Score of the Game
by Kurt Johnstone
The sequel to last year’s highly successful racing game is available now for all major consoles. The game is now equipped with more cars, more tracks, more customization and more fun.
There has been a wave of several titles trying to mimic Underground 1 since its release, like Street Racing Syndicate and Juiced. Now the sequel to the game that started it all, is about to blow the competition out of the water.
There are definitely better looking games out there, but Underground 2 is still full of eye-candy. Car models are extremely accurate compared to the real thing, and the lighting effects look quite realistic.
The main problem is that the game is so dark at times that it is hard to judge some turns making the game strain your eyes and frustrate your game experience. Also, the framerate drops well under 30 fps, making the game harder to play than it should be.
The biggest change to Underground 2 is the way the single-player game is played. In order to unlock all the cars, tracks and modifications you must play the Career mode in which you drive around a free roaming city called Bayview. You can drive to certain racing events placed throughout the environment called Drag, Circuit, Drift, URL, Sprint and Street X. You must also find shops in the city to unlock new parts, graphics, and designs for your cars. Basically you can do things at your own pace and do whatever. It makes the game a much slower paced one compared to the original. It may take up to five minutes to reach a racing event. Finding new shops are not shown on your map, making it difficult and frustrating searching for some.
Aside from the Career mode, there is Quick Race mode where you choose a car and race in any of the events or you can choose multiplayer over Xbox Live or split-screen. The track designs are all very similar to one another making the game feel repetitive, and killing the replay value.
What this game does well is the customization part, giving the player a massive variety of things to change to a stock car. You can paint the car, add decals, sponsor stickers, choose rims, add
neon lights, add hydraulics, upgrade your engine, and so on. It is addictive and fun customizing your ride and then showing it off to your friends or showing it off online.
The sound is the most impressive aspect of the game. In the sequel the cars actually sound good. Not stock anymore. All the cars have their own and realistic sound. The sound of tires squealing sound great. Voice acting is mediocre. The sound track is decent, but why can’t you use custom sound tracks?
Need For Speed Underground 2 is good, but unfortunately it feels like it’s more about the cars than the actual racing. As far as modification racing games go, this is the best, but it has its flaws.