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Need for Speed: Undercover Wii Review

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

The Need for Speed franchise has millions of fans around the world who may spend a few brief moments trying the cars and tracks. But new gamers who may have played one of the new crop of racing games for the computer or consoles, will get out of the car once they try this game and start walking.

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    Build up a faster, meaner ride and hit the road 

    You can wander the city looking for a challenge 

    Then you take them down 

    Challenge the best on the streets 

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    The best parts

    Developers decided to bring the presence of the police back into the Need for Speed series with this title, and it's the best part of this game. Personally, out running the police and getting away with it, is always fun and entertaining, and the police in this game even provide a challenge.

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    These parts need improvement

    They claim the game has an open-world environment, but the design doesn't feel open, you're limited by barriers that stop you from exploring in many areas and making custom short-cuts to locations across the city.

    Where are the people? This game is a street racing game, you think there would be people walking around, standing around, and you hardly ever see anybody to run over. Where's the street traffic at the intersections and other cars on the road to dodge, did they all stay at home?

    It can be hard to navigate the city because distant objects aren't rendered until you get pretty close and the details are often poor enough to make it hard to tell the difference between the road and surrounding surfaces.

    Collisions in the game are not very realistic at all, and the visual damage never seems to affect the ability of your car to operate, you will be stopped dead when you should have just bounced off.

    There's no online option for driving mayhem with the Wii version of Need for Speed: Undercover and this can kill a good game, let alone a game with so many inherent issues.

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    The game graphics

    The frame rate is okay, but it's very slow for a driving game, which you will probably notice when the background flickers a bit in the corners. Over all the presentation is consistent with a PS2 game, it looks a little mundane and un-detailed at times, and certainly reduces the entertainment value of the title.

    Objects and cars in the distance are hard to pick out of the horizon, often cars just suddenly pop into view in front of you, which in a game where speed is suppose to be a major entertainment element in the game, can be a major problem.

    The cut scenes highlight the graphical problems well, the camera starts out panning over a good looking group of people in an animated discussion around a group of shiny cars, but as soon as you get in the car, the camera jerks around.

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    Sounds in the game

    The sound track is uninspiring and dull, a couple catchy tunes but mostly mundane stuff that hasn't been very well incorporated into the game.

    The car engines and nitro explosions sound okay, but even here it's below the standards set by previous Need for Speed titles, with dull sounding effects.

    The voice acting is average, but a bit over the top aggressive for a teen-rated game, everybody in the game is a tough guy with something to prove.

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    The story line

    The story line in Need for Speed: Undercover is pretty well written, you play an undercover cop, trying to take down a crime syndicate with ties to street racing, from the inside. The writing is actually not bad, but the other problems with the game take away any entertainment value the story provides.

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    The final mark

    Overall the Wii version of Need for Speed: Undercover isn't a fun or enjoyable game, it has too many issues and problems that just take away any entertainment value the title was hoping to get from association to previous titles. The actual driving is more functional, than fun or entertaining, and not realistic feeling at all, which should be a no-no for a racing game. Need for Speed fanatics may take the title out on the street for a quick race, but even they will soon park it for a more responsive driving experience.