Wanna go for a ride? Then take your Windows Phone for a spin with Need for Speed: Undercover. Silly intro puns aside, I have to say I was very impressed by this game. It’s got pretty much everything you would expect from a high quality racing game.
The game is based around a storyline where you go (as the name suggests) undercover to race around & beat opponents in an attempt to get accepted into different gangs to bring them down from the inside! This is all shown through the various cut scenes which are actual videos with actors in, not just a couple of poorly animated 3D characters.
Talking of 3D, the graphics throughout the game are brilliant. The last few racing games I reviewed were on Windows Mobile & they are nothing compared to this. The main menu of the game shows the ‘safe house’ that has been set up for you, with your car in the middle. But it’s not just a still image; it circles around the room which I feel is a really nice effect. On the wall is a map of the local area which you zoom in on when you want to choose a race to play.
Beyond this, the maps themselves look brilliant with each of the three cities offering different environments. The roads, buildings, trees & everything else that goes zooming past looked brilliant on my Optimus 7’s screen. Having said that, a lot of the time it shows on your speedometer that you are going really fast & you end up skidding round corners, but it doesn’t actually look that fast.
There is so much you can do in this game, buy cars, sell cars, upgrade cars, race, unlock cars etc.
There’s even a huge variety of different types of races that you do as you progress through the different maps, which range from simply beating your opponent around a track to having to knock as many police cars off the road as you can. I was quite impressed by the police car races because it goes into slow motion as their cars go tumbling off; it’s a very nice effect.
No matter which type of race you are doing, the controls are still the same:
- Steer using the accelerometer.
- Use N2O to have a burst of speed by flicking up the screen.
- Brake by tapping the screen.
- Slow down time by swiping downwards (for doing fast little manoeuvres)
- Pause the game by swiping down with 2 fingers (very nice addition)
You can also get points in any race by drifting round corners by flicking the device in the direction you want to go, having a near miss with another vehicle or nudging another car slightly.
Unlike various other games I have reviewed in the past, the cars all have their own look & characteristics, which are upgradable. You have the option of buying upgrades to improve handling, acceleration, speed & amount of N2O they can carry, plus you can change the cars colour, add a spoiler, graphics, a body-kit or lower/raise the suspension. New cars are unlocked as you beat certain races or scores, giving you more vehicles to buy & customize.
Something that surprised me was this game wants you to drive well. Past games I’ve tried have not cared where you drive as long as you get to the end of the race. In NFS:U driving in the middle of the road will make you go faster, driving further out slows you down & crashing can be really devastating to your lead, giving opponents a huge chance to take over. Just things like that, really make you want to drive well because you need to drive well to succeed.
Overall, there’s not much I can say other than I’m impressed. It’s a great game with plenty of gameplay, a nice variety of fun races & great graphics. Definitely worth the price. If you’re not convinced, go try out the free trial which gives you a race or two to play with. My final note is that it would be great to have a multiplayer mode to play via the internet or between devices, when WP7 finally supports it. That would be a very welcome addition.
Need for Speed Undercover Settings Video
Need for Speed Undercover Gameplay Video
Need for Speed : Undercover Xbox Live Achievements:
- Trial By Fire (5 points): Complete the NFS tutorial.
- Learner’s Permit (15 points): Acquire your first car.
- Apprentice Mechanic (10 points): Customize a car.
- Keys to the City (20 points): Unlock Port Crescent.
- Branching Out (20 points): Unlock Sunset Hills.
- Retired (50 points): Complete Story Mode.
- Aficionado (40 points): Earn 5 cars for your garage.
- Bountiful (10 points): Get a bounty over $1000.
- Old and Busted (15 points): Earn a 2nd car for the garage.
- That Was Easy (15 points): Complete Old Cutler Road.
Need for Speed Undercover Screenshots
Version Under Review : 126.96.36.199
Need for Speed Undercover costs $4.99 and has a trial which contains a limited number of levels.
Need for Speed Undercover WP7 Download