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The fourth release of the popular racing game introduces various new classes of gameplay: High Stakes, Getaway and Career. High Stakes is a racing mode in which the reward is the defeated player's car. Getaway requires the player to outrun a pursuing police vehicle for a given time period. Career mode incorporates a monetary reward system that allows a player to purchase vehicles and performance upgrades while earning cash by racing in a chronological set of tournaments. It is also the last game in the Need for Speed series for PC to feature a split-screen two player mode. Moroever, this version presents damage models. These are vehicles which have been involved in accidents featured visibly crushed car bodies and suffered from performance penalties. After a race in Career mode, the player can purchase repairs. The mode also allows players, for the first time, to upgrade cars. The 4.5 patch for Need For Speed High Stakes is for integration with EA Racing's new NPS2 gaming servers for High Stakes, among other things.
- Good integration