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This technically impressive and very playable post apocalyptic driving game escaped the attention of many gamers when it was released back in 1998, due to a lack of funds for a significant marketing campaign. Boasting a detailed physics engine, excellent graphics for the time and full force-feedback support, the game was a technical tour-de-force and earned itself many fans amongst the gamers who did come across it. All these years later, the graphics may have dated but the handling and vehicle physics still feel remarkably robust, making this one driving game that’s well worth revisiting.
The definitive Powerslide experience
While you can play Powerslide using the original, retail CD, the results aren’t particularly good on a modern PC. If you want the best experience with the game, we recommend simply purchasing the GOG.com version. This version of the game is pre-patched and fixed for best results on a modern PC. Despite our best efforts we were never able to get the CD version of the game running as smoothly as the GOG.com download. This does of course mean that you have to buy the game again, but there’s simply no way around that in this instance.
Installing from original media
If you can’t or won’t re-purchase the game, we’ll quickly look at installing and running the game from the original media. The game should install from the original CD-ROM, though the installer can be a little troublesome. Start by inserting the CD-ROM into your computers optical drive and following the on-screen prompts/notifications. If the games installer does not start, browse to the CD in computer/This PC and run the “SETUP.EXE” file manually.
If the installer still won’t start after running it manually, you may need to perform a clean boot and temporarily disable any startup apps, widgets or other programs. You should also run the installer directly from an administrator account, rather than using UAC to start it on a standard user account.
During installation, you will be asked what type of install you want to do. Choose “Complete”. Do not install DirectX, Direct Media or Heat as these components are now obsolete.
There are two patches that you need to install to the retail version of the game. You can download them both from this link. Both patches are downloaded as zip files. The first (Patch 1.01) is a self-extracting Zip file, so you will need to run it to extract the actual patch, then run the patch itself. The other patch is just a regular zip file and can be copied to any temporary directory and run.
At the end of the patching process, the patch installer will ask you where the shortcuts for the game are located. This can present a bit of a problem. Back when Powerslide came out, there was no concept of a public and private Start menu like there is now. You may find that you cannot find the games shortcut, at which point the patching process will fail. To get around this problem, first make sure you’re running an administrator account, not just using UAC to install. If that still doesn’t solve the problem, you will need to copy the shortcut from the public Start menu folder to your own Start menu folder. See these tutorials for more details on this.
Running the game
There are several problems that you will need to overcome before you can run the game. If you downloaded the GoG.com version, these problems should already be fixed. For those of you trying to run the CD version however, there are a few more hoops to jump through.
First of all, on most modern computers, when you first try to start the original version of the game, you will get a “HRESULT Error at initialisesound”. To get around this problem, browse to the games installation folder and run the “ps_clo” program. This will open a small configuration utility for the game. Make sure that the “nopollsound” option is selected, then click “OK”. That should take care of that problem.
The second problem is that the game will usually lock up on startup on Windows 10 machines. To get around this issue, we recommend dgVoodoo2. Normally when you use this tool, you copy the files either from the MS or the 3DFX sub-folders. For Powerslide, things are a little different. Since the game uses DirectDraw for its menus, but 3DFX in-game, you will want to copy the files from BOTH folders this time. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to start the game.
You may find that Powerslide works better with the nGlide 3DFX wrapper software. You can switch to nGlide simply by downloading it and copying its 3DFX dll files into your Powerslide game folder, overwriting the dgVoodoo2 ones if necessary.
Tweaking visual quality
Before you start churning up the race-track, you’re going to want to configure the game for best visual quality. If you’re using the GoG.com version this should already be done for you, but it can’t hurt to check. Start the game and click on “Options” and then “Graphics”. The first thing to check is that “Driver” should be set to Banshee or Voodoo. If it is set to Software, the visual quality of the game will be significantly downgraded. If you can’t select anything other than software mode, make sure you installed either dgVoodoo2 or nGlide.
Once you’ve set the game to 3DFX mode, turn on as many special features and enhancements as the game will allow. Even a modest modern PC should be able to handle all these special effects without breaking a sweat.
Powerslide supports analogue controllers, racing wheels and joypads, at least to some extent. To configure your controller, start the game, choose “Options” and then “Input Devices”. In the top left, make sure the option is set to “Joystick/Wheel/Joypad”.
Now, you can start to bind the controls as you see fit. When you click on a binding to edit it, simply hold the control in the direction/position you want to bind and then press the Enter key. Don’t worry about any ghost input (that is, the game detecting a controller axis without you pressing it), that shouldn’t affect gameplay.
Try as we might, we couldn’t get the game to recognise the analogue triggers on either our Xbox One or our Xbox 360 pad. The game would let us bind the triggers to acceleration and braking in the options menu, but when it came to actually racing, the car simply stood still at the starting line, no matter how hard we squeezed the triggers. To fix the problem, you can simply assign keyboard commands to these controls then use Xpadder to map those keyboard commands back to your controller.
With graphics and controls all configured, you’re now ready to race, so get power-sliding!
Corrupt graphics or graphical glitches in game:- If the games graphics are corrupt, try switching to a different Glide wrapper. If you’re using dgVooodoo2, switch to nGlide.
Problems saving games or settings:- Like many older games, Powerslide stores its save game files and other configuration information in its installation directory. If you installed the game into the program files or program files (x86) folders, you may find that the default Windows security settings prevent the game from saving any progress. To fix this problem set the permissions on your game folder so that your user account has full control/read write permissions. You can find a tutorial on how to configure folder permissions here.
The screenshots below show the GoG.com version of the game. Click on any screenshot to enlarge it.