previewed on PC
A Return to Form
The Need for Speed franchise has been around for 15 years and throughout that time it has had multiple revamps and drastic changes. From super exotic sports cars to design your own ride style Underground racing and even police chases. The series has a very colorful past but recent installments have not been living up to the level of quality we come to expect from the series. The Canada based developer Black Box hopes to give the franchise that shot of nitrous it deserves. In this new installment, Need for Speed Undercover, you are put in the shoes of an undercover cop trying to take down an illegal racing syndicate from the inside out. Full Motion Videos (FMV) are back and so are the cops!
This newest installment in the Need for Speed series hopes to get itself back on track with a totally new story and enhanced gameplay. The undercover agent you play is given the task of tearing down an illegal racing group that is causing law enforcement grief. Taking place in the fictional Tri-City were fast cars and breaking the law reign supreme. The backdrop will be a beautiful sunny coastal area that is totally open ended and extremely large in scale. It can take eight minutes in the fastest car at top speed to circumnavigate the entire city which leaves plenty of short cuts and hidden routes to explore.
You are going to need them if you hope to escape from the cops alive. Police chases are back and better than ever. The law enforcement means business in this installment and will stop at nothing to bring you to justice. Road blocks, spike strips and even helicopters are back in full form. You are not completely defenseless though, environmental hazards are once again present for you to use in your fight against the cops. If you get caught, a shaky-cam style cinematic takes place, reminiscent of COPS; complete with blurry faces that let you know you are busted.
While racing through the streets of Tri-City, you may scrape off a mirror or knock a bumper off thanks to the totally redone physics and damage systems. A subtle touch to the gameplay that is more than cosmetic which is a good motivation to stay on the track and off the guard rails. As you progress throughout the game, your driver gets better and better at maneuvering the vehicle. A sleek RPG system is intertwined with the progression of the game and helps you become better rounded in your vehicle of choice. Pulling off high risk maneuvers such as 360 degree turns or activating hazards for those chasing you gives experience points. As usual, nothing but licensed cars are available for your racing pleasure and a few top notch rides such as the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and the Koenigsegg CCX stand out as top competitors.