Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (also known as Need for Speed: Porsche 2000 in Europe, and Need for Speed: Porsche in Germany and Latin America) is a racing video game, developed by Electronic Arts Canada and published by Electronic Arts, and is a part of the Need for Speed (NFS) series. Unlike other NFS titles, Porsche Unleashed centers around racing Porsche sports cars, with models ranging from 1950 to 2000. The game is noted for its extensive information regarding Porsche and its cars.
Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed was released in 2000 and 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 that span the second half of the 20th century. 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.
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 allows 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 upgrades 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. The types of cars featured during Evolution mode tournaments would change in progression with their classes and eras, gradually switching from older to newer models. 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.
The range of cars featured in Porsche Unleashed consists solely of a majority of Porsches produced between 1948 and 2000, and are all divided into eras (Classic, Golden, and Modern), which are in turn divided into class ranging from 3 (lowest) to 1 (highest), with the additional Race class. Porsche Unleashed begins by offering a scattered selection of a few models across all eras, and requires that the player play both the Evolution mode and Factory Driver mode in order to gain access to more cars. But, the internet sharing selection with modem or IP will let you have a full selection of the cars(except the downloadable content). Purchased cars from Evolution mode would be listed in the main menu's inventory, while cars from Factory Driver (which are simply standard Porsches from different eras with custom paintwork) are awarded to the player when a particular challenge is completed successfully.
Car damage is still prevalent in the game, and allows players the ability to purchased used (and typically damaged) Porsches. The amount of customization and performance tuning has also been greatly expanded from High Stakes, including a large selection of performance parts and several minor exterior styling (racing stripes and bumpers) that can be interchanged between cars of similar construction; these modification features would later rise to prominence (although somewhat simplified) after the release of the Underground series.
Two or more body variants are offered for the many in the 356 and 911 series, ranging from coupés to cabriolets and targa top versions; aside the cosmetic differences, the body styles affect the handling of the car, due to their different degrees of rigidity. The game also includes internally different variants, such as four-wheel drive versions (known as the Carrera 4 series) for later models, which possess better handling than its rear-wheel drive counterparts. Because of this, the number of cars offered is significantly higher (an estimated total of 86 cars) than the fundamental range of models included in the game, although each car may vary in performance.
Despite its comprehensive catalogue of Porsches throughout history, a number of distinct production lines, and a few notable variants, are missing. These include the 356C, 912, 968 and most conspicuously, the 924 and the vast majority of the 928.
Porsche Unleashed includes a partial range of Porsche models that have served primarily as racing cars in real life. These models are categorized in their own class (Racing) in their respective eras, but do not have body or performance variations.
Windows version features 14 tracks in various locales in Europe, ranging from farmland, to forests, to urban areas. Point-to-point routes introduced in The Need for Speed return to form a majority of racing tracks in game, although several tracks based in one location are circuits. Many of the tracks also include extensive shortcuts, alternative routes and open paths. All tracks can be raced in any of the four combinations of forwards/backwards and regular/mirrored; this is only configurable in Quick Race mode. Tracks Include: Cote d'Azur, Schwarzwald, Pyrenees, Alps, Autobahn, Auvergne, Normandie, Zone Industrielle, Corsica and 5 configurations of Monte Carlo. The Playstation version features a different set of tracks, such as French Riviera, Scotland village, fictional desert based on Arizona desert, Tokyo city in Japan, and Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
The Playstation version is basically the same as the PC version, but with a different, wheel-style interface. For Evolution mode, the music and graphics are appropriate for each era (for example, the Classic era contains monochrome pictures and surf music).The PlayStation version also includes the 356 No. 1, 924, 928, 959, 911 Carrera RS (964), 968, and road versions of the 911 GT2 (993) and 911 GT3 (996) which were not present in the PC version. The 935/78 is replaced by the 917K, in the distinctive Gulf Oil paint scheme. There are a fixed set of cars in Quick Race mode (unlike the PC version wherein you will have to buy cars in Evolution mode to unlock them in Quick Race mode in addition to the standard available ones, the only unlockable cars in the PlayStation version are the 917K, 911 GT2, and 911 GT1, these can be acquired by winning races in Factory Driver); and there's a cheat mode wherein you can race any car on any track (e.g. driving a 959 in a classic-era USA home track) and skipping Factory Driver missions and Evolution eras by entering a specific username.
Need for Speed: Top SpeedEdit
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 (which names have been changed to refer to locations in Canada, as the sponsorship of Travel Alberta (Canada) concluded),Template:Fact and three Porsche vehicles: the 911 (996) Turbo, the 959 and the Cayenne Turbo.
Access to Need for Speed: Top Speed was bundled alongside the Windows version of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2.
Notes and referencesEdit
- Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed at MobyGames
- Need for Speed: Top Speed entry at official Top Speed website (access to the game requires registration at Pogo.com)
- IP Lounge
- Low's Download Page
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