then I'd be amazed.

Controls: 9/10
The controls could be moderately improved but there is absolute nothing else that I could make a complaint about in this section.

Multiplayer: 9/10
Racing games generally have good multiplayer modes and NFS is no exception. You'll have great fun speeding around the different tracks in the different cars. Every wanted to smash a Mercedes off of a bridge? Now is your chance. A thoroughly enjoyable multiplayer experience.

Replay Value: 7/10
Racing games are repetitive by nature. There is only so much you can do before you die of boredom and put the game away one last time. There is enough to keep you going for a good couple of months however, and I am sure you'll enjoy those couple of months as well.

Overall: 8/10
A decent racing game, but it is no comparison compared to the awesome Gran Turismo 3 and the crashtastic Burnout 2. Although enjoyable, I'd buy GT3 or Burnout 2 over it any day.

Buy/Rent: Buy
If you already have Burnout 2 and GT3 you should buy this. If you have neither of the three this would be my third choice. Still a worthy purchase and I think that if you like racing games this is absolutely essential.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/28/02, Updated 10/28/02

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