I do not want to start an article with banal lamentations, they say, Electronic Arts long ago lost conscience (although, at times, “electronics” remember its presence – see Dead Space), but otherwise it does not work out. A classic cash cow in the mega-corporation’s zagashnik, a series of arcade races Need for Speed, finally emaciated a year or two ago. The authors were bogged down in self-repetition and in every possible way demonstrated the lack of imagination as such. Of course, such a state of affairs could not be unnoticed – from time to time, the total points exposed to new iterations of the automotive saga fell by an equal number of percent. From the undisguised degradation of the brand did not save even the image change. Moving the riders from the night streets to the legal ring roads, EA Black Box forgot about the most important gameplay parameter – the fascination: only the most dedicated and patient fans of NFS managed to overpower Pro Street.
For this very reason, the announcement of Need for Speed: Undercover, at first, was perceived more than positively. Still, to drive on a modern megacity to the accompaniment of police sirens where as it is more interesting, rather than to wind circles on monotonous tracks. However, optimism began to melt directly in proportion to the speed of approaching the game to the release line. Even at the stage of stupefying press releases, the authors could not offer something new.
Although, no. Some fresh blood in the Undercover is available, namely – rollers with live actors. After gaining experience from their colleagues from EA Westwood, the developers conducted a casting, selected a number of persons with the least fee requests, invited the operator and withdrew their response Command & Conquer. It turned out not in the least worse, that is – in any way. The events that are demonstrated in short sketches invariably occur in two scenery: the office of the law enforcement organization and the garage of the local gang of hijackers. It is impossible to look at actors without tears. A government agent, an Asian model, invariably wrinkles herself from a hard-hearted lady, distributes orders to the glavgeroy, and smokes cigarettes erotically, without forgetting to showcase lace stockings and a cutout on her chest-children will surely like it. The second category of comedians is inhabited by a dimensionless hangar. They look, as expected, in accordance with the latest glamorous trends: men wear exclusively pimp outfits, the female sex prefers outspoken outfits. Even in the domestic, sorry, “blockbuster” “Street raiser” life and everyday life of the so-called “street racers” have been demonstrated much more professionally.
But playing NFS for the screen savers is like going to the theater for a buffet. Another thing that by and large to do in the fresh “Thirst of Speed” is practically nothing. Absolutely. And what can be demanded of the game, in which, as a fact, there is no main menu. In the pool of big money, beautiful women and prohibitive speeds, we are thrown immediately, without warning. Just watched the curved movie on the engine and suddenly – bang! – already sitting at the wheel of a sports car, and in the rear-view mirror the cruisers of the “pharaohs” loom.
Breaking away from the persecution, we are left alone with a deserted city. Cars on the roads come across very rarely, pedestrians do not walk the streets (tea, not GTA), and you can move to the race place by pressing a single Tab key. For the entire game, the author of these lines has never had a desire to just ride around the metropolis, satisfying excursion curiosity. To admire the same house-boxes and the faded picture was sick of still in Most Wanted.
The slogan “boredom unreasonable” could be put in red letters on the box with Undercover, because, alas, they did not bring any entertainments, except for the beaten racing regimes. Yes, and get bored after a couple of trips, and in fact there are about two hundred of them in the game. Estimate the scale of disasters?
Different variations of the races can not boast of variety. All old friends in their places: circular races, collection of checkpoints, sprints. In reality, only solo dueling on the filled freeways is required (from the driver it is required, initially, to catch up with the opponent, and then to hold out for the first certain time) and the debuting game of Highway Battle, the essence of which is to cause the greatest damage to the city and its inhabitants – motorists. Before Burnout, of course, far away, but as an emotional discharge looks good.
Damage is now more or less realistically displayed on the machines. True, there’s no use to them. Torn off the bumper and crumpled hoods do not prevent further squeeze the maximum of the car, and after crossing the finish line in the auto magically all the problems are eliminated – amateur pure water.
Since it is not necessary to spend money on repairs, money earned by honest and not entirely honest labor remains only to invest in upgrades. The choice of details for tuning, frankly, is not great – a huge assortment of two Undergrounds does not smell here. Technical settings of vehicles are also primitive. Drag the slider to the left / right and calm down. On the behavior of the car, these movements with the mouse have only an indirect effect.
However, the biggest disappointment in Undercover was bugs. The NFS series always boasted crystal clear source code and adequate system requirements. Brakes, of course, the game is not, but from the glitches of the engine begins to nausea with the very first moments, held alone. Favorite “podlyanka” here “motorchika” – the disappearance of textures right before the very nose of the racing rider. Just imagine: the car is flying along winding streets, like – a surprise! – suddenly the screen turns white, after a few seconds, showing the driver a zigzag turn. At such times, only the time-lag function saves, allowing you to pull the car out of almost any critical situation.
EA Black Box did not change its tradition and re-released the game, worse than the previous one – the comparison between Pro Street and Undercover is clearly not in favor of the latter. “We thought that we had fallen to the very bottom, but suddenly a knock came from below,” – another couple of such crafts and developers can safely sing the requiem.