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    Need For Speed 3

    Reviewed by Falcon

    This is the third game in the Need For Speed series, and is simply outstanding compared to its predecessors. With stunning 3D graphics, superb gameplay, and a vast selection of cars, this game certainly does not disappoint.

    NFS3 includes 16 cars altogether, 3 of which are cop cars. You start off with 11 cars (10 standard cars and 1 cop car) and receive the extra 5 bonus cars (3 standard cars and 2 cop cars) once you have completed the each of the different race types. The Australian version will also include 2 extra cars, the Ford Falcon GT and the Holden HSV GTS. Now we aussies can determine which is better (For all those who don't know, in Australia, the FORD and HOLDEN rivalry goes back many years. Checkout http://www.v8supercar.com if you want to know more). EA has also included an option to download extra cars off their website (excellent idea). There are also 9 tracks to scream around, 8 tracks are available at first, to get the bonus 9th track, you must win the knockout competition.

    The cars that are included in NFS3 are as follows:

    • '98 Indy 500 Pace Car
    • Aston-Martin DB7
    • Chevrolet Corvette
    • El Nino (bonus)
    • Ferrari 355F1 Spider
    • Ferrari 550 Maranello
    • Italdesign Scighera
    • Jaguar Sport XJR-15 (bonus)
    • Jaguar XK8
    • Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition
    • Lamborghini Diablo SV
    • Mercedes CLK-GTR (bonus)
    • Mercedes SL600
    • Pursuit Corvette
    • Pursuit Diablo (bonus)
    • Pursuit El Nino (bonus)
    • Ford Falcon GT AUSTRALIAN VERSION
    • Holden HSV VT GTS AUSTRALIAN VERSION

    The racing modes are similar to Need For Speed 2, with Electronic Arts bringing back single racing, knockout and tournament modes. But to top it off, they have also introduced a 'Hot Pursuit' mode where the player can either 'chase or be chased'. This mode lets the player take control of a car of their choice and race around a track avoiding the cops who will attempt to stop you with almost any force they can get their little gritty hands on, from road blocks, spike strips to ramming you head on. The other side to this mode, is that, players can also select a pursuit cop car that virtually adds another dimension to this mode. Choosing a pursuit car allows the players to become the cop, you must chase, intercept and hopefully arrest the opponents to win the race.

    Another great feature added in this game, includes the ability to drive in different weather conditions and the ability to drive during the day or even night. Depending on weather conditions, the performance of your car may be affected. Everything from rain, snow, and dirt will splash and stick to your windscreen which may affect your visibility and your vehicle's handling. Night driving will be an added bonus for more experience drivers, as one mistake and you will find yourself careering into a wall at breakneck speed.

    The up sides to this game include:

    • A great opening movie.
    • Wide range of cars to choose from. The cars seemed perfectly balanced in their class, they seemed equal. Unlike NFS2 where the Mclaren is way ahead of the rest of the field.
    • The introduction of HOT PURSUIT mode, where players can 'chase or be chased'.
    • Weather conditions and day/night driving.
    • Great car selection menu, where you get to see the car in showroom condition spinning around.
    • Fantastic panoramic photos of the car's interior, not to mention the credits too :)
    • The lighting effects on the cars, particularly at night (dashboard lights up if you go past a light).
    • Graphics are richer and gameplay is much smoother.
    • Ability to download extra cars

    With the release of this near perfect game, there are also a few areas I thought that could have been improved on.

    • The opening movie sequence is outstanding, but what happened to the individual movies for each car?? This is certainly a disappointment as the movies were present for both NFS and NFS2.
    • None of the tracks, allows the cars to reach top speed. Unlike on NFS2's 'Proving Grounds', I found it difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach top speed.
    • Donuts are almost impossible to perform. Donuts are a must for us petrol heads, this have slightly dampened the game's atmosphere. If you do get one cranking though, it looks like you are driving around in a circle, rather than flicking out the tail. The original Need For Speed has the most spectacular donuts you'll ever see, I wish they had incorporated this into NFS3.
    • Crashes are not so spectacular as its predecessors. You can crash into traffic or other obstacles at blistering speed and not even flip your car or even the other car.

    Overall, Need For Speed III is a brilliant game. The atmosphere it creates is excellent, the handling is almost perfect, the cars and tracks are well designed and intelligently paced, and the game modes are well executed.

    -Falcon
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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

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