Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2
This game was a pleasant surprise all around. Not only did it rekindle our fondness for the original Need For Speed on the PS1, but it convinced the better part of the Review Crew that theres more to racing games than just, well, racing.
For once, a game lives up to its name: Hot Pursuit 2 is Fast, with a capital F. Theres a healthy selection of cars at your disposal-22 of them are exclusive to the game, so if youve ever had a hankering to get behind the wheel of a Ferrari 550 or a Lamborghini Murcielago, heres your chance. And with Pursuit's harrowing sense of speed, the experience is suitably hair-raising, conveying the immense power these cars produce.
But Pursuit is more than just a gearheads wet dream. What really sets this title apart from something like Gran Turismo is that, at its heart, the latest Need For Speed is still more of a video game than a driving simulator. The game gives you plenty of reasons to revisit its 20 courses, since winning races isnt your only goal. An extensive tournament mode presents a variety of progressively difficult challenges. The underlying motivation throughout, of course, is to beat levels and collect your reward in the form of sexier and more powerful rides.
It also wouldnt be Hot Pursuit if you couldnt play as the cops and chase down bad guys, similar to Grand Theft Auto Ill's Vigilante mode. Pursuit gives you a variety of tricked-out police cars to use, such as the super-tuned Corvette Z06 that makes accelerating from a standstill feel like youre jumping into hyper-space. Plus, playing as one of the blue boys lets you call in deterrents like helicopters and spike strips. Nothing beats hearing those tires pop. Even the boring, old Crown Victoria is a blast as you slam racers into the wall. (And any game that can make a Crown Vic seem exciting is A-OK in our book.)