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Gainward GeForce PowerPack! Ultra/650-8X XP “Golden Sample” - Page 1 Of 17

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2: Performance

Yet another EA game. Over the past two years or so I have noticed heavy system requirements (regardless what the minimum system requirements are) on most games that come out of this company. Of course I wouldn't question this if the graphics were really amazing. Not really the case here. EA loves to "milk-out" every title possible: NFS, FIFA, NHL, NFL, NBA, The Sims, now Baseball, you name it. Every year they refresh and hype their titles like it's a brand new game. The crazy thing is people still buy those games and have stacks of them on their shelves. This is my second Need For Speed series, the first one was the original NFS. What I'm trying to say is don't get fooled by those Press people at EA trying to ram those games down your throats. Usually the refresh titles don't bring much to the table. Few graphical improvements and new maps / levels. Anyone can live with it (I hope).

A little rant on my part, but let's get back to NFS HP2.

Features:

  • Over 20 coveted exotics, fully licensed and rendered in awesome PlayStation 2 detail
  • Multiple game modes including Challenge, Hot Pursuit, and Championship
  • Dynamic lighting effects, true reflections, and animated drivers bring the cars and tracks to life
  • Detailed environments bring to life real-world elements such as rain, blowing leaves, sun beams, and dust storms
  • Edge-of-your-seat driving as you dodge traffic, race neck-and-neck with other exotics, and elude police at breakneck speeds upwards of 200 mph.
  • Open world environment gives way to off-road adventures and shortcuts
  • 60 different racing events -- Emerge victorious to become the Champion Road Racer
  • Reap rewards for winning events -- Upgraded cars, new driving courses, and more
  • Two player split-screen action

Are you wondering why is one of the 'features' highlighted? There aren't really 60 distinguishable maps. There are maybe 8-10 (at most) maps which are then reproduced (mirrored) giving you different starting points. It's really boring believe me. I don't know how they got away with calling it "different". How silly, but I will leave it right here.

P4: 1.6A @ 2.39GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward Ti4600
AMD: Athlon XP 1900+ @ 1.6GHz / 512MB PC2100 / Stock Gainward Ti4200

Overall performance wasn't so bad. I wasn't very impressed by the "new looks" of the game. I prefer the original NFS title. During this benchmarking session, you will notice how poorly P4 system performed (last two benchmarks: 1024x768 and 1280x1024) compared to a lower clocked AMD box. In the first benchmark you can clearly see that the Ti4600 has some advantage over our Ti4200. Weirdly enough at 1024x768 resolution our card scored higher than at 800x600. Despite the score of 51 the game was very choppy. This problem was reproduced few times. The performance at that resolution was simply poor. Don't worry about this too much as it was happening only without AA / AF turned on. I encountered some slowdowns when 2X AA was applied. Wasn't anything I would be concerned with but in few instances the FPS counter dropped down to 25 (at 1024x768). Interestingly enough when I turned on Anisotropic filtering (2X) the performance hit wasn't very noticeable (at least for 800x600 which scored higher and 1024x768). Later on we will conduct some image quality tests between various AF modes.

I'm no near bashing the game or EA for that matter. NFS HP2 isn't anything spectacular, though it was fun playing it for a while. The ultimate mode would have to be 1024x768 2X AA No AF. One thing worth mentioning, when settings were set to high the game crawled like a turtle, so beware.


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Last Updated on April 12, 2003

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