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Released in 1995, Need for Speed is a pioneer of racecar games that combines simple but fast paced arcade style gameplay with a choice of realistically simulated sports cars. Players race against computer-controlled cars on eight tracks using machines like the Dodge Viper, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche 911, Corvette, Mazda RX7, Toyota Supra Turbo, and Acura NSX.
Five of the tracks are closed circuit speedways, with all other cars computer-controlled. The other three tracks are open road courses, complete with oncoming traffic to weave through and police cars to outrun. Full motion video showcases exhibits of the various sports cars.
Performance-wise, each sports car reflects realistic attributes like top speed, acceleration, and handling characteristics. Dashboard panels and engine sounds are modeled realistically to emulate real world counterparts. The experience of driving the cars in the game, especially on a PC equipped with a steering wheel and pedals, is the next best thing to driving them in real life.
Even with the impressive showroom of sports cars, the primary focus is the simple, fast, and exciting arcade-style gameplay found in popular games like Out Run. Need for Speed will appeal to any car enthusiast looking for realistic modeling of world class sports cars, while those seeking the thrill of driving fast and dangerously without the risk need to buckle up for the ride. ~ Kyle Knight, All Game Guide