Need for Speed: Undercover
|a game by||Piranha Interactive|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 2|
|User Rating:||7.4/10 - 25 votes|
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|See also:||Racing Games, Need For Speed Series|
First Thing's First: Undercover is better than ProStreet. However, it isn't the messianic return to form that people were hoping for, despite the return of the police and their instruments of road safety enforcement. There's also a feeling of it being a little too polished, not just because all the vehicles are so ridiculously shiny.
The basic premise of the game is that you are an undercover cop attempting to infiltrate a ruthless gang of illegal street racers who have been getting involved in the international drugs trade, the scoundrels. Your boss (a predictably alluring female operative called Chase Linh) urges you to carry out increasingly outrageous breaches of the peace in order to attract the attention of the criminals, which involves chasing people around, winning illegal races, wrecking property and cars, and that sort of thing.
Unfortunately, you have to do so many of these things that everything gets very samey, very quickly, which is a shame because the actual races are reasonably good fun and give a great sense of speed. You just have to do so many of them (and for most of the game they are very easy) all excitement is quickly drained from the action. There's also a love interest to ogle (Christina Milian, Z-list female celeb fans) but her idea of a romantic first date is, predictably, street racing. Lovely.
Open Uni Dull
As for the police chases, they, like the regular racing, are exciting at first, but become duller than a documentary on farming practices in Lower Saxony during the Middle Ages. Combine this with the generally unsatisfying crashes and you've got little reason to reach the latter stages of the plot.
EA Black Box have tried to introduce some longevity with the levelling up of your character, drip-fed customisation options, online modes and an extensive range of shiny vehicles to drive around in, but when the actual action is as repetitive as it is, you'll probably not want to bother earning the cash to buy a McLaren F1.
While a budding online community may well spring up around the Cops and Robbers and the Heist modes, the single player won't be retaining the interest of anyone bar the most dedicated carwhoring enthusiasts.