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Need for Speed Undercover

We’ve got a confession to make that goes against most critical response: we quite liked Need for Speed: ProStreet (at least on consoles). It was a competent and relatively accurate recreation of organized competitive racing events. Unfortunately, what ProStreet did at the same time was completely remove the essence of what made a Need for Speed game, leaving a dry approach to simulation in its place. Thankfully, the guys at EA Vancouver were equally as aware of the criticisms of ProStreet and have taken on board what gamers want from a Need for Speed title. The result is Need for Speed: Undercover – a return-to-roots fan service of the highest order.

Above: All images from the 360 Version

Even from the early preview version we got the chance to play, it's obvious that Undercover picks up where Most Wanted left off. As the name suggests, you play the part of a rookie undercover cop, using your skills as a wheelman to impress and therefore infiltrate an international car smuggling ring. Very The Fast and the Furious. However, unlike previous Need for Speed titles, Undercover has a narrative that extends beyond the flimsy storylines attached to previous games and goes down the Hollywood blockbuster route. So, rather than standing the current 'underwear model du jour' in front of a green screen to say a few flimsy lines to the camera, the gameplay has been intertwined with a substantial plot, filmed on specially created sets and directed by John Hodges (whose resume includes episodes of 24, no less). To further emphasize its new cinematic approach, actress and singer Christina Milian and Die Hard 4.0 star Maggie Q (who we discovered plays the role of your ‘handler’, Chase Lin) have been drafted in to lend some thespian credibility to the full motion video (FMV) cutscenes.

While our first impressions were that Undercover would be set in LA (which puts it in real risk of stepping on Midnight Club: Los Angeles’ toes), it’s actually set in Southern America on the Gulf Coast. While EA couldn't confirm at this stage whether it would use real maps or locations, we were told that there would be four very distinct environments; Harbor, Open, Industrial and Urban. Stepping away from the perpetual darkness of the Need for Speed: Underground games, all of the racing in Undercover takes part in what Hollywood likes to call ‘The Magic Hour’ – a special time occurring just after dawn and just before dusk. Presumably so you can experience the 80 miles worth of highways at the most visually photogenic moments of each day.

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27 comments

  • demon_racer74 - December 17, 2008 9:56 a.m.

    I played this when it 1st came out & although i was impressed with the way it looks i wasn't very pleaseed with Car handing & the way all cars feel the same to drive, i didn't have to change my car for ages.. i was beating Lambo's in a Nissan...wot's going on..please stop dumbing down gamplay to improve the graph's...
  • Maffy - December 21, 2008 8:54 p.m.

    After Seeing The Videos & Pictures,i Bought It The Second Day It Came Out,But Completed That Same Day Aswell, a Total Of...9-10Hours To Complete. Which Tbh Isnt Alot At All, The Past Few NFS Like Carbon + ProStreet Have Been The Same.Very Quick To Complete. + The Cars That Where Said To Be On The Game Wern't,E.g. R8 Etc.. i Dont Know If Its Just Because i Have The P2S Version Or What,But Overall i Wasnt Overly Impressed With The Game. Go Back To Need For Speed Underground 2 & Most Wanted i Say,Both Great Games For Customization & Gameplay.
  • K-9 - January 4, 2009 1:36 p.m.

    Most Wanted is good. But this one is gonna be off the hook!
  • xcroptic - September 12, 2008 6:44 a.m.

    i want this game :)
  • SOLIDSNAKE1983 - September 12, 2008 11:55 a.m.

    Looks good, people will slag it off just because it's EA, but i don't care, most wanted was excellent and this will be too.
  • bron1417 - September 13, 2008 5 p.m.

    game screens look amazing i want this game when it comes out!!
  • rockingamer247 - September 14, 2008 5:02 a.m.

    Its always good to get back to teh basics. might wanna get this game.
  • fish94 - September 14, 2008 1:54 p.m.

    Hopefully this will be like undergroud two but with police. undergroud two was better than most wanted in most aspects, but the two together would eb perfect.
  • IronmanR8 - September 15, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    is this game going 2 be on PS2?
  • quericko - September 15, 2008 7:26 p.m.

    man the NFS empire kicks ass all the NFS games have been the shyt man i cant wait till this game comes out man
  • wharcraff - September 16, 2008 3:36 p.m.

    I'm hoping that this will have most of the new nissans in it, not just the skyline. Can't wait.
  • likedamaster - September 20, 2008 9:49 p.m.

    I thought Carbon was better than Most Wanted, especially with the extreme customizations, the many online modes, and all the concept cars they had available. Not to mention the downloadables. I liked the Most Wanted chick better though. Looking forward to this game, no doubt. I have always been a NFS fan, wasn't a prostreet fan so much.
  • badger1234 - September 25, 2008 9:05 a.m.

    can't wait, if undercover is anyfing like most wanted, i want it
  • chilipeppersman - October 1, 2008 4:12 a.m.

    preview was hella good, but the interview kinda felt like a ad, hopefully there will be more that are in depth, but im liking the looks of this game alot
  • Randolph - October 1, 2008 5:42 p.m.

    kick ass man ?
  • buckeyefan_9876 - October 18, 2008 6:33 p.m.

    I own the old nfs hot pruisuit 2 and started buying all nfs after that, i was trully disapointed with pro street ( yes good graphics, but way off what nfs is known for : cops chasing you down, heliocopters following you, roadblocks and so on) i almost decided to quit with nfs afetr pro street but after hearing all the hype and reviews i give them one more chance
  • celticassassin80 - October 19, 2008 9:24 p.m.

    this games prolly gonna kick ass. maggie Q is pretty damn hot. I would like to see some in car driving perspective, not enough games have that. gives it more of a realistic feel, even tho its supposed to be a little over the top. the screens look badass tho. hopefully BMW signed on for the ride, and not just with the played out M3. love to see an M5 and M6 make it to one of these games. Im also disappointed with the absence of ferrari. Im a lambo fan, but you gotta have ferrari too. they got some badass cars that look pimp when u customize em. well see tho.
  • victorg360 - November 3, 2008 3:23 p.m.

    one good thing about this NFS game is that free-roaming is back in ProStreet they did not have it that why i did not like that game but this one looks good.
  • gameradar2 - November 15, 2008 3:59 a.m.

    this game is goin to be sick
  • ManU - December 3, 2008 10:25 p.m.

    this game is gonna be awesome. i cant wait to see the bugatti in a game even though my fav car is a skyline

Showing 1-20 of 27 comments

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