Need For Speed 3 - Hot Persuit 2
Review of Need For Speed 3 - Hot Persuit 2
Ever felt the temptation to put your foot down and push your car to the limit on the open roads?
Ever felt the urge to blast past the cops on the motorway and weave through the traffic with them on your tail?
Ever felt the hunger to take a hugely expensive supercar and go absolutely mental in it?
Ever felt the Need for Speed?
Oh yes indeed, super-fast, seriously expensive, ultra-cool road based racecars like the Mercedes CLK-GTR, the McLaren F1, the Ferrari F50 and the Lamborghini Murcielago are all here for the taking in EA Games storming arcade road (and the odd dirt track) racing game.
Need For Speed is one of the longest standing series in video racing games, and it does have some what of a chequered past but those little boffins at EA have slaved long and hard on this latest title so now do I feel the need to buy it?
Well I will answer that one later but for now let us get into the action!
As is usual the game opens with a super fly chase scene with a racing Lamborghini and Ferrari – then the cops show up and it all gets a little crazy!
But then you’re into the game and you get to choose from a variety of different race types including 2 player and one where you get to be the cop.
There aren’t many cars to choose from but those that are there are quite quick. There are many more cars to unlock though – 49 in total. You do this in couple of ways – complete a challenge in one of the 2 challenge modes, meet certain racing criteria within the game and of course build up NFS points during each race. These points accumulate to unlock more and more cars. There is an awful lot of racing in this Need for Speed title.
The challenges also unlock additional tracks as you complete them.
So what does it look like?
Only one word for this – Beautiful. The cars are gorgeous, and the vast racing environments are stunning. There are many shortcuts to be taken and you can find yourself driving through a forest fire, a dust storm or even heavy fog during the race. Every now and again there is a pool of water on the road and the reflections are jaw dropping – as are the lighting effects throughout the game.
The cars do not achieve the current peak on the PS2 – but they are pretty darn close. The different types and style of dials for each car is also a very nice touch.
I have noticed the occasional car or rock popping up but generally the graphics deliver a fantastic smooth experience even when you’re running at 240 plus mph.
The sound in this game is wonderful too. The engine/wheel sounds are amazing and the sound of the cops on your radio, as they call in the fact that they are now chasing what ever colour/type car you are driving and give a rough estimate of your speed, is enough to make you feel like they really are out to get you,
The sound track is the usual fare of rock and dance music but some of the tunes are quite cool. And the game employs this recent trend of EA games to tell you the track and artist that’s now playing.
One last major boon for the sound is that you get a nice little voice intro for every car at the select screen – most cars have two different intros and several have three.
Finally, does the game play well?
Yes it does – it is not perfect but it is nearly there - the cars can’t be adjusted but you have to remember it is an arcade game all the same.
However, the cars do not have the usual arcade trait of extreme handing – these are all very predictable, when you get used to the differences in every model. However, you do get the option of choosing the more extreme handling style at the beginning of every race. This will let you pull off more complex moves when driving but can cost you grip and speed.
The controller setups are the normal racing configurations and this game provides an semi-auto box alongside the standard auto and manual. The shame is there are other games out there making better use of this little gizmo.
Additionally you get a button which does the over used spin-around-in-slow-motion camera shot and another whch shows you the next few corners – handy when planning roadblock avoidance!
The car physics are on the money and the handing is great in most – fantastic in others. The big let downs are the most extreme cars – the McLaren F1 and F1 LM – these are just too damn fast and you can find yourself wishing you had chosen something with a bit less kick when trying to weave your way through the trees!
The Pursuit versions of the cars are quicker thanks to the addition of a rather handy nitro boost (R3 button) which blurs your view when you press it. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they can catch your 200+ mph machine.
The cops can be a bugger though since you clock up wanted stars and when you get to the max (four) a helicopter comes and bombs you – this along with various roadblock and stinger tyre bursting traps!
The cops can be a bit heavy handed towards the player and not the AI cars but the same can be said when playing as the cops – the speeders you are chasing can be very hard to stop.
One other little gripe – the difficulty is a bit steep at times and you can find yourself struggling to come 3rd in races – never mind winning them!
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Need For Speed 3 - Hot Persuit 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Rory Kelly © Absolute PlayStation
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