Now that I’ve finished playing NFS Undercover, I thought I’d post my review of the game out here. So here’s the acid test for Need For Speed’s make-or-break attempt. Enjoy!
Storyline : 4/5
The plot is the opposite of NFS Most Wanted: here you play the hand of an FBI agent sent to clean up a gang of smugglers operating in Tri-City. Detective Chase Linh (played by Maggie Q) has the job of cleaning up the city, and she’s hired you to help her out. Your job: infiltrate the racing mobs involved in the smuggling syndicate, by winning races and taking out cops. Once you get in, win over the boss’ confidence, by doing jobs for them, like delivering cars on time/ in proper shape / both, evading cops while at it. Once you have enough clout, Chase Linh orders a coup, in which you need to take out (yeah this means destroy) the gang leaders in their cars. This probably doesnt seem like it merits the rating, but the fun in the story is the climax, not to mention that the storyline is embedded with gameplay, which makes it even more fun.
Gameplay : 4.5/5
The game is fun. Pure, undiluted, white-knuckle fun. Period. You can complain all you want about unrealistic physics, bad camera angles blah blah blah, but at the end of the day, you cant deny the sense of thrill and adrenaline the game imparts. that takes you back to the Most Wanted days. Except that this is more fun. The heroic driving engine awards points for stylish driving like drifting, jumping, and avoiding collisions. The cars dont feel as light as they did in Most Wanted, and yet they do steer (at times rather ridiculously). Its a cross between MW and ProStreet, as damage does make an appearance, but u dont have to pay for it. The driving experience is like no NFS before it; absolutely awesome!
The cops in this game are similar to the excellent police engine of MW, but can see further, drive faster, and are less likely to fall prey to an ill-timed pursuit breaker. However, not more than 8-10 cops pursue you at the same time, which is good, since these guys play very rough at times. The Heroic engine also makes getting out of tough spots rather cumbersome at times. Pursuit breakers are few and far between, so use wisely.
Gameplay loses points only for the fact that at some points, the game does feel rather unrealistic. But the next moment, you’re doing 200, and you forget about that small nuance as you get ready to attack the next corner. Tunnel Vision!
The game doesnt offer anything very new as far as pimping your ride is concerned, but it does an excellent job of what it has. Body kits in this game are truly disappointing (I left a Gallardo and Corvette untouched in terms of body kits!!!) but it has a wonderful collection of wheels, which can be completely autosculpted. Yes, the game does have autosculpt, but sometimes you’re left wondering whether the car would look better in stock than with any body mods at all.
The vinyling and paints make up for it though. Every single colour imaginable: they took a photoshop palette and threw it into Undercover, and no, I’m not joking. And a range of vinyls which make even a newbie drool. Some truly awesome things are possible, with over a 100 vinyls in any position, size, shape or orientation you desire. Complete creative freedom!
Nothing new, nothing great. Its ProStreet all over again. EA seems to have realised that putting too much into graphics isnt a great idea. So they did a carry over from ProStreet, except that the xenon lighting in all cars looks dead cool, as is the detailing at max resolution. But since gaming graphics have advanced since then, you could say it lags behind. Its no reason to complain though. The cars look really nice, and the world is beautifully designed and detailed. Makes you feel small compared to the size of the world actually.
Overall : 4.1/5
Yes, I like this game, and I do believe it deserves the rating. It may have been slammed by people who wanted to criticise it, but thats just people finding what they want to find. And I do recommend it to people; play it for yourself, dont take anyone’s word for it. Its like Most Wanted. People hate it now, but 2 years down the line, when everyone can afford a rig that can run this at full graphics, it is gonna be a new standard. A must play game, which is adrenaline pumping fun from the word go!