There is on very nice touch in Hot Pursuit 2 that lets you play on the side of the law, you can call in roadblocks and the helicopters whenever you wish. In contract the World Championship mode does not have any police involved at any time. This is just down to racing against you opponents and trying to come first. There are 33 races to take part in just like the Hot Pursuit mode but they are laid out in a family tree like manner and you will have to win a race for unlocking the next one or two.
This may all sound quite hectic and difficult to deal with, but in actual fact Hot Pursuit 2 starts off pretty easy on you. You will start off in the smaller cars like the Lotus Elise or the Vauxhall Speedster, as will your competition and the cops will go easy on you for the most part. As you work your way through the 33 events the competition will gradually get stiffer but never to the point of frustration. The other cars like to mix things up a bit so you can expect to have some not so friendly shunts on your rear bumper. The computer-controller cars are by no means perfect either, you will often see them recovering from a crash with the police or oncoming traffic. Unfortunately you will do that too, especially when you're driving the faster cars. The physics in the game are not realistic but they do serve a purpose. The performance of cars is like those of their real life counterparts but the handling is much more exaggerated. This said you can usually take part in every race without taking your thumb of the gas, well judged and timed use of the handbrake makes cornering a much easier task.
Hot Pursuit 2 has four different driving perspectives, three third person and one first person, all of which relay a decent sense of speed. The car models aren't as detailed as they could have been they lack quite a lot of polygons. The damage does work if you hit a tree or building really hard but you can't really see what has happened to your car as the damage always seems to be at the front end of the car. The tracks seem to have a fuzzy edge to them but its not very noticeable. Otherwise Hot Pursuit 2 for the PC is a pretty good-looking game especially when viewed on higher resolutions. When you scrape walls and barriers sparks bounce off the car and when you flaw the gas pedal you will leave some nice black tyre marks on the road behind you that will stay on the track surface for the duration of the race. If you hit road signs, they will also remain in the track or roadside for the rest of the race. Water on the side of the road will reflect the surroundings very nicely and fogging produced from volcanoes and forest fires looks very convincing. All of this comes at a cost though, occasionally when playing it feels like a couple of frames get missed out not and again when things get busy on the screen. The frame rate itself doesn't seem like its running at full whack at any point either.
Hot Pursuits sound is all pretty good, the engine sounds from the various cars sound noticeable different as do the exhaust notes. The engine noises all seem a little high pitched for some reason. The cops voices are pretty good but there isn't too much dialogue to be heard between the cops and the dispatcher. The sounds track is good and it features a dozen or so licensed songs which are all pretty heavy, this lends to the high-speed nature of the game.
Hot Pursuit 2 for the PC is a very good and enjoyable game. The game play mechanics have been well executed and with loads and loads of different missions, a multiplayer mode and a great selection of fantastic motor cars, Hot Pursuit is worthwhile purchase for anyone interested in an arcade racer.
7 out of 10