Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed
|Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed|
|Developer(s)||Eden Studios (PS)
EA Canada (PC)
|Publisher(s)||PlayStation & Microsoft Windows
Game Boy Advance
|Series||Need for Speed|
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, released as Need for Speed: Porsche 2000 in Europe, and Need for Speed: Porsche in Germany and Latin America, is a racing video game released in 2000. It is the fifth installment in the Need for Speed series. Unlike other NFS titles, Porsche Unleashed centers on racing Porsche sports cars, with models ranging from 1950 to 2000. The game is noted for its extensive information regarding Porsche and its cars. Unlike the previous four Need for Speed games, Porsche Unleashed was not released in Japan.
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed gives the player the opportunity to race Porsche cars throughout a range of tracks located in Europe. The cars were studied in detail in terms of driving mechanics in order to create a realistic simulation. The premise of the game remains largely the same compared to previous games in the series: driving and racing sports cars. However, the game only offers Porsches. The handling of the cars was improved, and the player can customize their cars drawing from an in-depth catalog of different Porsche-parts. Although the game retains the police chases from Hot Pursuit and High Stakes, the feature is relatively minor and is only seen in the Factory Driver mode (see Modes).
In terms of game concept, Porsche Unleashed is often hailed for the unusual effort of focusing on a single car brand, thus allowing greater depth and acting as a platform of information on the Porsche brand. Apart from the vast number of cars and spare parts, the game also features many historical videos and pictures of Porsche vehicles, as well as written information.
Single player and Multiplayer
Players can create custom races, alter the difficulty level, change the number of opponents (up to seven or three on the PlayStation version), the cars the opponents are driving, traffic density, and driving direction in a similar style as Need for Speed: High Stakes.
- Quick Race - Players can drive in standard races at a location of their choice.
- Time Battle
- Capture the Flag
- Knockout - The driver in last position is eliminated after each event until there is only one driver remaining.
Players can participate in Multiplayer modes across the Internet, LAN, or peer to peer (modem or IP) games.
Factory Driver puts players in the role of official Porsche test drivers. Players are given various simple tasks such as performing 360 degree spins before being able to sign with Porsche. Players will need to deliver cars and take part in races after being signed on to Porsche. They also need to beat challenges from other test drivers, such as slaloms through parts of tracks, or test cars from the team's mechanic. The Factory Driver in the PC version greatly differs from the PS1 version.
In the Evolution mode players purchase and race cars in a series of tournaments and club meeting events. Each is divided into three eras: Classic Era, Golden Era, and Modern Era. Players start from the introduction of the Porsche 356 1100 to the debut of the Porsche 911 Turbo (996). Most tournaments differ in difficulty level, the fee for entry, and the number of tracks and course types.
As in previous Need for Speed games, Porsche Unleashed includes two standard modes that had been featured in previous Need for Speed games: Quick Race and Multiplayer. The Quick Race mode is increasingly flexible, allowing players to customize and play single player races, by selecting the number of laps and opponents and directly customizing their cars (to a certain extent) as well as toggling a knockout match for circuit-based tracks (where the last racer to complete each lap is eliminated until one remains, winning); the multiplayer mode allowed players to join or host races with up to 15 others.
New additions in the game include Evolution and Factory Driver modes, which are essentially career-based modes, each presenting the player with different challenges. Evolution mode is a set of tournaments, wherein the player is required to purchase and upgrade cars to drive for specific races, unlocking them for access in the Quick Race mode (selling them, however, would lock them again); race tracks will also be unlocked through wins. As the player wins in tournaments, the time goes by and the new cars appear. The second mode, Factory Driver, places the player in the position of a test driver for Porsche, performing various stunts and deliveries in order to advance through the mode and acquire several cosmetically customized Porsches.
Online play is the real strength of PU, where a loyal and very active community flourished. Despite the disconnection of the original EA servers in late 2003 the community continues to thrive through the private development of the IPLounge, together with a scoring system known as Porsche Unleashed Records Lists (PURL), which continues to serve a worldwide racing community.
This game features many different tracks, all set in Europe such as Corsica, Autobahn, Côte d'Azur and Schwarzwald. At the beginning of the game, four locations are available: Côte d'Azur, a Monte Carlo circuit, Normandie and the Pyrénées. Players unlock more tracks as they progress in the Evolution mode.
The PS1 version contains different title/cars/music and different tracks. None of the tracks are the same between PC/PS1, with different locations, and names. It is likely that a completely different game engine was used.
Need for Speed: Top Speed
An additional online-only conversion of Porsche Unleashed, dubbed Need for Speed: Top Speed, was released in response to both the release of MacGillivray Freeman's 2002 IMAX film, Top Speed, and the Porsche Cayenne. The game features three existing tracks from Porsche Unleashed and three Porsche vehicles: the 911 (996) Turbo, the 959 and the Cayenne Turbo.
40 Jahre 911 Bundle
The 40 Jahre 911 Bundle was released on November 13, 2003 and was only available in Germany. It was a special 40th anniversary edition for the Porsche 911.
The CD box is packed in a unique metal box with the game itself patched to version 3.4. Also included is the official soundtrack of Need for Speed: Porsche although no additional game features were included.
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed received mixed to positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Microsoft Windows version 84.36%, the PlayStation version 74.50% and 78/100 and the Game Boy Advance version 59.25% and 62/100 In the UK, Official UK PlayStation Magazine gave the PS version eight out of ten and liked its structure, but said that many of the 70 cars were indistinguishable, and criticised the lifespan. They described the handling as "arcadey", and warned people who didn't like Porsches to "steer well clear".
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