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Need for Speed: High Stakes - Review (2)
Electronic Arts has implemented enough new things to let the game differ from NFS3. There are several new game modes. The one that you probably will catch most interest is the carreer mode. You can compare it to the quite similar mode in Gran Turismo. You have to race for money, so that you can buy faster cars or upgrade/tune you present car. But, NFS: HS takes this a bit further than Gran Turismo, since you have to repair damage. Besides, you can upgrade your car in 3 steps with spoiler-sets, lower suspension, wider tires, different rims, etc. Last to mention about the carreer mode is that you can also play High Stakes races. You've got to race against a computer oppenent and when you win, you'll be awarded with his car. But, as you might have expected, he gets your car if you lose! The carreer mode is a great addition and it will keep you busy for quite some time!
The Hot Pursuit mode, in which you can be chased by a cop or chase speeders as a cop, has been expanded: it's even more fun now. The other game modes, Single Player, Tournament and Knockout are still available too, so NFS: HS offers plenty of variation and offers a lot of fun.

Car physics
Since the original Need for Speed the controls of the cars have changed a lot. And I doubt if Electronic Arts has gone in the right direction regarding the car physics. Ok, NFS: HS is fun to drive, but the car physics lack realism. You can drive almost all tracks without touching the brake pedal, you can just slide through the corners. In my view, and I know I'm not the only one who think that, EA should have included a simulation mode with more realistic controls. NFS: HS' car physics are just too arcade-like. Well, a game can't be perfect, so this leaves something for EA to improve in the next version of Need for Speed.

Multiplayer can be played over TCP/IP, LAN, direct-link, over the internet with EA's Online Racing Program and in split-screen. Playing Hot Pursuit with/against some friends is very enjoying and works well with TCP/IP if you have a good internet connection EA's Online Racing Program is only in beta stage, if you want to play it, you'd better make sure you have got a very fast connection. But since TCP/IP works well, I don't think it matters that much...

Overall, Need for Speed: High Stakes earns a place between the best race games till so far. EA has made a great looking, detailed and polished game with only thing that lacks: realistic car physics.

            Graphics: 8.5
              Sound:         8.2
                  Originality:   8.3
                        Gameplay: 8.0

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