Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed PlayStation
Awards & Rankings
#40 Most Discussed PS1 Game of 2000
#31 Most Shared PS1 Game of 2000
Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings
Apr 5, 2014This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. After 14 years, this game has aged well in certain aspects and some areas have not.
PROS: Evolution Mode:
The Evolution Mode is the biggest chunk of the game's features. It takes you through a career mode that is unlike any other racing game I have seen. Aside from progressing through races, unlocking new cars, and tracks, the game changes it's music, menus, and the actual environments through the eras from the 1950s to the early 2000s. I find it really neat to play many of the courses through the different eras and see the changes that appear through time along with the cars just like real-world progression.
The music is very good, especially the era-specific tunes you hear according to the time period you drive in.
The Porsche selection in this game is phenomenal. All the cars through the entire history of Porsche up to 2000 is here. The car details look good for a PS1 game, but they look a little flat and wide, but this car appearance is common on many PS1 racing titles due to hardware limits.
CONS: Very questionable design choices:
This game has a good selection of quick races, factory driver mode, and the evolution mode discussed earlier, but there are many design choices within these game modes that limits what you can do.
For example, my favorite game mode in the last 2 NFS titles was Hot Pursuit mode. In this game, Chase Mode is a very watered-down Hot Pursuit mode. It's watered-down because it is simply outrunning 1 police car in a section of open world. This maybe fun at first, but it gets tiring very quickly. The open roads consists of no AI traffic, AI racers, or anything else the last two games had. Just simply outrun the police car and don't get tagged as it is literally a game of tag. If the police car touches you, you lose. Also an important graphics note is the police cars only sound their sirens with no flashing lights and no yelling at you to pull over (like they did in the last 2 NFSs). You can't choose the time of day, weather, or traffic levels either like the last 2 games.
Now that the chase mode is explained, let me explain the "try car" mode that is hidden very deep in the Evolution Mode. "Try car" mode is the option to test drive any of your cars you buy in your career. When you test drive the car, you are thrown into an open world to roam and often escape the police. Everything sounds the same as chase mode, except there is AI traffic, the police cars have flashing lights and yell at you to pull over. Also, unlike the tagging in chase mode, the police car needs to hit you pretty hard to catch you, and the police hide and sneak-up on you just like the previous NFS titles. Still can't choose time of day or other options (sigh). Obviously hardware limitations are not an issue for why chase mode and other race modes are missing so many elements. Why is such an unimportant game mode have everything in it that NFS is known for?
The "try car" mode has a lot of the thrilling features NFS is known for, but is sadly tossed into such a small bit of the actual game that has no benefit to any of the main events or quick race modes. Outrunning the police and dodging traffic will come to a high cost in your career's bank to fix you cars because YOU WILL CRASH A LOT in this game because of the physicals (See below).
The physics in this game are AWFUL! If you come close to the walls, your car will stick to the walls and grind you to a halt. It feels as if your car is a piece of metal and the walls are magnets pulling you in. The collision detection is the worst I have ever seen in a racing game. If you go full speed into a wall, your car will literally fly halfway through it before detecting the collision. The collisions result in bouncing backwards or literally lodging your car half-way through the wall. It's not realistic in any forms.
The car sounds:
The cars have decent tire screeching noises, and some of the engine sounds are "ok", but not enough variety between cars, just sounds like recordings of generic Porsche engines slapped in each car.
Courses lacking choices/ variety:
The courses in this game are divided-up by regions/ countries. There is a mixture of courses and free roaming areas (Depending on the game mode) that you can race in, however, there is no choices on how you want to play them. Some course are day/night, but there is no weather, traffic or police AI options.
The free roam areas are very small as well. Most of the worlds are decent-sized, but are broken-up into sections that are game-mode specific. Hardware is not an issue as there are other PS1 titles out there with bigger worlds to explore. The worlds look good, but some areas have the ugly "pop-up" effect in PS1 games that the past NFS games did not have.
In conclusion, NFS: PU has aged decently over the years, but this game was clearly a detour in the series and is not a proper sequel to the prior 2 NFS games.
Score 6 (3 for the Porsches, 3 for Evolution Mode).… Full Review »
LennertK.Nov 11, 2005Great game with great cars!NFSP rules!