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Game info

Highway Patrol II

Highway Patrol II
GenreAction Strategy
Reviewed byndial
You're in hot pursuit. It's the ultimate chase as you take your turbocharged squad car onto the desert roads and beyond to catch the fastest desperadoes on four wheels. Highway Patrol II was a nicely polished high speed pseudo-3D action-driving simulator, with pretty good graphics and sound but lacking of innovation and durability due to its repetitive gameplay. The game was released only on the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and PC (DOS) computers. Worth a blast, but with smoother scrolling and perhaps an in-game map it would be worth buying back then.
Comfortably seated at the HQ office in Arizona (US), you consult your file to choose the criminal to arrive. Some of them are ace drivers, others are sober brutes. The first level will oppose you to criminals who are not too violent, and will stop their vehicle as soon as you are behind them and they hear your siren. The higher the level, the hardest to make them comply to your calls. Finally, to get the highest bonus you will have to face a real killer who will not hesitate to open fire, and the only way to stop him, will be to do the same but aiming at the tires. Also, several events will take place throughout your mission, such as flat tires, gas breakdowns, engine overheating, collision accidents. In case of a flat tire, you have only one spare tire. However, when you pass by a gas station, you will have the possibility (if not looted already) to repair and to fill up with gas. Once you find a criminal in your way, you can press S to switch on your siren, or even press T to pull out your gun and shoot at the tires.
Gameplay is rather tricky though. This is mainly because, in order to find a criminal car, you must locate it based to the coordinates (depicted at the top left) in relation to the coordinates of the suspect car. The map of the landscape is huge and full of lots of little interconnected roads, so constant monitoring of the supplied map is a necessity and you have to keep track of where you are. But if you manage to master this way of gameplay offered in Highway Patrol II, then everything will become easier.

The graphics are pretty on the Amiga version, especially the car cockpit is awesome. The camera sets you inside the car's dashboard (which is greatly detailed and feels like a sports car)! All car indicators are presented in a realistic animated way, even steering the wheel with the driver’s hands look great! The interior though, doesn’t have this digitized feeling as with the Test Drive series, rather than a cell-shaded approach, but still look gorgeous. Backgrounds are nicely drawn, with lovely graduated horizon gives a wonderful feeling of distance, but unfortunately, there's only the same landscapes to see over and over again (which is getting really boring), while scrolling feels terribly jerky due to low frame-rates considering the limitations of the 68000 CPU to move such pseudo-3D graphics, which apparently makes handling a real pain most of the time.
The game's sound is fully sampled with real car engine, car crashes, screaming brakes effects and the sound of your bullets striking opposing cars, all sampled here. It’s funny in the Amiga version though, the police siren sample sounds more like an old-school French police siren rather than someone chasing criminals in Arizona!
  • Highway Patrol II
  • Highway Patrol II
  • Highway Patrol II
  • Highway Patrol II
  • Highway Patrol II
  • Highway Patrol II
Comparable platforms

61 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

28 colors
Atari ST

16 colors
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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