Platform: PC, PS2, XB, GC, GBA
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Electronic Arts
ETA: November 17, 2003
Need for Speed: Underground
Need for Speed series reached it’s culmination for me with the Porsche
Unleashed installment. That
game had the perfect combination of goal oriented driving that was
challenging, races that had tricky shortcuts to master, and a myriad of
cars, albeit all Porsches. Most
found it to be a little bit of a disappointment, but for me, the true
disappointment in the series came in its most recent installment of Hot
Pursuit 2. With early facts
released about Underground, EA looks like it will return to form.
controversial, the world of underground street racing loses no appeal
when it comes to today’s youth. Be
it imported tuning or domestic displacement, this era of hot-rodders
loves to modify and customize as much as their parents did back in the
days of muscle cars. EA is
looking to capitalize on that interest with a game aimed squarely at the
car tuning lovers of today.
far, the details and screenshots released have made me realize how much
I really miss playing a really good street racer complete with creating
your ultimate street rod. From
the details, and screenshots released, there seem to be many of the most
popular cars in today’s tuner scene.
The indomitable Toyota Supra is there, as is the wet dream of
North American tuners, the Nissan Skyline.
Other popular cars include the Ford Focus, the Toyota Celica, the
Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Subaru Impreza WRX, and of course, the
pedestrian Honda Civic.
cars are assured, but what sets the game apart from most other
"build it yourself" racers is the myriad of licensed tuner
parts available. Although
the following list will mean nothing to the casual car lover, tuners
will know and be delighted to see the names Sparco, Eibach, AEM, OZ,
Enkei, Greddy, Momo, and many others included.
What most gamers will be waiting for however will be the racing itself, and NFSU will have the racing modes street racing wannabees, and aspiring law abiding street cruisers want. There will be drag racing, circuit, drift as well as the familiar knock
and a couple of
will be a straight line affair, with circuit catering to those who
actually like to turn the wheel when they drive.
Drift will allow players to attempt drift, or powerslide through
rewards for racing in the career mode are tallied through more than just
coming in first. Points
will be awarded for your driving style and the techniques you use in
your races. The more points
you gain, the more items that become unlocked for you to buy.
The appearance of your car will also affect how you move through
the game. The more tricky
your car looks, the more you will be rewarded when winning races and
pulling off tricky techniques.
of the cooler aspects of NFSU is the online mode.
The appearance of your car as you have designed it will appear
the same to other players online as it does to you.
I can’t wait to blow by newbies in all those Honda Civics while
all they can do is read my license plate and oogle my rims.
graphics is nothing surprising to me these days and very little really
impresses me but the screens for NFSU really shows off how slick and
polished the game really is. Although
the game is set only at night, the city streets seem vibrant and the
cars just look drop dead gorgeous.
The other technical aspects of the game also show that EA
hasn’t held back in attempting to create a technically excellent game.
A Hollywood visual effects expert was hired to make sure the game
feels fast, and the audio is THX certified.
With a multiplatform release scheduled for next month, EA is looking to establish NFSU as the racing game to play this holiday season. Even with only the cars and licensed tuner parts, import enthusiasts will be lining up for this title. With so much more though, even casual fans of the racing genre will likely find a lot to like. If it delivers what’s promised on paper, there should be no way that anyone should pass this one up.
fully customizable, licensed cars are included in the game from
Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru, Toyota, and many more.
unique racing events will be featured in the game including the
Racing: Explode off of the line with three other racers, on the brink of
control, as you race for the finish line.
Racing: Heat up the cold city streets with some high octane, high speed
racing, finding the fastest lines through a variety of open city
of ways to customize your ride. Pick from major aftermarket parts
manufacturers including AEM Inc., Audiobahn®, Bilstein®, Dazz
Motorsport, DC Sports, Eibach®, Enkei, GReddy Performance Products
Inc., HKS®, Holley®, Injen™, Jackson Racing, MOMO, Neuspeed®,
Nitrous Express Inc., O.Z®, PIAA, Skunk2 Racing, Sparco®, StreetGlow®,
and Turbonetics Inc.
for Speed Underground's amazing graphics will immerse gamers in the
world of after hours street racing. The diverse urban nighttime
environments are modeled after a variety of highly detailed real-world
urban landscapes. A new sensation of speed has been created in the game
by the award winning Need For Speed team and an OSCAR® nominated
Hollywood visual effects expert.
100 unique events give racers the opportunity to earn cash, buy more
upgrades, and unlock cars and tracks while increasing their street
diverse collection of high-octane music keeps the game rolling.
support for up to 4 players on the PlayStation 2 (broadband only) and
(October 26, 2003)