Need for Speed Undercover Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | Wii | PS2 | PSP | DS
Need for Speed Undercover box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: EA BlackBox 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 18, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 (8 Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The A.I. toggles between the criminally insane and miraculously gifted. Oncoming traffic will not be the least bit intimidated by your presence. In fact, it's like you're invisible to them. If you don't get out of their way, you're going to crash, plain and simple. Even your direct A.I. competitors aren't immune to the murderous A.I., as they will often enter into head-on collisions as both are too stupid or stubborn to get out of each other's way.

Need for Speed Undercover screenshot

A.I. opponents trying to catch you, whether it is the cops or other racers, will be able to miraculously outrun you if they lag too far behind. It's as though the CPU senses that it's behind and brings the cars closer trying to make things more exciting. Not only will they be able to outrun you with equally-powered vehicles, but they will be able to negotiate turns much smoother. It's unfair, unbalanced, and unprofessional.

It would be nice if you could explore the city in some kind of free cruise mode. Some modes see the city unlocked, but you have to be racing through it. It's as though the developers didn't want you getting too close a look at it, since it's a little difficult to discern detail at over 300 mph. While we're on the subject of speed, the only thing that is impressive is just how fast this game goes downhill. There really isn't any sense of speed after 100 mph. Graphically, the game has a generic look to it with a lot of bland earth tones and jaggy textures. The map is located to the left and the speedometer to the right. Neither interferes with the course, and the PSP affords a good, wide perspective. The tracks have a certain sameness to them, not only in appearance but in content. They are very basic in design with virtually no background animation to give life to the streets. It's like racing on a movie set instead of a real city.

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The engine sounds are good and the music is even better, but due to the lack of voiceovers and ambient music, the game is filled with lots of uncomfortable dead air. Underground fails to live up to its heritage. I would expect this on the DS but not on the PSP. Leave this one on the side of the road.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
Blasé courses with lots of boring earth tones and little background animation.
2.7
Control
Controls are easy to use but the physics engine is stiff and frustrating.
2.4
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Decent engine sounds and good music, but there's too much dead air.
2.4
Play Value
A below average racer with few compelling features.
2.6
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Go Deep Undercover: Race into an action-packed story of pursuit and betrayal. Take on jobs and compete in races to prove yourself as you infiltrate and take down an international crime syndicate.
  • Highway Battle: Fight off the cops and others as you take down your prey in high-speed, high stake multi-car chases. New and vastly improved A.I. mechanics mean more aggressive and intelligent cops focused on taking you out fast and by any means necessary.
  • Chase Down: Tear across the highway and discover the Tri-Cities area as a cop while you chase down and bust your rivals.
  • Heroic Driving Engine: An all-new game engine lets you pull off amazing moves for the ultimate driving edge.


  • Screenshots / Images

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