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Need for Speed: Uncovered

Recently, Electronic Arts’ John Riccitello did not use the typical ‘PR-speak’ to discuss his feelings on last November’s Need for Speed: Pro Street, stating:

“I thought it was an okay game, in terms of gameplay. It’s not good. But who wanted Pro Street? It was a sort of made up, put numbers on the side of your car and pretend to drive your Ferrari where? Or your Porsche where?”

This year, Riccitello has implemented some adjustments in hopes that this year’s Need for Speed game succeeds in a world dominated by Burnout Paradise and Forza. One of the first changes the CEO made was to double the size of the Vancover-based development team, before splitting them into two separate teams. This permitted the original team- who had churned out a Need for Speed title every twelve months, for the past eight years, a little breathing room. Now, the team has two full years to work on all future titles.

Riccitello also mentioned that Need for Speed: Undercover, which will be available on November 18th in the US, (November 21st in the EU), will focus on narrative storytelling. Electronic Arts has hired Hong Kong film star Maggie Q, for some live-action cutscenes. The EA head likened the game to being the interactive equivalent of The Transporter– B grade, testosterone-fueled, mindlessness.

We at Tech-Gaming wonder if Ricitello’s prescription will be effective in reviving the once engaging franchise. While giving a team additional development time seems wholly beneficial, adding a storyline doesn’t seem like a surefire path to success. Racers such as Burnout, Forza, and Gran Turismo have achieved critical and commercial acclaim from their compelling gameplay, without the benefit of narrative.

Luckily, EA has promised some of the features gamers have enjoyed most in the series- police chases, licensed cars, and the option to participate in a sandbox style of gameplay. If the developers concentrate on these core elements, Need for Speed: Undercover might be worthy of a full investigation this November.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. I haven’t played a NFS game since Hot Persuit.

  2. Ther problem with the NFS games, if they can’t find a personality; sandbox, import tuner, cops and robbers, etc.

  3. You’d think the CEO of a big company like EA could make a coherent sentence.

  4. It might be worth renting.

  5. I don’t really care about these games until they hit the $20 mark.

  6. Let’s hope Maggie Q gets close to nakkid in the game. Then I might by it.

  7. I agree. a story dont mean shit, unless you have the gameplay. Listen to TG, EA!

  8. Nice reflections. It better move at Burnout’s 60 fps framerate.

  9. Wait and see on this one.

  10. If this game is anything like Burnout: Paradise, I’m all about it. Make me come back to Need for Speed, EA!

  11. EA should call the series Need for Revenue.

  12. Cars look nice; landscape looks a bit boring.

  13. Does anyone cares about this series anymore???

  14. I’m glad they are trying to please gamers. Maggie Q is HOT!!!

  15. Nice looking pics

  16. I cant see myself paying $60 for another NFS game.

  17. Is better be good. I agree giving a team 2 years should make for a better game.

  18. Need for innovation. LOL

  19. i really like the need for speed series but the last one that came out wasn’t good. i hope this one do really good. im looking forward to it.

  20. Story based driving games? No thanks =/

  21. Let’s see if EA can make a racing game with a steady framerate; the last couple next-gen NFS had some serious problems!

  22. Why no pics of Maggie Q?

  23. Sounds like the right direction for the game; we shall see if it’s enough to refresh the series.

  24. Racing games are dead.

  25. I doubt this will be an AAA, must have title.

  26. Cover it back up.

  27. I enjoyed Underground 2, I wish they would make Underground 3, instead of the mash of garbage they come up with every year.

  28. This guy is going to blow his cover if he keeps driving around like a maniac.

  29. I’d love for this to be a good NFS release. Graphics look great, at least.

  30. How many iterations of this game can they make? Oh well. If it makes money, why stop?

  31. Those cars look nice and shiny!

  32. It’s been a while since I really enjoyed a NFS game. I hope they can eventually put out another winner.