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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Need for Speed 5 review

Need for Speed 5 review
Posted by Julio Franco on May 29, 2000
Company: Electronic Arts     Product: Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed

If you are a racing game fan itís almost impossible you donít know about the Need for Speed series. No doubt of it, NFS is a real classic in the PC, the only other game I can think of that comes close to it would be Test Drive, however in my opinion, Electronic Arts has always made better games for each generation of them.

If you have played previous versions of NFS I guess you know what to expect, but whatís new and special in Porsche Unleashed?

As the name indicates this is a Porsche dedicated game, thatís rightÖ for the bad or for the good, you wonít be able to drive Lamborghini Diabloís or any of the usual exotic cars we are used to see featured in NFS, instead you will get just about every Porsche car that has been released, from the early 50ís models to the actual ones.

With a huge variety of cars to drive with, itís not all bad, even though you only have Porscheís as we have already mentioned and the variations on how a car looks from one year to another sometimes itís not too noticeable, itís of common knowledge that the developers of the game had their own experiences with each one of the models of the cars. With the help and support of Porsche itself, EA has tried to bring a real Porsche experience on NFS5.


As expected PU graphics have been greatly improved, with a new version of the game coming out each year itíd be almost impossible to make something revolutionary in the graphics department but instead we have seen a constant evolution from the first 3D accelerated version of the game to what we have today in Porsche Unleashed.


The models look much better now, with much more horsepower to play with, developers are getting more serious when it comes to car detail, even interiors have been worked out now, you can appreciate more that in the showroom. Another of the improvements would be taking advantage of new videocardsí larger memory capacity for storing more detailed and complex textures that look less blurry and equal to a more realistic overall picture. One of the most impressive things I could see during a race were the waterfalls present in a couple of courses, weather effects have been also improved noticeably.

I played the game with an ASUS GeForce based card and a Voodoo3 3000. With all features turned on, the game looked incredible but I must say speed wasnít exceptional; I still notice how Direct3D performance isnít on par with Glide, the worst thing of all that this is not an API specific related problem but actually itís all about the poor Direct3D implementation most EA games have got.


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