Need for Speed Undercover Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 62 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 93 Ratings

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  • Summary: Need for Speed Undercover has players racing through speedways, dodging cops and chasing rivals as they go deep undercover to take down an International crime syndicate. The game heralds the return of high-intensity police chases and introduces the all-new 'Heroic Driving Engine' -- a unique technology that generates incredible high-performance moves at 180 miles per hour during breathtaking highway battles. A mix of computer graphics and live-action movies immerses gamers in the rich world of the Tri-City Bay Area. The city’s open-world environment features over 80 miles of roads, including an enormous highway system that sets the stage for highway battles. These high-speed, high-stake chase sequences push players to the limit as they fight off cops and opponents while whipping through traffic at 180 miles per hour. An intelligent new A.I. mechanic delivers a realistic and high-energy action driving experience. Going back to the franchise’s roots, Need for Speed Undercover features more aggressive and intelligent cops whose sole purpose is to take down the player quickly and by any means necessary. Need for Speed Undercover also features the series' signature car customization, real-world damage and realistic driving physics. The game includes some of the hottest licensed cars such as the Audi R8, BMW M6 and Lexus IS-F. [Electronic Arts] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 62
  2. Negative: 8 out of 62
  1. NFS Undercover is a return to form for this long running racer series, the inclusion of the cops really puts pressure on your racing and with the addition of the usual upgrade and tuning options it helps to make this a top arcade racer.
  2. The police chases are fantastic, but the plot's bad and the gameplay is confined to an area that's much smaller than it seems like it should be.
  3. Undercover is entertaining, has excellent controls and offers lots of variety for the vehicles avaliable, which combined with a great soundtrack makes a solid racing game. Sadly, the mediocre technical performance undercuts the presentation values and the light difficulty level will turn down the most dedicated players.
  4. While not a complete success, it is a refreshing change and a step in the right direction, unlike Quantum of Solace.
  5. Need for Speed Undercover is one of the biggest bluffs of this final quarter of 2008. Far from catching the spirit of Most Wanted, the game of Black Box fails in its proposal because of an excessively easy campaign and because of its "shock-car" style driving.
  6. A steeping stone for the series, one that offers hope that EA can achieve better things in the future.
  7. Unfinished, underdeveloped racing efforts like Need for Speed: Undercover leave the acrid taste of stale engine oil and greasy do-rags in my mouth. Luckily, it’s nothing that a little time spent with Grid or PGR4 can’t wash away. Undercover attempts to return the series to its former glory, but it’s obviously lost that loving feeling.

See all 62 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 7 out of 23
  1. JimRandal
    Nov 19, 2008
    Honestly, I don't know what the people doing the reviews are looking at. I have been a fan of the series since the old days and this NFS is a definite improvement. Having scores come in below 50 for an NFS title is just plain politics and this type of stuff just kills the video game culture. Rate the game for what it is and in saying that, i give this NFS a 9. Expand
  2. Tabitha
    Dec 29, 2008
    Greatest in the NFS series behind Most Wanted (Most Wanted was my favorite!!). I was worried about buying another NFS because Carbon wasn't that great and Pro Street was the worst yet (glad I rented that one) but Undercover delivered a satisfying product. Fun to play and the cops are much harder to evade most the time than in Most Wanted in my opinion. Some quirky frame rate bugs but I can look past them. Hopefully if there is any future NFS installments they will just get better from here. Keep up the good work EA. Expand
  3. Feb 6, 2011
    What is it with reviewers lately?If a game comes out and it's easy on default difficulty then it gets bashed with a bad review.Like devil may cry 2 was awesome game but because it was easy it got bad reviews from everybody but play magazine.Then devil may cry 3 comes out and it's way to hard so they have to literally make another version of the game,devil may cry 3 special edition.Give me a break,this game is amazing for 2008 and if you don't like it to be easy then put it on hard or don't play it.They set this game like a movie and I really love everything about this game except it's not as smooth to play as other driving games but I'll tell you one thing,Midnight club Los Angeles is a better game but it is WAY too hard and you can't bump down the difficulty.Great game EA!9 Expand
  4. [Anonymous]
    Nov 22, 2008
    Although it has bugs in psychics and control which makes the already unrealistic (cinematic) gameplay a bit further it is still an entertaining game. I've played all the NFS titles and (of course this isn't the best) I thought that a gamer who never played this franchise (or simply don't hate EA) can enjoy all the stuff in there and for him/her is much more than "60-70%" in score (and seeing the users' rating that's true). I really don't understand the majority of the reviews. If EA wouldn't be this strict in release dates thus letting the programmers correct bugs and fine-tune the game I would give it 9 points but this time let's say a strong 8. Expand
  5. Nov 4, 2013
    I know that I had previously downrated hot pursuit badly, but as this being one of the first games that I got for the Xbox 360, In contrast to Hot Pursuit, I actually had some joy with playing this game, as it still maintained the option of purchasing particular vehicles for any such event, as well as a full variety of customization types. However, the customization names get way too technical in this series, almost as technical as the types of rims you'd like to buy. Anyhow, the decal and vinyl customization is much more peaked and varied from previous addons, as you can change rotation, size and position of any such decal, adding much more diversity to your own imagination. Cars are suited in "ranks", meaning that 4 would be a pretty low-performance car, as in 1 is the baddest of the bad, the fastest of the fast. Anyhow, the story itself is not original, compelling, or coherent to "undercover". Most Wanted had more of a undercover setting than this. The story makes you feel as though you have a choice, but really, you don't. You are told what to do through a linear playthrough that only becomes free roam when those quests involve races, which in itself are neat too. The area you get to play in is flagrantly beautiful, involved in the tri-states area close to where I live (if Oregon and Washington are close, they're practically the same state), however the vehicle traffic and populace feels completely empty for a metropolitan area such as that, whether by the courtesy of the dev's to make the driving experience easier or just plain lack of notation. Like in Most Wanted, most of the races are difficulty dependent on the cars you drive, but have particular races that are much more difficult than others, requiring more sporty cars and more driving determination. Vehicle damage is nigh absent, with little more than scratches and windows despite the highway runs formulating a "wrecked" motion when you run into cars. The highway runs is the new special challenge, like drifting in Carbon, as you go 1vs1 against highway traffic (again, the traffic is minimal for a metropolitian area). There are special skill boosts that allow you to gain decreased costs for particular parts, or increase other areas of your pique depending on how you perform on races, which does give you the drive to beat out each race. Also, you can perform the same races with the help of the gps, that has particular categories for any such of race, such as sprints or circuits, quest races, special races and races you have already done and new races. Despite these benefits, most of the game seems bored of itself, feeling too calm and steady for intense driving. At least this still brings the Need for Speed racing experience that we should expect, other than some future developments. It might be hard to garnish an interest in this game, but once you do, you won't feel regret buying it. Expand
  6. Oct 24, 2011
    Essentially this is a remake of NFS Most Wanted but with more events. However, EA Black Box have failed to capture what made MW so exciting: the cop chases. Instead, you play as an undercover cop and the focus is on racing against the stupidly easy-to-beat AI. Customisation is there but not as good as MW which is quite embarassing. And did I mention the driving physics? There aren't any. The game's manual will tell you all about the new engine. It's horrific. There's literally no skill in the driving, and no exciting game physics. This game is not challenging nor rewarding. The multiplayer isn't particularly fun either. Avoid even if you're a fan. If you've not played most wanted, then this is worth a look. But the game hyas many problems and glitches with a flawed multiplayer and driving which isn't as exciting as MW. Expand
  7. 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

See all 23 User Reviews