For a similarly named race type, see High Stakes (Game Mode).
| March 1st, 1999|
March 30th, 1999
June 17th, 1999
Need for Speed: High Stakes is the 4th game in the Need for Speed series. In Brazil and Europe it is known as Need for Speed: Road Challenge, in Germany it is marketed as Need for Speed: Brennender Asphalt, in Japan its known as Over Drivin' IV and in France Conduite en état de liberté.
The game was first released for the PlayStation 1 on March 24, 1999 with the PC edition releasing on June 20, 1999.
This is also the last Need for Speed title released in Japan to use the Over Drivin' title. Every Need for Speed title released in Japan starting with Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed would use its Western name.
The game is only officially supported on the Windows 95 and 98 OS although it has been known to run on the XP OS. Need for Speed: High Stakes is the most popular game of the Need for Speed classic era due to its moddability.
Need for Speed: High Stakes has a less arcade feel compared to Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. Cars will handle in a more realistic manner, emulating other simulation-focused racing games available at the time. The title features higher jumps than seen in the prequel.
Need for Speed: High Stakes is the first Need for Speed game to include damage, which can affect the performance and appearance of cars after an impact with a wall, object or other vehicles.
Several game modes with each having their own objectives and rewards are featured in this title.
- Career - Career mode is the only mode in Need for Speed: High Stakes that requires the use of money. Cars must be purchased and repaired using the money won from races. The Career progresses through a series of tours with each containing several tournaments, knockouts and a High Stakes Race. Money is awarded to the contestants at the end of each event with more to higher placing drivers.
- Hot Pursuit - Hot Pursuit allows the player to attempt to escape from the police while racing an opponent or to stop speeders whilst driving a police car. The police cars are police variants of normal sports cars in the selection. Cops can use roadblocks & spike belts. Players can also take control of AI police cars.
- Single Race - Single Race mode is a fully customisable race mode as players are allowed to choose the track, car, opponents and driver aids. There are no rewards in this mode.
- High Stakes - Every tour in career mode ends with a High Stakes Race. A High Stakes race consists of only two opponents. The winner of the race is given the loser's car instead of a cash prize.
- Knockout - Knockouts consist of several races against a full grid of opponents of the same class of cars as the player. The last opponent at the end of each race is eliminated. The winner is the final racer left after all of the others have been knocked out.
- Tournament - Tournaments consist of several races against a full grid of opponents of the same class of cars as the player's car. Racers are awarded points for their finishing position in each race. The racer with the most points at the end of the tournament is the winner and is awarded with one or more Bonus Cars according to the difficulty of the tournament.
- Pro Cups - There are three Pro Cups that are unlockable in the game. Each Pro Cup is limited to one specific manufacturer. The tournament features three bonus tracks; Raceway, Raceway 2 and Raceway 3. The winner is awarded a Bonus Car that corresponds to the vehicle class that the Pro Cup is specific to.
- Special Events (PS1 Release) - Special Events are similar to Tournaments and consist of several races against a full grid of opponents of the same class of cars as the player's vehicle. The winner is the racer with the highest amount of points at the end of the tournament.
- Test Drive (PS1 Release) - Test Drive allows players to a select a car and take it out for a drive on a course. This is also the only mode that the police helicopter unlocked from Hot Pursuit mode can be used in.
The Hot Pursuit Mode was first introduced in Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit but also features in Need for Speed: High Stakes. There are three modes in total with two of which being new to the series.
- Classic - See Hot Pursuit (Game Mode).
- Getaway - Getaway Mode sees the player attempting to evade the police in a set amount of time as a Racer or bust a speeder within a certain amount of time as a Cop.
- Time Trap - Time Trap Mode requires that the player a course within a set amount of time as a Racer or requires the player to arrest all racers within a similar time limit as a Cop. The PlayStation release allows the player to call for backup and set spike strips as well as road blocks.
Pursuit AI and tactics in Need for Speed: High Stakes are similar to that of the Hot Pursuit gamemode with the exception of several improvements such as jersey barriers, spikebelts, traffic and flares added to roadblocks.
It is also the first title to feature the police helicopter in pursuits. The helicopter can't detect the player hiding under buildings or within tunnels. The helicopter dosen't appear in the PlayStation 1 release.
Each police vehicle has a colour scheme corresponding to the geographical location of the course they are featured on.
CustomisationEditvisual modifications on cars.
These mods are only purchaseable in career mode. It is only possible to buy packages that include spoilers, vinyls and rims. Parts cannot be bought individually.
Fine-tuning is possible in High Stakes. The new performance upgrading mechanic also allows players to keep up and compete with higher classed vehicles.
The cars in High Stakes are more detailed than those seen in Hot Pursuit. For the first time, cars have transparent windows, where the driver and interior can be viewed. Players can take down the roof of a convertible and vice versa in the PC release.
Like previous Need for Speed titles, players still have the choice to view real-life information and pictures of the featuredcars via showcases.
The North American, Brazilian, Japanese and European releases of Need for Speed: High Stakes feature the Durham Road track set within England whilst the Australian release features the track set in Australia.
Every race track featured in Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit appears in Need for Speed: High Stakes.
- Kindiak Park - Rural Canada. Dense forests as well as roads occasionally running parallel to lakes, railroad tracks and a train station.
- Durham Road - Rural England (Rural Australia in Australian release). Countryside, dense forests and old towns.
- Route Adonf - Rural France. Cliffs, countryside and dense forests and an old town.
- Landstrasse - Rural Germany. Countryside, dense Forests, old Towns and tunnels.
- Raceway - Race track.
- Celtic Ruins - Rural Scotland. Countryside, dense forests, old towns and ruins.
- Raceway 3 - Race track.
- Snowy Ridge - Colorado style town and dense forests including mountainous snowy regions.
- Dolphin Cove - New England style town, dense forests and scenic ocean drive.
- Raceway 2 - Race track.
- A remixed version of the song Callista can be heard within the Afterlife club on-board the Omega Space Station in Mass Effect 2.
- Some police cars feature different liveries according to the geographical region that a course is situated.
The PC and PS1 releases greatly differ from each other as well as several regional differences.
|Need for Speed Titles|