Need for Speed: Underground - Xbox

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Need for Speed: Underground (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D First-person / Third-person Genre:
Racing: Car
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: EA Black Box Soft. Co.: Electronic Arts
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 21 Nov 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
No Accessories: No Accessories


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Although never developed as a deadly serious racing title in similar vein to Gran Turismo, Electronic Arts’ perennial Need for Speed series has become one of the most prolific and popular racing series the genre has ever seen. Porsche 2000 and Hot Pursuit were among the best sellers, but EA’s latest offering is set to outperform everything to go before it, in Need for Speed: Underground.

Something of a virtual representation of cinema’s The Fast and the Furious, Underground, as the title implies, gives players the freedom to partake in non-legal races in city streets using a multitude of 'modded' cars and racing enhancements. In typical EA fashion, Underground includes licensed racers from the likes of Mitsubishi, Subaru and Toyota, and all are customisable thanks to part manufacturers such as AEM, Audiobahn, Nitrous Express, OZ and Turbonetics.

Drag racing and street racing are the game’s main modes of play, but there are some 100 racing events that give players the chance to race, earn cash, buy upgrades, then race some more. All cars handle differently depending on their set up, and it’s up to the player to choose the right set up for the race at hand. Controls are dead simple, but tweaking your car can make all the difference.

Modelled on real world landscapes, Underground locales are exclusively based in a nighttime environment in which there are some great graphical effects. Reflections and lighting are among the most spectacular, and the feeling of speed is much more notable in this instalment, thanks to the help in development from an OSCAR-nominated visual effects expert.

Underground is arguably the best in the series - it's certainly the fastest - but ultimately, it's up to you how well you perform. Go Faster stripes won't help you here. We’re not saying it’s the greatest racer of all time, but it sure isn’t the worst - not by a long shot.


Need for Speed: Underground - Xbox Artwork