Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed (also known as Need for Speed: Porsche 2000 in Europe, and Need for Speed: Porsche in Germany and Latin America) is a racing video game, developed by Electronic Arts Canada and published by Electronic Arts, and is a part of the Need for Speed (NFS) series. Unlike other NFS titles, Porsche Unleashed centers around racing Porsche sports cars, with models ranging from 1950 to 2000. The game is noted for its extensive information regarding Porsche and its cars.
Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed was released in 2000 and gives the player the opportunity to race Porsche cars throughout a range of tracks located in Europe. The cars were studied in detail in terms of driving mechanics in order to create a realistic simulation. The premise of the game remains largely the same compared to previous games in the series: driving and racing sports cars. However, the game only offers Porsches. The handling of the cars was improved, and the player can customize their cars drawing from an in-depth catalog of different Porsche-parts that span the second half of the 20th century. Although the game retains the police chases from Hot Pursuit and High Stakes, the feature is relatively minor and is only seen in the Factory Driver mode (see Modes).
In terms of game concept, Porsche Unleashed is often hailed for the unusual effort of focusing on a single car brand, thus allowing greater depth and acting as a platform of information on the Porsche brand. Apart from the vast number of cars and spare parts, the game also features many historical videos and pictures of Porsche vehicles, as well as written information.
As in previous Need for Speed games, Porsche Unleashed includes two standard modes that had been featured in previous Need for Speed games: Quick Race and Multiplayer. The Quick Race mode is increasingly flexible, allowing players to customize and play single player races, by selecting the number of laps and opponents and directly customizing their cars (to a certain extent) as well as toggling a knockout match for circuit-based tracks (where the last racer to complete each lap is eliminated until one remains, winning); the multiplayer mode allows players to join or host races with up to 15 others.
New additions in the game include Evolution and Factory Driver modes, which are essentially career-based modes, each presenting the player with different challenges. Evolution mode is a set of tournaments, wherein the player is required to purchase and upgrades cars to drive for specific races, unlocking them for access in the Quick Race mode (selling them, however, would lock them again); race tracks will also be unlocked through wins. The types of cars featured during Evolution mode tournaments would change in progression with their classes and eras, gradually switching from older to newer models. The second mode, Factory Driver, places the player in the position of a test driver for Porsche, performing various stunts and deliveries in order to advance through the mode and acquire several cosmetically customized Porsches. The Factory Driver mode is reminiscent of Gran Turismo's License Test mode.
Online play is the real strength of PU , where a loyal and very active community flourished. Despite the disconnection of the original EA servers in late 2003 the community continues to thrive through the private development of the IPLounge, together with a scoring system known as Porsche Unleashed Records Lists (PURL), which continues to serve a worldwide racing community.