NFS Undercover Hands-On

The new Need for Speed Undercover is currently in development and will be released at the end of November 2008. NFS-Planet visited EA Black Box in Vancouver and got some impressions of the upcoming racing game. Read here about what you can expect in Need for Speed Undercover:

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As in previous Need for Speed Games you have quite some possibilities for visual tuning. You can upgrade your car with several new parts and "autosculpt" them to fit your needs. Whereas you don't have such a wide range available as in the Underground series, it's still entertaining to give the car your personal touch.
Additionally you can add vinyls as well, and paint your car the way you like it. The interface is more user friendly and has been improved to give you a faster selection. The limit of vinyls is still 20, which you can place on the car.
It's possible to choose colors from a color selection wheel, as well as adjust hue and saturation. You can paint your body parts individually.
The performance tuning has been scaled down a bit in this title, as you just have a few sliders available to tune your car: Engine, Drive train, Suspension, Tires and Nitro. You can upgrade your car with several upgrade packages, but there isn't much fine-tuning available, especially not as much as in ProStreet...but for casual gamers it may be enough.


Multiplayer is similar to the previous NFS titles. No free roam and no LAN for PC. However, EA didn't exclude the possibility that LAN can come as a patch like in ProStreet.

There are three online modes available in multiplayer: Circuit, Sprint and a new mode called “Cops and Robbers”. This is a mode where two teams race against each other, mostly like Capture the Flag. It's robbers against cops, whereas the robbers have to deliver a package, while the police team tries to stop them. It's a two-round match, where the roles are switched in the second round.

The online lobby has been overhauled as well. In ranked games users just select the game mode and the system automatically finds the right race for you. In ranked games there is no host, so the system sets the parameters for you. On the other hand in unranked games you can set the parameters yourself.


Apart from the story, the Police has a very important role in NFS Undercover. Unfortunately you won't be able to play the cops yourself – only in Cops'n'Robbers in Multiplayer.

Depending on how well you're known to the cops, your car has a certain "heat level". If you have a lower heat level, only regular Civic Cruisers will follow you and try to stop you. The higher your level is, the more aggressive the police will get. In heat level 3 and 4 you're being chased by Police Muscle Cars and 5 and 6 will call the Superstate Police with Nissan GTRs. With the highest heat levels you have to deal the Federal Agents and Porsche 911s and SUVs.

The police is using different tactics and they're trying to take you out with road blocks and spike strips. It's exciting driving through the city, getting pursued by several cops and hearing them talking over the radio. While in NFS Carbon the cops where similar to those in Most Wanted, EA improved the cops AI and speech in Undercover. There are plenty of new dialogs and the police is really aggressive. You can see that as well, when they bust you and knock you down, if you try to escape by foot (in a video sequence).

However, there won't be any endless pursuits in Undercover, as EA limited the number of police cars chasing you to 10. If you take one down, another one spawns, but after a certain amount of time the spawning stops makes it easier for you to evade. This doesn't mean that there will be hardly any police pursuits, this just means that they're going to be shorter than in previous titles.

You have to be careful how often you get busted – if the cops catch you three times with one car, your car gets impounded and you'll never see it again. You can re-paint your car to lower the heat level though.


Need for Speed Undercover is an action-packed racing game, wrapped up in a neat story, combining the best of ProStreet and Most Wanted. It's a fun racer, allowing you to drive the latest high-end licensed cars like the Nissan 370Z. You see a wide variety of game modes and tracks, plenty of licensed cars and cops everywhere. The damage model is just like the icing on the cake. Tuning enthusiasts may be a little bit disappointed, but nevertheless it's a great game and if you liked Most Wanted, you'll definitely have fun playing it!

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- Shocker

You can discuss about NFS Undercover in our boards:

- Discussion Board

Further Material:

- Screenshots
- Movies
- Wallpapers

Apart from out Hands-On article there are also previews of NFS Undercover from other fansites, who attended the community event at EA Black Box as well. To get more opinions about the game, we'd suggest to take a look at these articles:

- NFS Undercover Preview @ NFSUnlimited
- NFS Undercover Preview @ NFSCars
- NFS Undercover Preview @ Boards

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