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Need for Speed 2 is a sequel for 'The Need for Speed', which was based on the same idea as Test Drives few years earlier: Cool sports cars, highway, traffic, police and the dazzling speed. The Need for Speed was not a an arcade game like Screamer or Sega Rally, the controls were more sophisticated and realistic. On the other hand, the idea was 'just to have fun and drive fast', so it wasn't too hard for beginners. The game became a true classic. Therefore Electronic Arts released Need for Speed II in April 1997.

Loads of new features were added in Need for Speed II: New 3D-engine, more realistic handling, arcade mode, interactive music and split screen option to mention few. The SVGA graphics are very beautiful and full of little details. If you have a fast Pentium (P166 or better) you can play NFS2 smoothly with the maximum detail level and for slower computers there are medium- and low detail, as well as interlaced modes included. In interlaced mode only every other line is drawed. Doesn't sound very good, but it looks better than one would believe at first and runs much smoother.

Eight exotic sports cars are included, from Lotus Esprit V8 to McLaren F1 + the secret car. The track selection is comprehensive, from fast Proving Grounds to slow Mystic Peaks, total six plus the bonus track. All tracks are closed tracks, what may be a little disappointment for TNFS fans, but the tracks are so long and varying that you won't be bored very quickly. Although I still miss those segment tracks from TNFS... In some tracks you can drive off road or take a shortcut. Also, no cops in NFS2. :-(

Musics are quite ok, although I rather turn them off while driving just to listen the cool sound effects. New feature in NFS2 is the interactive music, which changes along with your driving. All engine sounds are quite tame, nothing like in TNFS. All other effects, however, are great; you can hear the birds in the canyon, sea near the shore, waterfalls, fountain in the village, wind in the mountains, and so on...

Need for Speed 2 supports multiplayer game through serial cable, modem, IPX or split screen! Some other options in NFS2 include car tuning, two difficulty levels, arcade and simulation modes, stay in car all time, lots of videos and pictures from the cars in NFS2. Overall, Need for Speed 2 is an excellent game and I can recommend it to every racing fan, but take a look at the demo and decide yourself.


  • Graphics
  • Ambient sound effects
  • Possibility to drive with civilian cars
  • Realistic handling and behaviour of the cars
  • Large database with videos and pictures about the cars
  • Stay in car all times
  • Menus look nice
  • Multiplayer functions
  • Closed tracks are well made...

  • ... but I still miss those segment tracks from TNFS
  • Car engine sounds
  • Invisible walls
  • Replay functions
  • No police

System requirements

  • 90MHz Pentium class processor (Intel, Cyrix, AMD)
  • 16 Mb RAM
  • 4x CD-ROM drive
  • DirectX 3 (included on game CD)
  • 1 Mb PCI video card with 65536 colors and DirectDraw 3 support
  • 30 Mb free harddisk space
  • Windows95
  • Keyboard


  • 166MHz Pentium or better
  • 32 Mb RAM
  • 6x CD-ROM drive
  • 2 Mb PCI video card
  • 70 Mb free harddisk space
  • Mouse
  • Joystick, PC gamepad or PC steering wheel
  • Soundblaster 16/32/32AWE

Supported stickware

  • Any analog joystick, steering wheel or gamepad supported by Windows95
  • ThrustMaster T1 and T2
  • CH Products Virtual Pilot
  • CH Pedals
  • CH Products ForceFX
  • Gravis Gamepad/Grips
  • Microsoft Sidewinder
  • Extreme Competition Controls
© 1998 by Ronald Kamp. E-mail:
Need for Speed is a trademark of Electronic Arts, F1 Racing Simulation of Ubisoft.