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Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (Windows)

87
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Steve Hall (322)
Written on  :  Aug 31, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

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Summary

The best Need for Speed yet, and one of the best driving games ever.

The Good

Make no mistake, this game is a masterpiece. The graphics and sounds are simply stunning. The sceneary and the cars look perfect, as real as you're going to get on a PC these days. The handling of the cars is excellent, and each car is subtley different form the next. The controls are stunning, and with a decent wheel (force-feedback preferably) this game drives better than anything else out there. For the first time in a driving game, you really feel that you're behind the wheel of a fast car.

The game has two modes. The test driver mode gives you a chance to test drive a variety of Porche's on your way to becoming chief test driver, and there are some brilliant missions to undertake, like "deliver this car to the docks in 3 minutes, and don't damage it!", or the truly excellent "take this guy out for a drive and scare the crap out of him!"

The main game is very well thought, racing Porches through the ages. You start in 1950 (the classic era) with a few bucks in your pocket. Buy yourself an old 356, and enter the first race. Do well in that race and you'll earn money which you can use to repair and upgrade your car. As you progress you can buy other cars to drive in the later races. At the end of an age, you get the chance to win a special edition Porsche. For example, at the end of the classic era, you get several laps of Monaco in a 550 Spyder - win the race and you win the car.

The Bad

There's not much wrong with this game. It does need a pretty beefy PC to play. On my 500MHz system if I use the wheel, I have to turn off the rear-view mirror or it just gets way too jerky. Racing with the keyboard is OK, but the wheel is just so damn good.

The Bottom Line

Personally, I don't like Porsches. When I first heard of this game I grumbled and complained about it as only a Yorkshireman can. But I put aside my prejudices, and have not looked back. If you don't have this game, get it. If you don't have a wheel, get one. Put to two together, and you have perfection. Trust me.

This is without doubt, the finest arcade racer there is, bar none. It's not a simulation, so I don't have to compare it with Geoff Crammond's games, and I'm glad about that. I'd be afraid it might win.