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Need for Speed: Undercover - Need for Speed: Undercover

By Stuart Andrews
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

5/10

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Nope. I meant what I said when I said that the game feels unfinished. Whether for technical reasons or lack of time, the streets are bizarrely empty during the majority of races. Barring rival racers, you might not see a single car for several seconds at a time; in fact, you can regularly drive in the opposing lane of traffic, safe in the knowledge that you're unlikely to hit anything except the kerb or any railings at the side. Were the game set at 4am this might be acceptable, but a lot of it is set during daylight hours. Sure, during some events - particularly highway battles - the traffic ramps up considerably, but this just makes the other stretches seem all the more odd.

And this causes problems when you bear in mind what I said earlier about the city being a blank canvas. Because the architecture itself isn't that interesting and the streets are devoid of personality, there's really no motivation to explore. In fact, EA seems to have recognised this, because you don't even have to make your way from one race to the next, you can just skip through from race to chase to race with a single press of the down direction on the D-pad.

This in turn leads us to another shortfall: for a large part of its running time, NFS: Undercover is pitifully easy, and you find yourself practically sleepwalking through its steady stream of races and chases. I'm not some kind of ninja gamer or anything - and I've really struggled at times with the likes of Project Gotham Racing 4 or Race Driver: GRID - but I played through vast swathes of Undercover without failing a single race event. I crashed plenty of times, sometimes once or twice per lap, but I'd swear that you can see the opposition slowing down to give you a chance to catch up. Get in front in a decent car and they're toast. One minute they're taunting you, the next they're not even visible on the mini-map. In roughly 85 per cent of the events in the early part of the game, there's just not enough of a challenge to keep the action exciting.

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Randy

December 16, 2008, 12:37 pm

Sorry, i must disagree.





For me, this is just disrespectful. Being undercover cop, we've seen this already in Driver. Cop chases - Most Wanted. There's absolutely no improvements in this game at


all. I know, it's very hard now to come up with something fresh and original, but


this doesn't justify this level of laziness at all. They even got rid of drift and drag


(for me, the best game modes in the series). You really get the expression that the


only thing developers made with this game was sketch a new map and a couple of new cars.





Realism is - as expected - apalling. It's not that bad though, no one is expecting from


this series any sort of real life handling. Still - exactly what we saw in Most Wanted


and Carbon.





In my opinion the only impressive part of this game is the choice of cars. Of course,


you still can still blast through straight in a Veyron doing 250mph on nitro and get


overtaken by Golf :)





Overall 3/10, 5/10 if we consider NFSUC as a map pack/expansion for Most Wanted.

StuAndrews

December 16, 2008, 3:13 pm

Erm, I'm not sure we disagree that much! I can't remember saying that the game is fantastic and everyone should buy it - in fact the words 'seriously disappointing' in the verdict pretty much say it all. I'm also not suggesting for a minute that Undercover even tries to be original. What I would say is that Undercover was clearly an attempt to take the franchise back to the days of Most Wanted and Carbon and rebuild it on those foundations, and that there are elements of a good game in there if you look hard for them (the game has a weird way of growing on you given time). I'd also say that the handling isn't really that bad at all - it's arcade stuff, but there's a little grit and weight to it. However, the end result feels rushed, botched and unpolished. As I said in the review, the main thing that makes me feel sad about the whole affair is that a lot of people are going to end up unwrapping this one on Christmas Day, and with games like Burnout: Paradise, GRID and Midnight Club: LA out there, that's a crying shame!

ilovethemonkeyhead

December 16, 2008, 5:23 pm

this game could have at least tried to act a little more realistic. with the pc version there are horrible frame rates, and contrary to the console versions the graphics seem drab and dull - i actually went to the graphics settings expecting them all set to low or something. i was in for a surprise.





using the xbox 360 controller, the controls feel very imprecise (compared to grid, my new racing benchmark :D), and why the step backwards by omitting in car cams?





one thing i can't understand is the pointless damage system, traffic cars are near enough undamageable, your car will only suffer the odd dent and scratch and (absolutely ludicrusly) your car is repaired right after the race. i hate when you don't get punished for not driving properly, there was a time i won a race even after i had replaced the batteries in my controller, without pausing the game.

hankb6d

December 16, 2008, 8:46 pm

Christina Milian the one hit wonder i must visit youtube next.





NFS is a great game if your a chav so i'm told.

Matthew Bunton

December 17, 2008, 6:58 am

The series has been going backwards since most wanted imo that was the last good game from them. Carbon was a let down,Pro street was utter rubbish and this one seems even worse so it looks like i'll just have to avoid this years aswell.

Nick 7

December 27, 2008, 5:18 pm

Th graphics and trailer for this game looked very impressive, so I stuck it on my Christmas list.





I have to say that my disappointment once I started playing it was very hard to disguise. This game is utter rubbish.





I figured that Pro-Street was just an "interim" game to make some money from the franchise whilst they developed a hard core racer game similar to Most Wanted (my favourite game in the series). Turns out that was the new benchmark, and Undercover meets that standard.





The graphics are very poor. The colours are rubbish. The detail is just pathetic, and the gameplay is so easy my 9 year old son, who can't even get the car to go straight in Most Wanted, won a race his first time out.





If you don't yet have this game, avoid it at all costs. If you do, get yourself down to Game Station and trade it in for something (anything) else.

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