Need For Speed: Undercover

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Need For Speed: Undercover
Need for Speed Undercover cover.jpg
The start of Need For Speed's downfall. This is also due to when you want to make a yearly game but you forget to polish it.
Genre: Racing
Platforms: PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
Nintendo Wii
Nintendo DS
Mobile (Java)
Release Date: November 17, 2008 (US)
November 20, 2008 (EU)
Developer: EA Black Box
Exient Entertainment (PS2, Wii)
Firebrand Games (DS)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Game Engine: EAGL 4.0
Havok (physics)
Franchise: Need For Speed
Previous Game: Need For Speed: ProStreet
Next Game: Need For Speed: Shift

Need for Speed: Undercover is a racing video game, the twelfth installment of the Need for Speed series. It was released worldwide in November 2008.

Bad Qualities

  1. Unusual difficulty spike; you start with ridiculously easy gameplay, then it ends with a nonsensical difficulty where everyone outruns you, even if you use your NOS to get a boost, the AI gets faster and faster until their cars crash. It also gets worse in the patched versions, especially the Origin version where they are buffed to oblivion!
    • Speaking of the AI mentioned above, the cops seem to be weaker than in previous games such as Most Wanted (2005).
  2. Terrible lighting effects, thanks to the overused bloom effect and the game world being coated in yellow.
  3. Weak story with a number of clichés.
  4. Repetitive game-play: the cop chases involve taking down a number of police vehicles along with the additional cruiser that spawns every 60 seconds. It quickly gets old.
  5. Due to improper physics implementation, driving through incline doesn't feel any different from driving on flat surface, if you use the brakes the car stops very quickly, handling is very floaty and there's no proper weight implementation for any of the cars, meaning you can take down a SUV very easily with Lotus Elise!
  6. The patched PC port suffers from random frame drops, even on a powerful machine. (You can of course fix it using the Task Manager in the Information tab by telling it to not use CPU 0.)
  7. Cheesy, underwhelming and untalented voice acting, even from Maggie Q.
  8. Underwhelming landscape. Tri-City Bay, which is based on Miami in Florida, is just a small city (Palm Harbor, Gold Coast Mountains, Port Crescent and Sunset Hills) not a big city compared to Palmont (from Carbon) which was a very large-scale city. Speaking of Palm Harbor, this borough is just an empty shell of an island but in city form.
    • The PSP port is nothing but a reskin of previous games and it reuses portions from Most Wanted (2005)'s Rockport City and Carbon's Palmont City. The same applies to the PS2 and Wii ports, albeit being slightly better but still far from perfect.
  9. Some cars are quite overpowered such as the Nissan 370Z (which was over-advertised in some of the trailers), as the latter can compete with Tier 1 cars including the Bugatti Veyron and McLaren F1!
  10. Most of the all-wheel drive cars accelerate poorly when fully upgraded, especially the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR, Audi S5 and even the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 (the Gallardo because of its upgraded drivetrain and tires being worse than the stock versions, as the car uses wrong "differential" values for both stock and upgraded versions.).
  11. Due to the afromentioned racer and police AI, the job missions are rather easy to complete.
  12. Certain cars (eg. Nissan 350Z (Z33), Chrysler 300C SRT-8, Subaru Impreza WRX STI (GDB-F)) were cut due to time constraints, as EA split Black Box into three teams, (one to develop Undercover, another to develop Need For Speed: ProStreet, and one to develop the SkateAGW series) which caused problems for development and likely lead to certain cars having to be left out due to the development time. In other words, NFS Undercover was rushed, due to EA wanting a yearly Need for Speed game.
  13. Some cars can only be driven if the player has the Collector's Edition of the game, which PC players cannot purchase anymore due to changes on Need for Speed's official website.
    • They can attain these cars on that platform of the game by changing the IsCollectorsEdition field of these cars from True to False in NFS-VLTEd.

Good Qualities

  1. It returns to the illegal street racing formula that ProStreet lacked.
  2. At least it is open world, unlike The Run. And even better, all boroughs are always accessible at the very beginning.
  3. Expanded customization, featuring the improved Autosculpt.
    • However, due to the development time, window tinting and roof scoops were cut, and OZ rims due to licensing issues, being replaced by rims from Arelli and Savini.
  4. Good graphics, unfortunately it is damaged by the yellow filter, broken LOD (level of detail) and overused bloom effect (which can of course all be fixed via modding).
  5. The sound design and damage models are pretty good, despite a portion of them being recycled from ProStreet (such as the nitrous firing sound excluding the other versions like the PS2 and Wii ports).
  6. Very good licensed soundtrack such as Nine Inch Nails' "The Mark Has Been Made" and Pendulum's "The Tempest".
  7. At least there are pink slips in which you'll be able to obtain a car of your choice at no charge (PS3, X360 and PC versions).
    • However, a mod for the PC version improves them further and gives you pre-tuned versions of the cars instead of the stock ones.
  8. The PS2 and Wii versions are better than the other versions, despite suffering from frame-rate issues.
    • In fact, they include features that are absent from other versions, such as the ability to participate in pursuits as an actual police
  9. Great score soundtrack by Paul Haslinger such as the pursuit music, which was also reused in the late World.
  10. There are fan mods exist to improve the handling and graphics in order to make the game more enjoyable, such as Project Overhaul, which improves the game's graphics a good bit as well the time cycles and skydomes.


Need For Speed: Undercover got mixed reviews. The game has Metacritic score of 65 for the PC, 64 for the Xbox 360 and 59 for PlayStation 3 versions. Many fans of the series considered one of the worst Need For Speed games ever made along with Most Wanted (2012) and 2015.





8 months ago
Score 2
I made this page for the old Crappy Games wiki, and I didn't expect this page to be on here.


10 days ago
Score 0
NFS Undercover: Sonic '06 of the NFS franchise.

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