X360, PS3 Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | 11:30 AM

The First 10 Minutes: Undercover

The First 10 Minutes: Undercover

EA released Need For Speed: Undercover on all major platforms last week, and here's the beginning of the game in video form. As a developer, you have a big amount of money, (semi-)celebrities lined up and a cool idea - what do you do? You ruin the game by sinking the framerate. Because even though this is the fourth NFS game in this generation, they still managed to mess up one of the most vital things for a racer.




It's worth pointing out that I played the Xbox 360 version, and surprise - the Playstation 3 version supposedly performs even worse.
The police is highly involved in this game. With that, you have an open city to drive around in filled with events. Though when you race, the free roaming is gone and you have barriers on the track, practically making it just like any other street racer out there. Not to mention that the traffic drives through these barriers like they don't exist.



Now and then you see video sequences, performed by actors. It's often a bit cheesy and they sometime use confusing camera angles (you'll see some constant zooming in the video here).
The multiplayer adds a bit of fun to it all though, with the cops & robbers mode. Overall there are many licensed vehicles and big areas to race around in, but the technical aspect just drags it all down. Enjoy the First 10 Minutes of the game below, where I take on two races and have some fun with the police.

The First 10 Minutes

All comments

Commented on 2008-11-25 12:48:22
This franchise is dead, ruined by poor development. I really hope EA moves on with something fresh and new.
Commented on 2008-11-25 12:58:38
For a city, the streets are very empty.
Commented on 2008-11-25 13:09:01
I dunno, I haven't played Need For Speed in ages (probably since the dawn of the series), but I still think this looks rather good. Cheesy FMV's, car chases, Maggie Q. Dunno, but it sounds pretty alrighty to me.
Commented on 2008-11-25 13:13:23 In reply to Foo
Posted by Foo
I dunno, I haven't played Need For Speed in ages (probably since the dawn of the series), but I still think this looks rather good. Cheesy FMV's, car chases, Maggie Q. Dunno, but it sounds pretty alrighty to me.
Yeah, car chases and Maggie Q, sure. But MCLA is just so much better, and more fun to play. Did you see the framedrops in this video? The game doesn't even look good!
Commented on 2008-11-25 14:56:20
Hmm this is EA being true to form i guess, after releasing good games like burnout paradise and dead space, they go back to their old habit of releasing pretty but sterile and overproduced games with bland gameplay.
It will of course sell lot's of copies due to the inevitable huge marketing campaign and EA's favorite tactic of paying the retailers to put the game in their "top 10"
Commented on 2008-11-25 16:02:22
lol FPS Drops and 5:15 the Car traffic is to funny.
Commented on 2008-11-25 16:39:16 In reply to Manager
Posted by Manager
Yeah, car chases and Maggie Q, sure. But MCLA is just so much better, and more fun to play. Did you see the framedrops in this video? The game doesn't even look good!
MCLA has serious rubberband issues, I'll enjoy NfS much more.
Commented on 2008-11-25 16:55:32
Better off with Midnight Club LA :)

But something i never understand is why they always need to have the new slowmotion-bullcrap in every NFS game.. And in this game the camera even zooms to roadblocks and PAUSES the entire game..
The only thing you get when adding slowmotion in a racing game is immersion breaking and sense-of-speed ruining gameplay. How can you be excited about going 300km/h when the game constantly pauses and/or slows down?

Need For Speed has become a game for 8 year olds learning how to play games.
Commented on 2008-11-25 17:40:04
looks really really REALLY boring..... *yawn*
Commented on 2008-11-25 17:45:54
This game looks piss poor in comparison to the far superior Midnight Club: LA IMO. That game might not have been perfect, the rubberbanding AI is a little too harsh, but it did the whole streetracing in a convincing living, breathing world thing far better than NFS ever has and, indeed, Burnout Paradise did. It also looks great and runs with a slick framerate even with lots of traffic onscreen. This new NFS game looks severely disappointing from the videos but I hope there's a demo so I can find out just *how* disappointing it is.

It's telling though that there's usually a demo pre-release for NFS games but there's no sign of one for Undercover... ;)
Commented on 2008-11-25 17:53:07
Need for Speed is like Tombraider. Started great, ends up bad (Tombraider begins to return but still average at best). Time to end the series IMHO. On the other hand: if the cash flows in at EA, there is more chance for new franchises.
Commented on 2008-11-25 18:13:18
EA SPORTS......its just a shame
Commented on 2008-11-25 18:36:30
wtf at 5:16 lolz the car dissapeard in a wall
Commented on 2008-11-25 18:55:36
I hate that they mix stuff. Its a closed track, it shows you where to go. Yet theres still traffic wich can drive thru walls.

But hey, its worth all your money cos now you can..... DRIVE BACKWARDS!!
Commented on 2008-11-25 19:51:05
I think the last good NFS was Underground 1. Here in Hungary people still buy this crap because it's NFS...
Commented on 2008-11-25 20:03:09 In reply to Endru
Posted by Endru
I think the last good NFS was Underground 1. Here in Hungary people still buy this crap because it's NFS...
Underground 2 was also good, but the first was indeed the best. The only arcade race-game I have actually played through completely.
Commented on 2008-11-25 20:11:26 In reply to droezelke
Posted by droezelke
Underground 2 was also good, but the first was indeed the best. The only arcade race-game I have actually played through completely.
Yeah. I completed UG 1 like 3 times :D. At that time I think it was a fresh idea. But this reminds me a lot of Most Wanted. I didn't liked that one.. And what's with the nearly empty city lol.
Commented on 2008-11-25 22:31:43
This was the one with "physics designed in collaboration with Porsche engineers" and I called BULLSHIT on that one as always. And here it is, bulllllshiaaaattttt.
Commented on 2008-11-25 22:50:30
The game isn't very bad. In my opinion EA is rushing the NFS release so they can make money, if they took the time to make a decent game they would get more respect thus getting more money. It takes them like one year to develop a new game, it takes time to make something good, just take the GT series as an example, and what's up with the sun?? It seems like its following the car :S
Commented on 2008-11-25 23:00:33
How do they even do it? They have absolutely NOTHING going on in the world, no pedestrians, barely any other vehicles or any kind of sign of life, incredibly stale and bland environments, ok car models and lighting...and still...they can't get the game to run at a decent framerate.

The game seems to have been dumbed down a hell of a lot as well. Doing "free-roam" is absolutely pointless except for being able to write it on the boxshot. The whole layout of the game seems pretty poor as well as far as I can tell from the reviews and videos. Progression seems nonexistant.

Seriously, MNCLA pisses all over this...that game looks AMAZING and has so much going on at a solid framerate. Gameplay and progression is spot on as well...except for it being so bloody difficult! That's almost a game-breaker for me.

This game, I wouldn't even play if I got it for free...all they're getting from me is this rant and that's it. Absolutely no respect whatsoever for EA Blackbox. :(
Commented on 2008-11-27 07:53:21
It's a better game than Pro Street. I also don't have a problem with the actual racing taking place in closed off circuits, considering that's what you've always been doing in previous openworld NFS games. I agree the open world in Undercover is pretty pointless though, especially when all you do is basically use a menu to get to races and events. Graphically, it looks better than Most Wanted and Pro Street. Even with the barren enviroments, it's not nearly as bad as some reviewers say, and I'd go as far as saying the car models are better than Midnight Club's.
Commented on 2008-11-27 11:00:30
as said previously, instead of rushing to get them out annually, they really need to step back and take a look at what users feedback is. problem is, they are squeezing and squeezing the franchise till breaking point......why? because people STILL buy the shit games they produce and they will not take note.

I love the physics video where they explain that the cars handle differently.............WELL F*CKING YES! they bloody well should do, i paid £40 for this shite and they are telling me the cars handle different?! haha....

I want it to merge with the old style nfs. country/mountain roads and modifications, but with a bit more realistic handling. imo most wanted was the last good nfs, but nfsu2 was the one i played most.

About the game


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