Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2

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Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
NFSHP2 PC.jpg Cover art featuring a Lamborghini Murciélago
Developer(s) EA Black Box (PS2)
EA Seattle (GC, Xbox & PC)
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Series Need for Speed
Engine EAGL[1]
Platform(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) GameCube, PlayStation 2 & Xbox
NA September 30, 2002 (GC)

NA 20021002October 2, 2002
EU 20021025October 25, 2002

AUS 2002 (GC)
Microsoft Windows
  • NA October 21, 2002
  • EU November 8, 2002
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 is a 2002 racing video game, serving as the debut Need for Speed title from EA Black Box,[2] and the first Need for Speed game for the sixth generation of consoles. It is the sixth installment in the Need for Speed series and is the sequel to the 1998 racing game Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. It is also the last Need for Speed game of the series' first era, as the following game would reboot the series to focus on the tuner culture. In 2002, the game was awarded "Console Racing Game of the Year"[3] at the 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. Like Porsche Unleashed before it, Hot Pursuit 2 was not released in Japan. This is also the first game in the series not to have a cockpit view in the cars, (with the exception of the PlayStation 2 version, which does have a cockpit view, but its only available in the final stages of Championship and Ultimate Racer).[4]


The player in pursuit of a speeder, having called for backup in the form of an additional police unit.

Hot Pursuit 2 draws primarily from the gameplay and style of Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit; its emphasis was on evading the police and over-the-top courses featuring lengthy shortcuts.

As with the original, the player also has the option to play as a police officer trying to arrest speeders. To do so the player rams the speeding vehicle multiple times to disable it. The player must turn on their lights and sirens while in pursuit, and they automatically turn off after arresting the suspect. Police can call for a barricade, additional units, "Unit 9" in broadcasting assistance (PS2 Only), spike strips, and request help from a helicopter to assist in chasing the target vehicle. At the end, the player is awarded for the cars busted. In the PlayStation 2 version this mode is called You're the Cop mode while in the PC, Gamecube, and Xbox versions it's Be the Cop mode.

NFS Edition cars are also in this game, the cars are the same as you see above, the cars are just slightly modified. However, in the PS2 version, the BMW cars didn't get their corresponding NFS Edition remakes. This was because of a licensing policy by BMW that restricted unauthorized vehicular modifications. Also in the PS2 version, The Ferrari 360 Spider didn't get its corresponding NFS Edition remake as well due to the Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge as an alternative and that car is a PS2 exclusive whereas it was not available on the other versions, instead, they had the NFS edition 360 Spider.

Races take place in four environments which differ in atmosphere, with a handful of courses per environment. The different courses in an environment are formed by different roads being connected or separated by road blocks. A fictional tropical island, reminiscent of Hawaii, is the most varied environment; the track traverses a city, volcano, waterfall, beach, forest, and two villages. The coastal forest environment, reminiscent of the Washington coast because of its forest and nature, sometimes has foggy weather, but this does not effectively limit visibility during races. The Mediterranean coast which resembles Greece because of the stadium and a building which resembles Parthenon and so-called Alpine environments that resemble Alaska are more homogeneous, with little variation except the occasional short cut. The PS2 version also contains a Desert environment that bares resemblance to Thunder Mesa that sometimes has thunder storms. Compared to the original Hot Pursuit, which features weather and day/night variation independent of track, and widely varying environments from snowy mountains over cities to desert, Hot Pursuit 2 courses have significantly less variation.

Hot Pursuit 2 is also the first in the series to lack an in-car view that was available in preceding Need for Speed titles. There is only a "driver's perspective" view available, without a visible dashboard.

Race types[edit]

All types of modes can only have a certain class of cars to be used. Faster cars are used near the end of the "Championship" and "Ultimate Racer" modes. Delivery is a timed point-to-point dash, with the police in pursuit. This is similar to the delivery mission in Porsche Unleashed while the police pursuit makes it more challenging. Sprint is a point to point race where competitors try to get from one end to the other before their opponent. Time Trial gives players three laps on a level with the goal being to beat the required time to get the gold/silver/bronze medal. Lap Knockout eliminates the last racer in each lap until one player remains the victor. Knockout follows a similar principle, but eliminations are made to the last racer at the end of each race. Several other modes, such as Tournament, Single Race, and Championship/Ultimate Racer are also available.


As with other games in the Need for Speed series, Hot Pursuit 2 features real world cars, including the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR (pictured).

Different versions of the game were produced for each game platform; the Xbox, GameCube and PC versions were developed in EA Seattle, a subsidiary of EA Canada, while the PS2 version was developed by EA Black Box[2] in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Also, it did not feature a career mode allowing car personalization. Instead, there is a point system where cars are purchased from winning races. Points are determined by laps led and finishing position. In the "Championship" and "Hot Pursuit" trees, extra points are awarded if a medal is won, decided by the requirements. For example, a sprint (see section below) would give 5000 points if awarded the gold, 4000 for silver, and 2500 for bronze, etc. Points would give types of tracks to race on, cars, police cars, etc. If the tree is completed, extra bonus races are unlocked. These races include the hardest AI and the hardest courses. For the multiplayer mode of the PC version, players can host a game server for LAN or internet based playing. In addition to this, the GameSpy internet matchmaking system can be used to publish and locate such servers.


Hot Pursuit 2 is the first Need for Speed game to feature licensed rock music under the EA Trax label ("EA GamesTM Trax" at the time of game launch) along with techno music composed by contract artists. The game's soundtrack consists of eight vocal rock songs and seven instrumental rock and electronic songs, all fast-paced with elements of grunge, hip-hop and rap. The vocal songs are also featured in a second, instrumental version. In the "Be the Cop" and "Hot Pursuit" game modes, the instrumental versions replace the vocal ones, which avoids obscuring the police radio messages by the song lyrics. In the PS2 version, there is the option to change whether or not certain songs are played in normal races, hot pursuit races, the game menus, or if they are not to be played at all. The Xbox version also allows for custom soundtracks to put in such as 80s music like Tears for Fears, something which Hot Pursuit 2's successors lacked.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (In-Game Music)
No. Title Music Length
1. "The People That We Love"   Bush 3:29
2. "Ordinary"   The Buzzhorn 3:09
3. "Wall of Shame"   Course of Nature 4:08
4. "Fever for the Flava[Note 1]"   Hot Action Cop 4:05
5. "Goin' Down on It[Note 1]"   Hot Action Cop 4:52
6. "Build Your Cages"   Pulse Ultra 3:55
7. "One Little Victory"   Rush 5:08
8. "Keep It Comin"   Uncle Kracker 3:23
9. "Bundle of Clang"   Matt Ragan 3:04
10. "Cone of Silence"   Matt Ragan 3:00
11. "Flam Dance"   Matt Ragan 3:00
12. "Cykloid"   Rom Di Prisco 4:12
13. "Black Hole"   The Humble Brothers 3:05
14. "Brake Stand"   The Humble Brothers 2:54
15. "Sphere"   The Humble Brothers 5:01
  1. ^ a b Lyrics edited to replace explicit content with car-themed lyrics


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS2) 88.01%[6]
(Xbox) 80.04%[7]
(PC) 72.77%[8]
(GC) 72.05%[9]
Metacritic (PS2) 89/100[10]
(Xbox) 75/100[11]
(PC) 73/100[12]
(GC) 68/100[13]
Review scores
Publication Score
Game Revolution A-[14]
GameSpot 8.5/10[15]
GameSpy 4.5/5 stars[16]
IGN 9/10[17]

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 was met with positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 88.01% and 89/100,[6][10] the Xbox version 80.04% and 75/100,[7][11] the PC version 72.77% and 73/100[8][12] and the GameCube version 72.05% and 68/100.[9][13] Amer Ajami of GameSpot stated that "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit II is easily one of the best games in the series."[15] GameSpy praised the sensation of speed and tight controls, but went on to criticize repetitive mission objectives.[16] IGN's David Smith praised the PS2 version, saying "Hot Pursuit 2 has its finger right on the pulse of what makes an arcade racer fun."[17]


The game is regarded as one of the best Need for Speed games in the franchise. After the release of Hot Pursuit 2, the series got its first reboot with Need for Speed: Underground in 2003. The rebooting of the franchise meant shifts from Semi-Simulation racing, scenic drives and exotic cars to arcade racing, illegal street racing and a majority of tuner cars.

At EA's conference for E3 2010, it was announced and shown that a new Need for Speed, aptly called Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, was unveiled. It was developed by Criterion Games, the developers who created the award-winning Burnout franchise. The game was released on November 16, 2010 in North America, and on November 19, 2010 in Europe.


  1. ^ "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 - Credits". Allgame. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  2. ^ a b "Electronic Arts: Black Box - Products". Retrieved 2009-07-29. [dead link]
  3. ^ "6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards". Retrieved 2009-07-29. [dead link] 's,s,s,[dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (PS2)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  6. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (Xbox)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  7. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (PC)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  8. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (GC)". GameRankings. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  9. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (PS2)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  10. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (Xbox)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  11. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (PC)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  12. ^ a b "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (GC)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  13. ^ AA_White (2002-10-01). "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 review". Game Revolution. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  14. ^ a b Ajami, Amer (2002-10-07). "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-07-20. [dead link]
  15. ^ a b Shatterfield, Shane (2002-11-01). "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 review". GameSpy. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  16. ^ a b Smith, David (2002-10-03). "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 

External links[edit]