This game feels unfinished, rushed out the door like it was something made by a certain monopoly. Wait, but Electronic Arts is no monopoly. Oh, wait...
Among the features I find missing (in comparison to previous versions (NFS: High Stakes and NFS: Porsche) of the game:
- Day/Night Mode - in High Stakes, 4 looks-simple-enough-to-implement INI files control what the track looks like during the different weather/daylight conditions. This was no longer there in Porsche.
- Lights on the Cars that go on-and-off (other than brakes) - but hey who needs them when it's always sunny and clear* out there. In Porsche, even the blinkers worked.
- In-Cockpit Mode - they tack only the speedometer (ooh but they're modeled just like the original car!) on the see-the-road mode
- Car Damage Simulation - you can hear the windshield crack when you go 160 mph into that tree, the hood is bent a bit, the car starts smoking after too much redlining, but it will still go 200 mph and handles like it's brand new.
- More Varied Tracks - the game features only 4 "environments", and 12 tracks (8 looping, 4 end-to-ends) are just different roads in the recycled environments. The screenshots of the tracks look really nice and detailed on their website, too bad it's not a helicopter simulation!
* Apparently at least one of the tracks do feature fog, but my graphics card is too slow for it.
I suppose they didn't have time to do the new graphics engine properly so that they just removed support for weather and different lighting conditions (from day, night and car lights). Budget shortage probably prevented them from having more than 4 environments as well. Or maybe it's just the limitations of the different platforms (Playstation 2 vs the X(86)box).
Knowing the history of this series, maybe (hopefully) they'll release Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2: Special Edition with all the lacking features.
Crashes? The game runs nice and stable on my Windows 2000 SP3 computer.