Need for Speed Undercover Mostly Wanted

I'm a bit of a sucker for the Need for Speed games. I think this dates from my early experiences on the Playstation 1, where you got to drive a real Ferrari  (honest) through a flickering landscape of pop up buildings. I even got one of the first steering wheel peripherals to enhance the, ahem, driving experience. I especially liked the way that you got cuffed and stuffed if you failed to outrun the police.

When I got my Xbox 360 I spent ages playing a downloaded demo of "Need for Speed: Most Wanted" where you had to break free of the cops in a large city environment. Great fun, even if number one son complained that the car handling was floaty and imprecise (it was) and the way the graphics engine chugged when there was a lot going on made him sea sick (it did). However I enjoyed it so much I even bought the game.

Because the next two Need for Speed games seemed to play down the police chase aspect I wasn't that interested in them. I think that the publisher EA probably got into a bit of hot water for making a game that encouraged you to indulge in such anti-social activities as ramming road blocks and forcing squad cars into bridge pillars. Fortunately I seem to be able to distinguish the fantasy world of video games from real life, and so this was never an issue for me, but I missed the car chases.

Until now. Need for Speed Undercover turns you into an undercover cop infiltrating the evil world of dangerous driving by being the, er, most dangerous driver of all. I read some previews of the game where the developer was talking about the advanced car mechanics they've used and the new graphical enhancements and stuff. and they had it cheap in Sainsburys when I was doing the shopping and so I bought it.

Turns out that the car handling is still floaty, and the screen still chugs when there is a lot going on. I reckon they've taken the old Most Wanted engine, changed the layout of the city a bit, turned up the brightness and shipped it.  It is still fun though (but racing purists might not like it as games like Burnout Paradise do this thing a lot better - except for the cop chases).