Need for Speed: Undercover PC Games and Downloads
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Need for Speed: Undercover Product Details
Released on 21/11/2008
You never thought it would turn out like this, an all-out chase where you’re the hunted. And the hunter. Now you must get behind the wheel and risk everything to infiltrate a ruthless international crime syndicate and take them down.
The man you’re after is a maniac behind the wheel, and he’s driving like his life depends on escape, which maybe it does. He’s the one with all the answers you need, you will track him down. Needless to say, that fleet of police cruisers in your rearview mirror won’t make things any easier. It will take all of your experience, and every ounce of skill, to outrun the law, take down the enemy, and unlock the truth that puts an end to this chase once and for all.
- Race into an action-packed story of pursuit and betrayal. Take on jobs and compete in races to prove yourself as you infiltrate and take down an international crime syndicate.
- Fight off the cops and others as you take down your prey in high-speed, high stake multi-car chases. New and vastly improved AI mechanics mean more aggressive and intelligent cops focused on taking you out fast and by any means necessary.
- An all-new game engine lets you pull off amazing moves for the ultimate driving edge.
- Tear across the massive highway system and discover the open world of the Gulf Coast Tri-Cities area, with three unique cities connected by an extensive highway system.
Speed. Style. Substance?
Like a boy racer who just can't help adding custom kit to his Sierra Cosworth, Electronic Arts has spent the last five years obsessively tweaking and re-inventing the Need for Speed series. While Most Wanted went for an open city vibe, Carbon was all about deadly night-time duels and NFS ProStreet took things back to the series' legal urban racing roots. Undercover is a sort of cut-n-shut of Most Wanted and the Underground titles, featuring a huge free-roaming environment, lots of cop chases and a Hollywood plot bolstered by live-action narrative sequences, filled with LA's sexiest young actors.
As the Undercover part of the title probably suggests, you're a cop seeking to bust into the world of illegal street racing in order to expose a criminal syndicate operating in the game's fictional Tri-City setting. How do you do this? By racing in a selection of beautiful cars against snarling gang members, of course. Missions take in a variety of themes including standard circuit and sprint races as well as highway battles and outruns. Both of the latter are one-on-one challenges where you must hold the lead for as long as possible. This all takes place in an enormous environment - around 80 miles worth of roadways - taking in everything from coastal runs to dense downtown blocks.
Skills to pay the bills
To keep you blasting through, Need For Speed Undercover features an RPG-style levelling up system. Winning races earns you driver skills, which provide access to new vehicles and more impressive upgrades. It's a neat way of engaging the player, keeping you in front of the screen for 'just one more race' - which, before you know it, turns in to another all night urban racing session.
EA has perfected the glossy, high concept movie look giving these intricately detailed city streets a gorgeous sun-blasted feel.
On the subject of vehicles, there are over 50 in Need For Speed Undercover. You start with an old Nissan but eventually open up models from the likes of Porsche, Lamborghini, Lotus, Mazda and Dodge. There's a great mix of tuners, exotics and muscle cars and even a world premier - the Nissan 370Z, the first time a new model has ever been officially unveiled via a videogame.
The grooves, the moves
The visuals are absolutely lovely. EA has perfected the glossy, high concept movie look with masses of high dynamic range lighting which gives these intricately detailed city streets a gorgeous sun-blasted feel. The handling in Need For Speed Undercover is spot-on too, with cars that flow beautifully through corners while still offering plenty of movement in the backend to ensure you can slip and slide between oncoming cars at breathtaking speeds.
Chases can be exciting and hugely unpredictable, and it's a massive buzz to elude three cop cars by pulling a hair-raising handbrake turn.
Some reviewers have complained that the Tri-City roads are rather deserted, and true enough, with Need For Speed Undercover you're not getting the gridlocked traffic of Burnout Paradise. However, this is just fine for those of us who prefer to bullet across five-line highways without the constant fear of hitting the three trucks and a station wagon chuffing along in the opposite direction.
Crashing in to things, though, is par for the course in Need For Street Undercover, and you're actually encouraged to take out roadside objects for extra points. Of course, the cops are always lurking around and they're an intelligent, ruthless bunch using helicopter spotters and stinger strips to track and stop you. Chases can be exciting and hugely unpredictable - it's a massive buzz to elude three cop cars by pulling a hair-raising handbrake turn into a teeny side road and watch them all helplessly zoom past. Adding to this sense of danger and high-speed chicanery is the new Heroic Driving Engine that allows you to pull off highly cinematic special moves, such as J-turns and 360s, at super fast speeds without losing control or your sense of direction.
A fair cop
Add in some great multiplayer modes, including the thrilling team-based chaser Cops 'n' Robbers, and you get a typically complete and glossy Need For Speed package. Massive environment, plenty of cool cars, flashy cut-scenes with the likes of Maggie Q and Christina Milian, and oodles of style. It's not the ultimate Need for Speed title but it's an almighty nitrous boost in the right direction, and if you're looking for some stylish urban action with a taste of movie glamour this is the ride for you.
- Stylish presentation and luscious visuals.
- Loads of stunning cars, and fun handling.
- Good multiplayer options.
- Roads are a little quiet.
- The plot is a bit derivative and silly.
- The cops can be very aggressive.
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- Only £14.99
- Download time for 512 kbps: 1381
- Download time for 2 mbps: 346
- Download time for 4 mbps: 173
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