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Edge: Going Undercover With Need for Speed (Preview)

Edge writes: ""Neon is dead. The Batmobile is in." So says Jesse Abner, producer on Need For Speed Undercover. Apparently, customisation culture is no longer about Tango-coloured dragon decals and flashing fibre-optic wheel lights. Duly, Need For Speed has exchanged the vulgarity of car-park doughnuts for police intrigue. Maggie Q brings a touch of Hollywood to the proceedings, playing a sultry federal agent, issuing orders to you from stern, minimalist interiors in which light is so scarce it has to be sparingly portioned into smoky beams.

While Undercover's FMV sequences try to concoct some kind of motorised version of Infernal Affairs, the game gives you 160km of open roads to spin around, spattered with missions and events that can be accessed instantly from the map screen. It's a refreshingly unfussy interface and, so long as you aren't already in a race, you can go straight to your garage and swap cars instantly. Our hands-on preview code offers only a small number of events – a straight-up race, two highway battles (where the objective is to get a certain distance ahead of another vehicle), and a theft event, in which we find ourselves having to slip away from the fuzz in a recently pinched cop car."

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