Need for Speed Undercover. Yet another NFS game. Yet another failure? Yes. Need for Speed Undercover is one of the most boring, unexciting and dreadful racing games you could ever possibly play on the Xbox 360.
First, the Story mode. Well, it opens with a police car chase which is actually quite good, but then it all goes downhill from there when a real-life cutscene comes in. And the acting is simply atrocious. Some awful low-budget actors appear almost every twenty minutes or so of gameplay as you unravel the story. In the end, the driving and the missions become the same old, same old and just get repetitive and boring.
Next onto Xbox LIVE gameplay, which is reasonable with several different game types including 'Cops and Robbers' and what not. However, since this game is quite old, the online play is dead, hardly anyone is on it. So, it's practically not LIVE enabled if you were to buy it now.
So, all in all, Need for Speed: Undercover is another dreadful, boring and tedious driving game which EA seem to have rushed out without even thinking. It lacks the winning formula Need for Speed: Undercover 2 had. An awful game, and a product that you must avoid.
I really liked Need for speed Most wanted although the last two games were not quite up to that standard. So when i saw quite low reviews for this game i nearly left it on the shelves. I'm so glad i decided to buy - i love it.
Over the last 2 weeks this has been my most played game by far leaving COD5 on teh shelf. It's the mixture of exciting races, great cop chases, nice upgrades, great learning curve, nice and funny video scenes that make it so adictive.
But.... this game does have it's faults. It has slowdown at times even when there's not that much happeniong on screen, and the graphics on my HD television don't look that great. BUT i ahve to say this game it still defintley worth playing. If you enjoyed most wanted or just want a decent car racing game i recommend it.
Oh, and in my opinion it's much better than the new midnight club which, for me , was far too hard even after just 30 mins of play
Undercover is a welcome return to the Most Wanted format, in particular with the return of the cop chases, and with an abundance of races and challenges on offer.
Although it is good to see the aforementioned cop chases again, they are a great deal more relentless in their pursuit, even on the lower wanted settings. This often leads to frustrating outcomes to what should have been easy to escape pursuits, and suddenly being spotted in a hiding place just seconds before escaping a pursuit of particular annoyance.
There is a wealth of challenges and cars to work through, and for the first 3/4 of the game I probably would have rated it a 5 star game, despite the difficulty of the cop chases often grinding the nerves. However, for some reason the difficulty level is ramped up unexpectedly in the last quarter of the game - unrealisticly so in fact, which ruins the overall experience. A prime example of this is a mission where you have to steal a Bugatti Veyron. During the pursuit I was stunned to find myself rammed from behind by a cop, then spun out by another, despite maxing out at 250 mph! I was captured and had to do the rather lenghty mission all over again. Many many attempts later it was game over for me.
To get maximum enjoyment from this game come for the first 75% of the game, enjoy it, then walk away.
To be honest NFS: Undercover is not entirely bad. As a racing game for car euthusiasts it is going to hit the spot - No matter how bad a game is, how can you not forgive it when you can purchase and tune an Escort RS Cosworth amongst other vehicles?
The game itself is relatively similar to Most Wanted & Carbon, but has gained elements from the Burnout series. You rack up points by implementing certain driving techniques such as drifts, burnouts and j-turns, as well as points for near misses and damage costs to destructable objects. The handling of cars are very 'arcade' - If you want realism, buy Forza Motorsport 2! In the early stages of the game at least, cars seem to grip a little too well and if you've played such games before you'll probably find the AI pretty easy to beat ...
You also receive point stats towards the performance of your car depending on how well you win and/or if you evade the police. A nice little touch, but personally I would have rather shelled out 'in-game' cash to improve my car!
The open-world is impressive with a huge amount of city to explore and is visually on par with Midnight Club: LA. The select of cars is vast, although there aren't a large amount of proper 'tuner' cars or older classics, mostly sports/supercars. All can be modified with performance and visual mods with the ability to apply lots of mods in grouped performance 'packages'.
The sound is interesting. My Cossie has a fantastic roar with a rather nice wastegate chatter, but not sure on the background music. EA Trax seems to have disappeared!
Pros: +Lots of cars to choose from with the ability to modify. +Nice menu interface +Visually rather nice Cons: -Storyline bit rubbish -Similar gameplay to other NFS titles -Framerate drop with action sequences!
Directed by Joseph Hodges who has a lot of credits for the TV show 24, the story is a simple one of an undercover cop posing as a master wheelman to infiltrate car smugglers in a fictional American city. Maggie Q is the lead character’s handler (the lead character is you, obviously) and struts her stuff in live action inserts along with would-be girlfriend Carmen played by Christina Milian. I haven’t played many games with live action inserts and I found it a bit jarring to begin with, but I got used to them in the end and they do add a little atmosphere. I wasn’t really listening properly to most of it. Suffice to say it involves a lot of driving. Fast. Ha ha!
But graphics don’t count for much if the gameplay sucks. So many games these days seem to have great graphics but awful gameplay. Not this game. It has mediocre graphics which you forget about very quickly once things start going fast, and boy do they go fast once you move up from the little league to drive with the big boys. Apart from the Burnout games I think this is the fastest driving game I have ever played. It is headache-inducingly good.
All the usual sort of challenges are in the game – timed events, police evasion events, police takedown events, traffic dodging races, sprints and outrun events. The difficulty ramps up gradually and there are pockets of frustration when you are on the cusp of affording a new car or upgrade (to improve handling or performance), but that is part of the fun – pushing a Lotus Elise to its limits to win enough events, to get enough cash, to buy a Nissan 240Sx (S13) for instance was a real trial for me. I took a rather predicable path in terms of cars – starting with an Audi TT 3.2 Quattro and then progressing to the Elise, maxing out its stats, upgrading to a Porsche 911 GT2, maxing out its stats, winning a Lexis IS-F, buying an almost uncontrollable Pagani Zonda F, maxing out its stats, and then realising the Porsche 911 GT2 was still a better car (due to its controllability). I also splashed out on a tank of a Bugati Veyron (but only because I love the noise it makes and the shape of it – I managed to drive in wheel-spinning zigzags with this more than I did straight lines).
As usual my skills (and patience) aren’t up to the task of winning all the events that are dotted around the map, but I feel I have had a good run at the game and I think I’m at driver level 16, but now I’m skint after buying the Bugati. I finished the story after eight failed attempts at the final battle – I’m not sure if the game let me off as the rival car that normal took about 6 hits to get anywhere near totalled, only took 3 hits to knock out of service. A bit odd, but I’m not complaining. My thumbs were beginning to ache.
Although I have said the graphics aren’t up to much there are some good animated cut scenes if you are unlucky enough to get busted and I didn’t see the same scene repeated (which was nice given how repetitive the VO can be – lost count of how many times I heard the police radio says “he’s turning East”). If you get busted you get a cross against the car you’re driving and some money gets taken off your total (as it does when you knock down a lamppost or crash into a bus shelter) – I didn’t get to three strikes but I expect you might lose the car? Horror! The police are quite tenacious and a helicopter gets sent up sometimes, but they are relatively easy to fool – much like in GTA or the other NFS games. Takedowns are tricky and not as impressive as the Burnout games, but just as satisfying as ever.
Also the music isn’t bad. Perhaps because it’s an old game. For once I didn’t have to switch it off – it was great to hear Supergrass on a game soundtrack.