Need for Speed: Undercover
GC 2008: Need For Speed Undercover Preview
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Let’s face it... The Need For Speed series has been fading for some time now. A series that I personally once held in high regard has now become a distant memory for me and since Most Wanted, the series has become what can only be described as a directionless mess. I don’t necessarily mean the games were bad, but since Most Wanted, the series has taken another more, unpopular route. Naturally, when the Undercover announcement dropped and hinted at old skool ways, our ears pricked up and our attention was grabbed. Can Undercover really re-establish the series?

Need For Speed Undercover throws you in to the shoes of a hotshot street racer who is recruited to become an undercover agent with the primary goal of infiltrating an organised crime syndicate to take them down. Typical Hollywood movie stuff really and very reminiscent of the “plot” in The Fast and the Furious. In typical Hollywood movie style, EA have signed up the talented Maggie Q (Die Hard 4, Mission Impossible 3) to play your handler so expect to see LOTS of her.

The Undercover game world is broken up in to 4 sections (Palm Harbour, Port Crescent, Sunset Hills and an unpopulated canyon road area) and together, they make up the Tri-City Bay which contains about 135 kilometres of road. Each section is linked by a gigantic highway that circles the map which takes about 6 and a half minutes to complete a lap, best thing is though, that the entire city is open from the start so you’re free to take a look round.

The game runs on the “Heroic” driving engine and features an intuitive handling system. Undercover is an action-driving experience and rewards players on style, a bit like Project Gotham, so every time you perform a drift round the corner and the like, you’ll get points which go towards a levelling system. The game also features a damage system but only in a visual sense as EA didn’t want to hamper the action-driving experience and I must say, the car models look absolutely fantastic.

New to the series in Undercover is the “highway battle” which is a fast paced cat and mouse mode that will attempt to put the speed back in Need For Speed (Jeez! Did I really just say that!?). The highway battle takes place on the highways funnily enough and is more about tactics and collateral damage than just driving fast. It’s a straight A to B point race but you can use the cars around you on the highway to slow your opponent down, or similarly, they can use it to slow you down. A mode that will surely be popular amongst fans of the series.

The feel of the cars from a handling perspective differs from car to car. When we got the chance to get behind the wheel of an Audi RS4, it felt really clunky and heavy, but when we jumped behind the wheel of the Porsche Carrera, everything about the world felt so right. The car was quick, looked amazing and the handling was as you would expect from this lightweight sports car. The extensive customisation makes a welcome return to the series as well, so if you don’t like how your car looks, then give it a paint job and customise that to suit your needs.

The missions we managed to take a peek at were fairly basic in nature, take this car here for so and so, but they were early on in the game so we have a feeling that they will get more and more complex. The game features plenty of different race as well, from more straight up races, some strategic to some that are more aggressive in nature, over 200 in fact.

Although not much was unveiled as far as Undercover went at Leipzig this year and we still fear that the series hasn’t gone far enough back to its old skool roots. Sure, the highway races are a step in the right direction, but they still don’t seem to offer the pizzazz and intensity that the once series standard high speed cop chases could offer. However, there is a lot unannounced yet, so we’ll reserve our judgement till that time... Let’s hope we haven’t scratched the surface yet.

Need For Speed Undercover is available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 18th (North America) and November 21st (Europe).


User Comments

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #1 by corky2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 03:42:59 AM
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i cant wait for this game i hope its the best one yet because i love need for speeds :)

Forum Posts: 951
Comment #2 by Chaosflare
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 03:44:48 AM
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Good to see that it seems that they're going back to off the course racing, rather than a closed course race (via old NFS and Pro Street).

Forum Posts: 364
Comment #3 by Inhale3xhale
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 04:23:37 AM
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Can't wait to get this.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #4 by xBDx Buddy
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 04:41:35 AM
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Even If I Don't Play Need For Speed Games This Game Is Sweet! ... But I Ain't Getting It

Forum Posts: 30
Comment #5 by emirP sumitpO
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 05:27:14 AM
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awesome! i loved NFS Most wanted so the will be a welcome return!

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #6 by WhatGives
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 05:49:05 AM
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Forum Posts: 209
Comment #7 by -ToXiN-
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 07:12:23 AM
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Sounds cool. I Loved Hot Pursuit 2 and Most Wanted was pretty good. Wonder if it'll rival Midnight Club LA, though.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #8 by MasterChiefI NL
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 07:53:37 AM
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:| hmmmm... i don't no. It looks ok.
But so far, i don't think i'm gonna buy it.
I need more info first

Forum Posts: 402
Comment #9 by Scaysie
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 08:34:53 AM
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#6 = Cock
Will be buying this after the massive let down of ProStreet....

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #10 by ch33zy
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 08:45:34 AM
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Personally, I loved the Underground series, thought Most Wanted was ok, Carbon sucked and Pro street.....Well, FORGETTABOUDIT, it was a steaming pile of horse shat. So heres hoping that they get it right this time, I mena lets face it, the series has got worse since MW, it can only get better right???

Forum Posts: 53
Comment #11 by COLE0303
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 08:47:43 AM
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Great this is just brilliant, Undercover is released the same day as TR: U. And also i have to buy presents for two birthdays. I am not actually made of money.

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #12 by Mattymace666
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 11:35:42 AM
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ever since underground 2 need for speed has gone down hill
this one may or may not restore some magic the game had years ago
but im not getting it

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #13 by BU573R
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 01:24:54 PM
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#6 owned

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #14 by XxM4RKSM4NxX
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 01:50:32 PM
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@#6 Hahahahahahahaha

I might get this. It is starting to look good, but I doubt it will ever be as good as the Underground series...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #15 by Hell5ing
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 04:32:38 PM
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Looks ok i might get it.No i better save that money for geras.

Forum Posts: 509
Comment #16 by spilner100
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 05:03:54 PM
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i cant wait for this game iv bought every one theyve made even pro street,and this looks the best yet. those cars look bloody amazin

Forum Posts: 36
Comment #17 by Barnsleyy
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 07:16:30 PM
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If its like most wanted ill get it, but EA probably will make a mess of it like they do with 99% of there games.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #18 by freeman2112
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 08:27:37 PM
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Forum Posts: 575
Comment #19 by x360a Louis
Saturday, September 27, 2008 @ 09:08:05 PM
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that porsche looks nice! i cant wait for this game

Forum Posts: 79
Comment #20 by massermind19
Sunday, September 28, 2008 @ 06:59:42 AM
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Maggie Q is hot and i think she is definitely a good choice for the lead actress of this game!

Forum Posts: 1579
Comment #21 by Ruthless
Sunday, September 28, 2008 @ 12:28:08 PM
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Most Wanted was the worst one in my opinion, Carbon was the best but the achievements sucked!!!

Forum Posts: 118
Comment #22 by R3f1cul
Sunday, September 28, 2008 @ 10:57:03 PM
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wow, i really hope this goes back to most wanted, underground type NFS because the ghey class system in Carbon was stupid and the futile attempt at simulation in Prostreet was the worst excuse for a NFS game i've ever seen. I love driving games and i hope i'll love this too.

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #23 by bitt3rsweet
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 01:39:14 AM
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sorry i just can't hope for a good game from EA after so many bad onez

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #24 by OMG its SMILES
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 06:33:25 AM
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after being tricked into buying the last NFS I don't think I am ever "Buying" another EA game.

Forum Posts: 231
Comment #25 by Infomouse
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 12:35:25 AM
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Not a big racing fan but this game sounds epic

Forum Posts: 266
Comment #26 by Napior
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 07:20:08 PM
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The best NFS games where the first ones, when underground came out, it turned upside down, and I found it less fun.

Forum Posts: 170
Comment #27 by x Quikbaud x
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 @ 02:07:02 PM
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i enojyed Most Wanted the most. and i'm glad to see that there are cheeves for running from cops and the such. that was the only thing missing from Most Wanted( i know it was an early release when the 360 first came out) so now i'll that running from the cops will pay off.

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Game Info
Black Box
Electronic Arts


US November 18, 2008
Europe November 21, 2008

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