Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit II is the sequel to Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, which was released in 1998 and was the third in Electronic Arts’ arcade-style driving games. I’ve been personally waiting for this for so long, as an avid NFS fan. Hot Pursuit II is technically the sixth game in the series, if you do not count the two V-Rally games that came out in the 90’s. Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit II for the PlayStation 2 is not only one of the best games in this long-running series, but also one of the fastest, intense, and most polished racing games currently available for Sony’s console.
To be sure, Hot Pursuit II is no driving simulator. It is not the next Gran Turismo, nor does it set out to be. This game is all about arcade-style racing, where car-handling properties are wildly exaggerated, and physics are more like loose suggestions than strict laws. Nonetheless, like all of the previous games in this series, Hot Pursuit II has a number of highly coveted licensed cars from American and European manufacturers like Lotus, Lamborghini, Dodge, Chevy, BMW, Mercedes, and the two most prestigious car makers, Ferrari and Porsche. What’s more, all of these cars will take damage if you’re too careless, though they’ll take a good deal of punishment before they show signs of wear and tear, and no matter how badly you treat them, the cars and their performance will never be affected by the damage they absorb.
Realism does not make this game, but the pure gameplay mechanics do.