Need For Speed: Porsche
Need For Speed hits fifth gear
The fifth in the Need For Speed series is all about Porsches, as is evident by the game's full title: Need For Speed: Porsche 2000. You'll notice, as with the last NFS game, Road Challenge, that sequential numbers have ceased to be an issue in the series, which is a shame because apart from just modelling cars from the one manufacturer, this time around there are a number of new features that make it worthy of slapping a big red '5' on the box when the game arrives late next month.
Apart from the usual race modes and a range of cars (from the '48 Roadster to the latest 966 Turbo model) in various shades, Porsche 2000 is taking the venerable Speed series into the land of role-playing. Choosing the Career Mode, you start the game as a Porsche test driver in 1948 and as well as driving new models around a test track, you have to deliver cars from the plant to their new owners. Do well and a promotion to drive ever more valuable and powerful cars to their prospective buyers is yours. Scratch the paintwork however, and it's back to mine-clearing duty among the ruins of Berlin.
To supplement your income, you can buy yourself (in Porsche terms) a banger and go racing at weekends, Gran TUrismo-style. The more races you win, the better the car you can afford to drive. Time doesn't stand still in Porsche 2000 either and as the years roll by, new models of Porsche hit the streets. If you keep delivering cars on time, you'll find you can retain your job well into your frail dotage as the millennium looms ever nearer.
Of course, buying and selling parts, tinkering with spanners, and cop evasion will feature heavily in the game, as will a new 'persistent economy' - making Porsche 2000 sound more like Elite on wheels than the no-brain racer we've come to know and love. However, maybe we should take a closer look at this next issue. Yes, let's.