Review by Cowsmoke007

Reviewed: 01/02/07

I don't even like racing games.

Well just to kick this off, this is my first review, so there will be flaws.

Now for the most part I will be comparing this based on Need for speed: Underground 2, which is an AMAZING game which I recommend everyone to play, or at least try.

The first thing you see, the graphics. In this game they are near perfection, not cartoony, really smooth, clear, and detailed. Although the people in this game are really strange looking, the cars look amazing, and you can customize them pretty well, but I'll talk about that later. I never really saw the frame rate drop at all. A nice, although pointless feature in this game are the photos after a race, you can't save them or anything, but after you win a race, there's a photo taken of your car in the game, and if there was a cop behind you just as you finished the race, then you will see a cop there. Kinda weird to explain but I like it. And one last thing is when you challenge a boss (or whatever), you get a cool cutscene where you or they do some crazy stunt of some sort, or at least come in with style right before you race.

STORY: 6/10
Okay, so the story is.... lacking to say the least, but no one plays a racing game for a good story, do they? Basically you get owned and the guy takes your car and is apparently the best driver around now. Anyway, your whole existence in the game is evidentley to get your car back, not earn money, a reputation, or anything else. Just to get your car. Then you get stupid calls to advance the story. Although the rest of the story fails, I really thought the idea of racing a bunch of races and adding up your bounty to progress through each level of the blacklist, which is a list of all the best racers around. Also it is literally black, with white chalk writing. What's the deal with that?

AUDIO: 9/10
I'd give this a 10, but the soundtrack doesn't have a very good soundtrack, so I just turn it off, plug in my MP3 and play what I want. Now the car sounds in this game are AMAZING, and as far as I know fairly realistic (though I've never actually heard a Lamborghini doing two hundred in an echoey tunnel). The engine doing overtime sounds very nice when the TV is cranked up pretty loud, and the brakes sound nice. There's not really an audio aspect that doesn't sound good/realistic in the whole game to the exception of the music.

Ah, gameplay, the cholesterol of a video game McDonald's burger. As stated before, I really like the idea of the blacklist bosses, and progressing through the whole thing. The races in the game are fresh and new. Thankfully, for the people like me, who don't like circuits, you don't have to do all of the races, although you have to take into consideration cop probability, length, and the type of race itself. The police chases are genius, the point is basically to set sort of "High scores" and beat other racers scores in things such as: roadblocks ran, pursuit length, and the like.There is a gameplay moment camera, which really shows off your car and adds more excitement when doing things such as going off jumps, or going through a police barricade. There are only a few things that I really don't like about the game though. First of all, the game is a lot less street. You're racing fancy cars, Corvettes, Vipers, and Porsches, not really street cars, RXs, Mustangs, you know, the ones that people actually drive. Also the game is not at night. It's all during daylight. That's something I loved about Underground 2 It was always night, which meant you could have neon lights. In this game though, there are no such lights, although there are body kits. The last thing is outruns, more of a real life situation, where you find a racer and just get far ahead. I loved those. Sadly there isn't any outruns, which would be great with the police chasing you.

CARS: 9/10
I decided to put in a cars section for the game, seeing as how that's what it's all about. The cars have realistic handling, speed, acceleration, and weight, all nicely thought out and designed, and thankfully, they are modeled from real cars. Lamborghinis, Porsches, Mercedes-Benzes, the real deal, not any of this burnout crap "Sports type 1, Sports type 2, Sports Dominator". Plenty of sports cars and fancy cars to race with. The customization level of the cars, sadly went down a notch in this game, with the only one vinyl, no spinners, no wide body kit, no neon lights, trunk audio (which I guess didn't do anything), no nitrous purge, no different mirrors, no new tail or head lights, and no different mufflers for different sounding cars. The good part though, you don't have to get a good visual rating, the bad part, the magazine/DVD ads are gone.

In short, I recommend renting one of the Undergrounds, and then buy this game.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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