Review by Warhawk

"I live for Speed, the Need for Speed that is"

Need for Speed Underground is the latest installment of the Need for Speed series, but this time it’s not about fancy cars such as the McLaren F1 or the Dodge Viper. This time around it’s all about street racing and trying to make a name for you out on the streets, which is a whole new thing in the Need for Speed saga. The only thing that some of us who have played previous Need for Speed games [with the exception of Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed], that there were cops in there chasing us since the release of Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. In Underground the only thing that you may have to worry about is trying to dodge the traffic [if you have traffic on] and the other competitors. This game is quite good but I can’t say it’s perfect but it’s still a good game to play for most of us but there are some that have played the previous Need for Speed games that may not like it and some who may like this game that has been a consumer of the series. Let’s get down to the Low Down of this game:

GRAPHICS: 9.3/10
The graphics for this game I must say are awesome besides when Hot Pursuit 2 was released over a year ago. Each of the tracks are detailed beautifully and with going though such sections of the tracks such as Chinatown which can make for a really good experience not featured in other racing games, probably except for racing games like Midnight Club. The cars are nicely detailed as well, and every part seems to be really done along with any paint scheme that you can throw onto the car to earn reputation.

STORY: 8.8/10
The story of the game isn’t that big but the thing is to try to make a name for yourself out on the street and gain a reputation as you go along. You will need to know how to earn that reputation but with the more reputation that you can get the more that you’ll probably be respected out racing with the people. Depending on what you add to the car and the type of car may depend on how fast you gain a reputation amongst the people who attend these street races. As you progress you will try to go up in the ranks in the Underground mode as well as trying to get your car on the cover of various magazines as you go about trying to make a name for yourself.

DIFFICULTY: 9.4/10
The difficulty of Need for Speed Underground can vary depending on the difficulty as well as the type of race mode you chose from Circuit to Drag to Drift. Some modes such as Drifting can be quite hard on the highest difficulty but it can be easy for those that may be used to the setting and getting the highest points possible. Some people really like having a great challenge in the Circuit mode with traffic on and with a good difficulty setting for a really challenging experience in the game. So, the difficulty can depend on how well the player’s experience and how they like to be challenged in this game, which can make for an very good experience.

SOUND: 9.0/10
The sound in Underground, is actually quite good from the sound of the engines to the tires screeching [while doing a drift] to the soundtrack is good, not the best, but still good. Speaking of the soundtrack there is a good soundtrack in this game but there are a few that could’ve been replaced by different songs, but I have to say that my favorite songs in the game probably have to be Quarter by Fuel and Two Lane Blacktop by Rob Zombie. Those two songs resemble the limpidity of Need for Speed Underground with what you can do in this game.

CONTROLS: 9.7/10
The controls are play a good factor of Need for Speed Underground. If this game didn’t have good controls [like The Getaway] I probably wouldn’t have gotten this game and went with a different game instead. With the controls that this game has it can make the game feel more realistic and controls that would end up being so repetitive. With a good control scheme, it can make the cars feel like their real life counterpart even with the upgrades that you can make to the car throughout the game and within the different game modes that are in this game so you can win races.

OVERALL: 9.4/10
Overall, Need for Speed Underground is another worthy title in the Need for Speed series and I hope that if there’s a Need for Speed Underground 2 that there are cops in it to try to catch the illegal street racers. This game is done good and it seems that many people were doubting that this would be a good game when it was announced but it turned out to be a good game for most of us who have purchased this game. This game was sure worth my $50 and I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the series and hope that they will find it to be as good as some of us did when we picked this game up. If you are wondering if you should get this game I would say rent it first to see if you like it but if you are one of those who want to pick this game up go ahead.

I hope for another Need for Speed game within the next two years and let’s hope that it’ll be like the past two Need for Speed games to be fun and quite exciting to play. It would really stupid if EA quit making the Need for Speed games since there are many of us who are fans of the series and been playing the series for quite a while.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/03


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