The moment I saw the cover box art for Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed at Future Shop, I knew I needed to have it.
Ever since The Duel: Test Drive II and the Porsche 959, my favourite sports car manufacturer had been Porsche. And now, a game was staring me right in the face that promised access to the entire catalog of Porsche models all the way from the 1950 Porsche 356 to the latest 911 and Boxster models circa Y2K.
Porsche Unleashed was special not only for its breadth and depth of cars, but also because of its awesome campaign modes: Evolution and Factory Driver. In Evolution, you started out with the 356 and as you won races you were able to upgrade your car and/or purchase new (or used) ones as you moved up the ladder. In Factory Driver, you took the job as a Porsche test driver and were tasked with all sorts of stunts and deliveries in exchange for new special Porsche models.
I loved this game so much, and was so amazed by the graphics and replay features that I would often sit and watch the whole race with my jaw to the ground. I just couldn’t believe how good the cars looked! To express my undying love for this game, I decided to write a passionate story about the game for my university English class – a story that drew quite a few snickers from my fellow students, but one that was also highly praised by my professor for its originality.
To this day, I still think this is the closest a racing game has got to my definition of ‘perfect.’ I would love to see a reprise, or even a Ferrari Unleashed. Or a Porsche vs Ferrari Unleashed. That would be heaven.
Next up: SimBin, GTR, and GT Legends.