Style over substance. Lowest common denominator. Appalling frame-rate. Cheesy cut-scenes. Flattened difficulty curve. BANG BANG. Sorry readers, the Need For Speed review generator escaped. Won't happen again. Once in a blue moon, EA actually gets things right, as anyone who ever played Hot Pursuit or Most Wanted will attest, and the fact that Undercover brings back some of the best ideas - namely the cop chases - from both of those titles bodes well for it not being another pile of Pimp My Ride nonsense.
This time, the predictably ludicrous premise is that you're an undercover cop 'going deep' with the Tri-State criminal underworld, gaining their trust and respect by having unintentionally amusing facial hair and driving competently. To do this, you dive into a series of jobs and race challenges and periodically face off against stern-faced individuals recovering from irony-bypass surgery. When you're not arching your eyebrows implausibly, you'll be mixing it with improbably-toned women who like the throb of well-tuned innuendo.
Silly story aside, on the surface Undercover has all the ingredients for a solid and enjoyable, albeit derivative openworld street-racing game. It's certainly varied, with all the modes you could ask for from standard Circuit races to solo checkpoint-based affairs, sprints and face-offs, where staying ahead of a rival for a set distance or amount of time is the aim.