Full Game Review
The Need for Speed series got another dose of Hollywood magic with the release of Undercover. Actress Maggie Q plays a federal agent and is your character's only contact to the outside world as you go undercover to foil an international crime syndicate in Tri-City. Singer and actress Christina Milian makes an appearance as Carmen, a friend you encounter throughout your travels.
I've never played a Need For Speed game before. I know there's quite a few of them out now, so I took a trip to the local rental place and randomly selected one of the games to play. I wasn't expecting too much, but still expected it to be entertaining for the duration of the rental period.
Gameplay graphics are decent. Nothing super fancy, but for it's time they were right where they should be. The cars look nice, but while playing I encountered a lot of glitches. If you're in a tunnel and you change the camera angel, sometimes the game with glitch out and you'll be looking through the wall at some far off landscape while the screen flickers like crazy. There were also places where the areas you can't drive use the same tile set as off road areas that you could drive on, which got confusing when you're going 150+ mph and running from the cops.
The cut scenes were magical. It's very rare for games to use actual real footage throughout a game. Every cut scene is an actual video, filmed with real people. Gave it a nice touch too. I couldn't help but to be reminded of Fast in the Furious meets Gone in 60 Seconds. Which might not appeal to everyone, but I found it enjoyable.
Sound & Music
The music isn't bad, but there's like 10 tracks. For some reason the game likes to play the same two or three over and over again and they got highly annoying. I never figured out how to change the song that's playing, but I'm sure there's way. If not, then this game looses a lot of points for not having that option.
The sound effects were your basic car ones. Not a lot of city sounds going on. You can hear the police scanner, which I found entertaining. A lot of the random stuff they said had me cracking up laughing. For example, if one of them drive into you they claim you drove into them. Another favorite was if they missed you and plowed into a civilian's car, they flip out and claim that you totaled it and that they need an EMS dispatch right away. The only thing I would change is if they added more city noises. Like construction noises around the actual construction places in the city.
This has the most basic storyline possible for a game of this nature. You play an undercover agent who's trying to take down a car smuggler. It's your basic Fast & Furious storyline, but with a twist at the end. Seeing as how this is a racing game, I'm going to go ahead and let the lack of an interesting plot slide.
I know it's a racing game, but you do have to battle. I think there's a total of five battles in the game. You pretty much just ram your car into another car until it breaks down. Not too exciting, unless you get the cops involved. They drive so insanely that they do the job for you. It's also fun to watch them wreck their own cars by plowing into each other while trying to get you.
There's not as many as Driver 2, but there are quite a few. Falling through the ground, getting stuck on something that's not even there, having your car go in reverse even though you're not holding the reverse button, and some of the stats not showing up when you finish your mission, are all glitches I've encountered. Some of these glitches I feel could have been avoided if they took a bit more time when creating the game. Like the stats at the end of the mission should always be displayed. Having them randomly be invisible was annoying when you wanted to see how well you did.
I'm not sure how to rate this game. The only other racing game I've bothered to play was Mario Kart, so I don't have a lot of experiences with them. The game was short, had glitches, and yet stayed entertaining all the way through. I enjoyed the movie cut scenes, but didn't enjoy that they would randomly show up while you were driving. I also didn't care for the fact that you didn't unlock everything until you beat the game. It's not really a game I would want to replay after beating, just because I unlocked new colors or whatever. I wouldn't recommend this, unless you were really bored or if you love racing games and haven't played this one yet.