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The Need for Speed: Special Edition (Windows)

83
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Written by  :  Steve Hall (322)
Written on  :  Aug 31, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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Summary

A good racing game for the time.

The Good

In its day, it was a great racing game. The graphics were pretty damn fine, the cars looked pretty realistic, although the other traffic cars were nowhere near as well drawn. The handling of the cars was probably not that accurate, but there were subtle differences between them.

The tracks were pretty good, and best of all were the fact that 3 of the 8 tracks were not circuits. Like with its predecessor, Car & Driver, 3 of the tracks were long road sections, split into 3 stages. This was great, because it made it seem like you were actually going somewhere, rather than round and round some unrealistic circuit.

The game was networkable, and featured a racing league you could drive in - a feature still missing from many racing games today. Together with a few friends you could take up the challenge of becoming the top driver, which was actually very difficult. The top computer drivers are very good, and it requires a near superhuman effort to beat them.

The Bad

While undoubtedly a good game, the whole package just didn't quite work for me. There was no damage model in the game at all - you just can't hurt yourself no matter how hard you try. And your car just bounces of these invisible walls set alongside the tracks, which really annoys me. Also, the car control was a little disappointing - the brakes were useless, and you really neede them in some places (hence the hitting the invisible walls.)

The Bottom Line

A good driving game but not a classic. To me a classic is game which is still enjoyable years after it has been superceeded, which this game is not. Still, it has enough good points to be worthy of a place in history.