New in Midnight Club II are the presence of the police and the ability to drive a motorcycle. Much of the game consists of cruising around three large and well rendered cities: Paris, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, following a red dot on a map. The dot is a rival racer; once you track and chase them down, you flash your high beams and then you can race them. It's a clever way of giving you a warm up, keeping you immersed in the game, and best of all, teaching you the layout of each city.
Racing is fun, fast, and furious. This isn't a simulation, it's an arcade-style racer--but the physics system is internally consistent so it feels more realistic than it actually is. Rockstar has put a premium on keeping you in control, keeping the thrill-factor high, and giving you a heart-stopping sense of speed. The graphics are fantastic and the cities are incredibly detailed. As a counter-point, the voice acting is just plain awful.
Midnight Club II offers a wide range of game modes, ensuring it will be playable for a long time to come: career, mission, and a mode that lets you just jump into a race. Multiplayer is possible in hot seat mode. All of this makes Midnight Club II a great addition to any video game racing fan's library. --Bob Andrews