Need for Speed: Undercover is the 12th installment of the series and puts the player in the shoes of an undercover cop who needs to infiltrate and destroy an international crime syndicate by getting to their leader – a man crazy behind the wheel and a very fast driver. So the player enters the city with the goal to earn enough reputation and respect in the syndicate to get to him.
Of course this is not done by just walking up to someone and asking nicely. Instead the player freely roams the big city in his cars and accepts missions at every corner. These range from simple races to Burnout-inspired “Destroy as much as possible” goals. A completely new mode is the Highway Battle in which the player needs to put 300 meters between him and his opponent with the main enemy being the incoming rush hour traffic. Other missions require the player to bring a specific car in the best possible condition to a garage. Since the player is undercover, the police are always watching him and make his life more and more difficult as the wanted level of the car increases.
Successful races not only earn the player reputation to unlock new challenges and new parts of the city but also bring cash which can be invested in new cars or in the tuning of old ones. In addition one of the ten stats of the character automatically advances granting him more money for a win or increasing his ability to brake.