This game is all about arcade-style racing, where car-handling properties are wildly exaggerated, and physics are more like loose suggestions, rather than strict laws. Nonetheless, like all of the previous games in this series, Hot Pursuit II has a number of highly coveted car licenses from American and European manufacturers like Lotus, Lamborghini, Dodge, Chevy, BMW, Mercedes, and the two most prestigious car makers, Ferrari and Porsche. As its name implies, Hot Pursuit II largely focuses on the art of outrunning the law. Actually, Hot Pursuit II is like two games in one. Unlike other racing games, this one has two equally large championship modes, only one of which involves the police. Called "hot pursuit," this career mode is composed of 33 individual racing events that force you to beat a number of opponents, while contending with the police, through a handful of different race types. In contrast, World Championship mode is laid out in a branching manner, and in this mode, you're required to successfully finish one race before unlocking the next. As you'd expect, your opponents will get tougher, your goals harder to achieve, and the police less forgiving as you progress through this tree. The police will come after you if you break the speed limit, and since you must cross the finish line before your opponents do, you'll be breaking that limit constantly. At first, the cops will just send a couple of Crown Victorias after you, but if you refuse to pull over, they'll pull out all the stops to bust you. Much like in Grand Theft Auto III, the number of cops that are thrown at you is measured by the number of stars in the center of the screen. When this meter is full, the police will place barricades and spike strips on the roads, they'll chase you with faster cars, and they'll even call in a helicopter that drops, of all things, explosive barrels in front of you.