STORY / GAMEPLAY
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.
GRAPHICS / SOUND:
The graphics are fine on the Atari ST version, especially the car cockpit is awesome, but limited to 16 colors only. 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. Unfortunately, as also with the Amiga version, 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 ok here, with engine throttles, car crashes, screaming brakes effects and the sound of your bullets striking opposing cars, but not sampled here.