PAX 2008 hands-on: Need for Speed Undercover, rollcage edition

From the depths of the M.C. Escher nightmare of Dead Space we slid into the sweet embrace of a high-octane car. Need for Speed: Undercover knew that it needed to impress people with something besides picture-pretty cars racing along at high speed through city streets, so it wrapped itself inside a glorious steel gaming cage. A gaming cage that looked like something they'd use to teach driver's ed out of in the future. Find out all about this must-have, but can't-buy gaming accessory after the break.

This photo-realistic driving game looks sexy enough when you've got the sleek Maggie Q. featured in your cinematic cutscenes, but if you cram it inside a metal rollcage complete with 5.1 surround sound, the Microsoft driving wheel with the pedals, a custom shifter, and an uber-comfortable racing car seat, then you've created something we covet. Unfortunately, they're a tad too freaking bulky and heavy to slip unnoticed into our geekpacks. This is a bit like showing us Madden NFL 09 in the middle of a football field... of course it makes things look better.

While we'd probably enjoy playing everything from Grand Theft Auto IV to Boom Blox in one of these rigs, it's obviously meant for racing and it made us click with Need for Speed: Underground. While the damage doesn't seem realistic at all (you can rear end a slow moving station wagon at 150+ mph and keep going), the graphics tend to make you forget about that. Randy called this "Need for Speed: Most Wanted with a new paint job," during his hands-on, and he's right. However, it's one pretty damn good-looking paint job. Plus, when that paint job comes wrapped in a custom driving rig, we start coveting.