User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 93
  2. Negative: 29 out of 93

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  1. Feb 18, 2012
    Need for Speed Undercover was a great racing game to start off my experience on Xbox 360. I thought that the game was good fun and kept me intrigued. There is a story which is there but absent at the same time which is strange and not good. The music is great and there is also an element of challenge within the game, however, when you are stuck at the challenge, there is nothing making you stay in the game. The multiplayer is fun with game modes such as Cops and Robbers which provides many hours of fun. Overall I rate this game a 4/10 for the reason that there is no story really and also the fact that even though it is called a free roam game, you cannot free roam over the speed limit without police coming after you which is not ideal for a racing free roam game when you are in a car that goes way over 200mph and yet you are basically restricted to 50mph Expand
  2. Sep 20, 2013
    Need for Speed Undercover may well be the most dumbed down Need for Speed game of this generation. Get the superior Most Wanted; both the original and the new one are far better than this trash and you don't have to put up with the awful story. Not even worth renting.
  3. Feb 1, 2012
    Wow what a POS game. I have played need the need for speed series since High stakes which is from 1999. I loved Most Wanted and Carbon, because they made you feel awesome. True Undercover as those moments and the graphic look really cool. The two main problems that brought the score really down for me was this. One the story is way too short, i finished this game is 3 days without doing any side missions. So it is about maybe a total of 10 hours of gameplay, need for speed most wanted had at least 20-25 hours without doing the side missions. See the difference. The reason why it was so short too ties into my second reason. This game is way too easy. You can just put the pedal to the medal without even breaking crashing into stuff and you can still win about 90% of the time. In Most Wanted i am still having trouble to win races and it actually feels more satisfying to win. So in conclusion it is a cheap version of Most Wanted. You would be better off buying most wanted Expand
  4. Jan 14, 2012
    I gave it a two because I was able to get through it. Been a long time since I actually had to pull a game from my 360 and throw it across the room from terrible frustration. this game lacks a LOT but in general was one of the better NFS / EA titles. Most other NFS games are pure garbage.
  5. Jan 20, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Whoa! The NFS Series as fumbled a few times (Such as Porsche Unleashed on the PS1 and ProStreet), but not as BAD as Undercover.

    I'm going to start with the good: Variety of cars, the police chases (to a certain extent), the soundtrack, and the size of the map.

    The Bad: Literally everything else this game has to offer.

    The story: It took me less than 3 days to complete, it doesn't make a lot of sense, transition between the story and the missions is non-existent, and the objectives in the missions are not explained at all. There was so much they could have done to make you work like an actual undercover cop, but it was dumbed down like a low-budget action film.

    The graphics: they are UGLY. To be fair, I can understand EA's artistic choices trying to make the game feel like a Michael Bay film, but they made it look cartoon-ish. The warm colors of the environment with the cool colors of the sky just doesn't look good. In addition, the game takes place at either sunset or sunrise so you are constantly blinded by the sun and the fresh-rain effect on the roads makes the sun reflection even brighter and very difficult to see. Part of the map is programmed to change to sunset or sunrise depending on where you are. With that stated, there are moments where you literally (I'm not kidding you) seeing the sun moving across the sky! It just shows how physics in this game are not a simulated in any form which brings up the next BIG problem: the physics.

    The physics in this game are the worst I have ever played in a driving game and I play mostly racing games. The "Heroic Driving Engine" is laughable. The cars turn on a dime, rarely need to tap on the break, and require no drifting or driving skills going around corners. You can literally make a clean turn with a Bugatti Veyron going 150+ MPH around a street corner without tapping the brakes. This is not realistic in any form! There are other stupid physics glitches in the game where the pursuit brakers have physics explosions. Example: knocking over a platform of pipes, instead of falling, they go shooting across the sky at 1,000+ miles per hour! Other glitches include cars barrel rolling while stationary, pursuit breakers destroying police cars nowhere near the falling object(s). Some of these glitches are in conjunction with the incredibly stupid AI that consists of slow racers, police pointlessly ramming everything, and literally smoking the AI on any race/ mission without any effort. There are so many little physics glitches here-and-there that I could go on forever on each one I have encountered. The lack of beta-testing clearly shows!

    Although Tri-Cities Bay is the biggest city compared to Rockport and Palmont City from the last 2 NFS titles, this map looks the ugliest. Although some areas of the city are cool to explore, the graphics explained above with the textures leads to a very bland and lifeless city with spotty AI traffic, ugly low-resolution textures, and very little sense of depth, and large stretches of rural and coastal highways with no vegetation and only terrain with repeated textures. It literally looks incomplete (Like the rest of this game).

    Other technical issues: The frame rate is all over the place at any given moment. Some areas the frame rate slows the game to a point where it is almost unplayable. There are moments where your player's car is going faster than the road loading ahead, literally stopping the game until the void in front of you loads the map. I have heard this is a bigger issue on the PC version, but I will never find out as I will would never poison my PC with this garbage of a program!

    There is very little to explain about the races themselves as they are like the past NFS games, except the AI is painfully easy. Another questionable issue is that instead of having arrows blocking you from driving off a race, there are literally walls blocking multiple paths, but the AI traffic is programmed to literally drive through the them (Yay, another huge freaking glitch!). Why didn't EA put the arrows to allow traffic to properly drive through them? We will never know.

    I understand EA was trying to create a 3rd title to expand the game/racing structure we had in Most Wanted (2005) and Carbon, but they screwed-up this game so badly I don't know how they could have sold this without embarrassment.

    I have a theory about this game: the development time was supposedly 2 years on this title. During the first year of development, the recession happened where many companies like EA had to scale back their operations. I wouldn't be surprised if EA "cut" development of the game, told Black Box to finish whatever was complete so they could ship the game and make a profit as it would be too big of a loss to cancel the title. It clearly shows this game was incomplete. We will never know. All we know is we were given crappy glitches and incompleteness for a final product for 2008's installment of the NFS series.

    Final score: 2!
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    Unlike alot of the other User reviewers on here,I'm NOT new to the Need for Speed games.I've play them since Need for Speed 1 on the 3DO,Sega Saturn & PS1.No 1 in my opinion,ws the best.Excellent pacing,handeling,& crash physics.You actually didnt want to crash,as you would have to wait for your car to stop rolling,before you could re join the race,so you were cautious not to crash.Made for great racing.So i know what can be done with the Need for Speed franchise,So Frankly expect more than the Abysimal Need for Speed-Undercover!.. Good examples of Need for Speed games,have been Nfs 1&2,Nfs Hot Pursuit 1&2(Not the one on the 360 & PS3),Nfs-Road Challenge,Underground 1&2,& Most Wanted.Possibly Shift 2,but havnt played that yet.But even as great as those are,none of them match the great gameplay of No1 all those years ago.Anyway,back to Undercover.Now where do i start?.. The Graphics are underdetailed,The handleing physics not very good,The game world is barren(it feels like some sort of Plague has killed off the worlds population,with the amount of other cats on the road,& no pedestrians).& yet,with the poor quality graphics & barren game world,theres that atrotious frame rate! What the Hell?! The frame rate renders the game practically unplayable! & i've heard its even worse on the PS3.. The races are far too easy,& these cust scenes seem to be put in to make the game seem more slick than it actually is,& they dont serve any purpose to the story at all.just a quick cutscene,& your in another race for some reason.. The other bad thing about this game is,they've created a free roaming world,but theres NO POINT WHAT-SO EVER to free roam.Great... Theres no random challenges to be had from it,& you dont even get to drive to get from race to race,as you have to choose it off the map,to 'Warp' there anyway.What the hell were Blackbox thinking?! No wonder they got took off the NFS games after this one.It was like they got the work experience guys to make the game,while they were on holiday(or maybe they actually did make THAT bad a game themselves).. But then,Criterion have since made the exact same mistake since,with Need for Speed-Hot Pursuit.A free roaming game,with literally no point to free roam! What a waste.. The only positive thing i can say about this game,is that the engine noise is good.But thats it.Whoopie.I'm normally fairly generous with my scores,& appreciate a good game,& the work thats gone into making it when i see it,but this is NOT good,& obviously no effort has gone into it. Expand

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 62
  2. Negative: 8 out of 62
  1. A good time can be had, but only if you're patient...and a really big fan of Most Wanted. [Holiday 2008, p.68]
  2. NFS of old was about hot cars, hot pursuits and miles and miles of open road, and Undercover make a semi-successful fist of recapturing some of this magic. Looks great, plays fine. There’s no getting around the fact, however, that Undercover is basically Most Wanted with a new lick of paint. Can somebody please green-light Hot Pursuit 3? Surely the open-world horse has been well-and-truly flogged?
  3. 50
    It's clear that the Need For Speed series is in need of a GPS unit so it can get back on track.