“The Fast and the Furious” not only made Vin Diesel a superstar (and gave us a trashy sequel in cinemas this year), but also awakened in many a sofa racer the desire for a career as a nocturnal full-throttle expert. But while the official game for the film, which is in development at Vivendi, is still a long time coming, Electronic Arts grabs the opportunity: Instead of the time-honored one need for speed-series with a normal sequel begins underground the adrenaline-fueled ambience of the illegal tuning flits – and so that nothing goes wrong stylistically, graphic and sound experts from the film industry were hired to support the virtual spectacle, who already worked on the cinematic model or the pod race from the first “Star Wars” episode contributed.
In Need for Speed Underground everything takes place at night: All races are located in a single fictitious metropolis, so most of the eight circular and stage courses have individual sections in common. In terms of spectacular lighting, the big city can almost compete with Las Vegas – you will spot bright neon signs, radiant light sources and attractively reflecting asphalt at every nook and corner. If that doesn’t put you in a speedy mood, you’ll enjoy the magnificently souped-up vehicles: the 20 or so bodies are actually rather standard fare from Mazda, VW or Peugeot, but ostentatious tuning tickles the last bit out of them. All well-known companies from the field contribute countless gimmicks, be it performance-enhancing components such as more powerful engines or the notorious ‘Nos’ turbos or purely optical elements such as chav spoilers and rims or noisy vinyl patterns on the paintwork.