Need for Speed Undercover - PS3

Break out your trench coat, baseball hat, and a pair of dark shades because donning a disguise is the only way to save face if you plan on picking up Need for Speed: Undercover. You'll want to go incognito in order to hide the fact you're buying the worst installment in this long-running racing series. Beyond its brassy sense of style, the game wrecks years of solid racing by introducing derivative and deficient driving mechanics that has the series fitfully spinning its wheels.

THE VERDICT by Sid Shuman Sid Shuman's Avatar

Friends don't let friends play Need for Speed: Undercover. Mediocre racing and tacky styling leave it stuck in neutral, gunning its engine while going absolutely nowhere. While a long campaign mode and intriguing new experience system get the pistons pumping, everything grinds to a halt when the rubber hits the road in the worst installment of the series in recent memory. It's the video game equivalent of test driving a brand new Lamborghini only to have the engine overheat and the tires go flat as soon as you get on the freeway. Too bad the gaming equivalent of AAA doesn't exist; that way, if you're unlucky enough to buy this game, you could get a little roadside assistance.

Running On Fumes

As a detective working with the Tri-City Bay Area police, Undercover puts you deep in an operation to route out a link between a local street racing syndicate and arms smuggling ring. The sprawling urban area serves as one gigantic raceway, allowing you to roam the streets and highways in search of events. You're encouraged to fit in with these cool criminals by winning challenges, destroying public property, and generally sticking it to the cops.

But pulling off asphalt heroics is made difficult by the introduction of the Heroic Driving Engine, which replaces the tight controls and responsive handling of previous installments for a set of decent yet poorly executed driving mechanics. The series' fine balance between arcade and simulation has been completely blown to smithereens. Also, events like "Cost To State" which emphasize crash-and-bash tactics over slick driving makes the game feel derivative of titles like Burnout and highlights just how inferior Need for Speed has become when racing head-to-head against the competition.

Call The Tow Truck

It's clear that the Need For Speed series is in need of a GPS unit so it can get back on track. It should go back to doing what it did best: Where are all the cool, varied events? Where's the fine-tuned handling? Where's the intuitive vehicle customization and tuning? Undercover fails to deliver the fundamental concepts that made the franchise enjoyable, relying instead on slick production values and a trumped up sense of style. The game does a good job of rewarding your skillful driving and there are plenty of options for people who want to venture online but this franchise has clearly driven itself off the side of the road. Hopefully, it'll find its way its way back in time for the next installment.

PROS: Lengthy single player campaign; new experience system rewards you based on ability.
CONS: Substandard driving mechanics; less variety in races and events; open-world design handled poorly.

Comments [17]

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nerm2k

Wow it's been a long time since I have seen such a scathing review of a game. I was really hoping this game was going to be a throwback to my personal favorite, hot persuit 2. I'm curious as to what makes the controls so horrendous that it totally ruined the game.

mstrmrdr82

i cant go by this review i just cant.....everything grinds to a halt when the rubber hits the road in the worst installment of the series in recent memory......do u not remember need for speed pro street, that was a bad need for speed game....seems to me that all they did was go back to a most wanted and carbon level, and i dont think theres anything wrong with that

ChokaDaChicken

damn it man I was hoping this one would bring me back to underground 2 days oh well I hope Sonic rocks

Enkeixpress

This has got to be the worst review I have ever read...

Nowhere in your rambling of a so-called "Review" did you state exactly what was wrong with the actual game... lol

Not only that but this review is incredibly embarrassing not only for myself but for the whole Internet as a whole, Do us all a favor and remove this piece of rubbish.

And this part made me laugh like crazy!! "It's the video game equivalent of test driving a brand new Lamborghini only to have the engine overheat and the tires go flat as soon as you get on the freeway"... I'm really not surprised because by the way you've made yourself out on the review, It sounds as though your like the type who like to do alot of burnouts or so to say.. Sooo.. Whats wrong with that...?

If your flat speeding the vehicle to hell & back, Of course it's going to overheat just as in it's real life counterpart..

And now for the part where you really failed:

CONS: Substandard driving mechanics; less variety in races and events; open-world design handled poorly.

1. Excuse me but from game play videos I've seen, The driving physics are exactly the same from previous games in the series so I don't know what your talking about...

2. Less variety...? It actually seems as though they've kindly removed the crappy racing modes and made the races decent enough to race.

3. Open World design poorly designed...? How? I don't understand. It seems pretty optimized and well-built to me..

So yep, you sucked at this review dude... sorry to say.

Good day sir.

budzu

guys who complain about bad review and not telling what's bad about the game: the guy who's written rthe review is obviously veery disappointed with the game and so am I and that's why he didn't even care to tell, what's wrong. He probably waited and expected and when it was released, he was struck. This game is the worst nfs. I've played every title from this series and Pro Street is much better than this ..... I wouldn't even write a review for it. this is not a game, it's just disgusting. in the time of GRID we get this piece..... ..... I will write on every forum the same. Just disgusting. Looks terrible, plays terrible, story wants to be cool but is just .......... seriously, this is beyond every critic. teriible, just terrible. got no words for it. they took nfs carbon, added some blur and go ahead..... if EA cannot create a decent engine, they should buy it from codemasters, will be much cheaper than developing this .....

CH1N00K

Never like the undergrounds, Love the Most wanted, other than that I loved the Hot pursuits before that, Wasn't a fan of Carbon or Pro Street...I was really hoping this game would be good....now I'm sad...ah well, back to Burnout it is!

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