Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed Image
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78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Summary: Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed tests your driving skills while you test-drive some of Porsche's most popular cars. In the game, you'll compete in levels that feature twists, turns, and various driving conditions. You can participate in different types of races, including circuit,Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed tests your driving skills while you test-drive some of Porsche's most popular cars. In the game, you'll compete in levels that feature twists, turns, and various driving conditions. You can participate in different types of races, including circuit, streetcar, open road, and more. Survive all the crashes, police, and track challenges to earn prizes and respect. With enough money, you can purchase different custom parts for your vehicle. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. This is the best NFS game to come out in years. We predicted that only having Porsche's would make the game dull but oh did EA prove us wrong.
  2. It almost goes without saying that the game controls impeccably and sounds great (this is Need for Speed, after all), so the excellent variety of play modes and fresh-feeling historically-oriented gameplay should be more than enough to convince you of the title’s worth.
  3. I found the game very deep and rewarding even with just one license. With over 70 cars to choose from, there really is quite a variety in driving styles throughout the different models over the decades.
  4. Porsche 2000's structure, innovation and control deserve a better canvas on which to paint.
  5. A departure from the revival of the series, "NFS: High Stakes," but in no way is it a disappointment.
  6. The in-game menus are terribly slow to load, f’rinstance, and the era-specific theme music in Evolution mode will quickly drive you over the edge.
  7. A forgettable racer with all the depth of a shallow puddle, better suited for a rental than a purchase. It's more a footnote to the Need for Speed series than a chapter in itself.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. LennertK.
    Nov 11, 2005
    10
    Great game with great cars!NFSP rules!
  2. May 18, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I do not have to say anything. But i need to write one hundred and fifty characters. i think my score can describe it................................. Expand
  3. Apr 5, 2014
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.

    Music:

    The music is very good, especially the era-specific tunes you hear according to the time period you drive in.

    Cars:

    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:

    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).
    Expand
  4. Mar 15, 2018
    3
    This is not the same experience as NFS: PU on the PC - Gamespot had it right when they rated the PlayStation version 5.9 and the PC versionThis is not the same experience as NFS: PU on the PC - Gamespot had it right when they rated the PlayStation version 5.9 and the PC version 8.9, though perhaps they were too generous by giving the PlayStation a 5.9 while calling the game "well-intentioned but utterly flawed."

    The experience starts on a high note, presuming you're a Porsche fan pumped to experience your favorite cars, and goes downhill from there.

    Head to Evolution and the real experience starts. You must buy cars and race to win in various tournaments, using the prize money to buy new cars.

    The selection of cars provides an overlook of Porsche cars throughout history. They're pretty presented realistically in the game as far as speed, acceleration, and handling go, which sounds like a positive, but it actually renders the entire selection meaningless, which was a disappointing realization after the initial excitement. Each car has a class and can only apply to races within that class. Cars are also non-upgradeable meaning if you buy a subpar car in that class, you're simply outgunned by the competition with no hope for keeping up. In each class, you simply scroll through the cars and buy the fastest car in the class.

    The progression in Evolution is non-existent. Some races will be easy, others will be hard or impossible. In most races, you will crush the opponents and course records. Since some cars in each class are uncompetitive, there will only be 1-3 cars in a single race that actually stand a chance at keeping up with you. By easy, I mean if you race decently without any practice, the player can often beat the CPU by 30 seconds on a 4-5 minute race and course record by 20-30 seconds. You can even set lap records on the first lap where you start from 0 mph. Ridiculous! And then aggravatingly, in the 'Classic' era 356 tournament, the gold medal is unobtainable. After beating those other races handily, even with the fastest 356 available, the CPU stomps the player by at least 5 seconds even if the player makes no obvious mistakes. The CPU, despite having the same vehicle, is simply faster. Oddly, a second place victory is enough to set the "course record", a contradiction that shows the polish of this mode. There's tournaments where you can earn ~30,000 credits after racing for 15 minutes or so, then there's circuit mode where you can easily beat a single 4 minute race for ~60,000 credits.

    You will be switching between screens a lot here thanks to the poorly designed UI. Not sure if the used car you're about to buy is the best in class? Go back to the Evolution menu, browse the used cars and scroll through to confirm. Then go back to the Evolution menu and go back to the used cars and find the car you were about to buy. Not sure if you've already beat a tournament? Just look next to the tournament before you start - it will show what medal you have. Oh wait, no it doesn't, because that would be a well-designed game. You must go to your trophy cabinet and look in 3-4 menus to check what events you have left to beat.

    Enough with the evolution mode.

    The tracks are decent but boring. Why aren't the tracks the same as on the PC? They're very flat and the turns aren't particularly well designed.

    The graphics are decent but the short draw distance can be annoying at times. You just have to look at the mini-map in the corner - at high speeds, a turn will just pop up out of nowhere, with not enough time to react. The night races are laughable. Your car doesn't have headlights and will race through dark mountain areas. Your eyes will hurt after that course.

    The collision and damage detection are laughable. Crash into a sign that easily breaks off and you'll have a hundred credit repair. Smack a wall and sometimes you'll have no damage. Or, you'll clip into the wall and be stuck permenently. Oops, better hope you weren't in the middle of a tournament you'll need to restart!

    The tuning is there but there is no explanation to what the affect of changing different items does. And annoyingly, you can test cars in your garage, but you aren't given the opportunity to tune them before driving! Meaning the only time you can experiment with tuning is in competitive races. Also, despite the gear ratio changing your acceleration and top speed, this is not reflected in your car's stats displayed directly above the gear ratio.

    I could probably go on, but I'm not going to waste anymore time on this game. Skip this and head to the PC version that is better in just about every way.
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Awards & Rankings

25
38
#38 Most Discussed PS1 Game of 2000
40
#40 Most Shared PS1 Game of 2000