NFS Porsche Is Still One of the Best Games Ever, We Play the Factory Driver Mode

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The moment I heard that we’re doing a Porsche Month on Autoevolution, I just knew I had to go “back in time” and reinstall the game that defined my childhood. After endless hours of trying to install the game on my new gaming laptop, without any luck, I went back to my 2009 unit. Still using a Windows XP operation system, I was now back in business. One double click and a few seconds later, it all feels like being transported to the year 2000. After creating a new profile, I was again greeted by the soundtrack I still love to this day. I still go out on long drives and listen to the Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed-featured songs produced by Rom di Prisco, also known as Morphadron. The graphics may be old, but does that matter? It is a happy talent to know how to playRight off the bat, you can choose between multiple game modes, including Single Player, Factory Driver, and Evolution. At this point, if you want to take things slow and go through the complete Porsche experience, you should probably start with the Evolution mode. But if you’re keen on getting to drive some of the fastest Porsches ever, go straight to Factory Driver. Just make sure you’ve got enough patience to see you through. The factory driver mode used to be the most difficult part of the game for me when I was 11 years old. Now I’m looking forward to the challenge. You’re greeted by Rolf, who hands you the keys to a 1997 Porsche Boxster. And the Weissach Skid Pad is the place where you’ll be proving your abilities for the first time. Going around some cones shouldn’t be that hard, right? The goal time is 27 seconds, and with swift use of the handbrake, I did it in 24. This is the first mission out of a total of 34 challenges! In the Factory Driver mode, you don’t have to worry about buying cars, upgrading them, or doing any kind of post-race repairs. That’s something you’ll have to worry about in the Evolution mode. But you do have to consider that even the slightest damage to your test vehicle can have you fail the ongoing mission, which often time can be quite frustrating.Do not fear failure but rather fear not tryingThe second Porsche employee you get to meet in the game is Dieter Streck. As he welcomes you into the team, you already get a glimpse of the blue 993 Carrera you’re about to drive next. Right after you start the challenge, you’re reminded that the way the cars handle like in this game can be quite challenging, with all that weight in the back. I’m sure that most kids these days would be straight-up annoyed by the handling. The third car you get to drive is the classic 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupe, and you finally get a feel of the “real world” on the Corsica track. This is the kind of machine you’d never want to crash in, as they can go for as much as $800,000 or more on the used car market. Crashing in the game can still cause a headache, but if you’re persistent and careful enough, you’ll soon get the hang of things. I remembered the next mission oh so well: the 360 skidpad test. My younger version struggled with this mission for a while before moving on, at least on my first go. 13.84 seconds later, here I am, thinking that I’ve never actually done a 360 in real life before. I’m pausing this article to look for a suitable, safe location to do that. Things become progressively more interesting, and you’ll be happy to get to drive the 1995 911 Turbo in France.There’s no fear when you’re having funThis is the first delivery mission, and you’ll once again need to avoid scratching the car or getting pulled over by the cops. If you’ve got no prior racing games experience, this mission might have you sitting in front of the computer for hours in a row. At first, everything seems nice and easy, and then you spot the Porsche police car upfront. In what seems to be a rather kamikaze approach, the AI tries to ram you off the road. But if you’re nimble enough, you can avoid it and just go on with the mission. It doesn’t take long for a second unit to show up, but if you just take a shortcut, you can avoid any trouble and have the car delivered with plenty of time to spare. Not to brag or anything, but virtual-Dieter was surprised to see me finishing the mission so quickly. The first Capture the Flag challenge you’ll encounter is going to be a long one: 4 minutes in total! It’s not likely you’ll manage to win this one right off the bat, so expect to spend at least 20 or so minutes on it. That’s just enough time for you to learn the layout and adjust your lines to cross the finish line before you run out of time. At one point, you even get to do a demo for a customer, who’s sitting in the passenger seat of the 1998 996 Carrera 3.4 Coupe, and that’s certainly not something you should try if you’re a real-life car salesman. Advancing through the Factory Driver mode isn’t all that easy, even if you have some prior experience. But you get a sense of reward when completing your first promotion test. After completing the task in less than 59 seconds behind the wheel of a 1989 944 S2 Cabriolet, it’s time to collect your prize. It’s at this point that you get a test driver’s license upgrade and a customized 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupe. Talk about a grand prize! You’ll reach the halfway point of the Factory Driver mode a few challenges later. Expect a Boxster delivery, some snow testing in a 1999 Carrera 4, and another 993 delivery before getting there. It’s at that time that Billy enters the stage, and you can’t help but feel that this kid is going to become quite annoying in the second half of the game, which we’ll cover in a future story!