Need for Speed: Underground 2 is the 8th game in the Need for Speed series and was released in 2004. It is a sequel to Need for Speed: Underground and is the first Need for Speed title to include free roam. The game is based in a fictional city known as Bayview.
A special edition of the game named Need for Speed: Underground 2 Sha-do was released only in Japan for PlayStation 2 under the label "EA Best Hits", featuring changes aimed at the Japanese public such as various Japan localised car names, and seven exclusive Art Factory vinyls which replace some of the Contest vinyls.
The story begins after the player has beaten Eddie's street gang - "The Eastsiders" in Olympic City. The player is now revered as the best street racer in Olympic City. The player is called after the final race by a bald man with an "invitation" to join his team.
The mysterious bald man on the videoscreen tells the player that he "is not taking no for an answer." In defiance the player abruptly hangs up the call.
The player is called by Samantha whilst en route to a celebratory party. She informs the player that the party is really kicking and the people they want to see player at the party.
An unidentified black Hummer H2 is seen waiting in a dark alley for the player. The call is suddenly interrupted by a dazzling light from the Hummer's headlights. The headlights blind the player while the Hummer instantaneously rams the player's Skyline in an effort to wreck it.
A man with a scythe tattoo on his hand rolls down his window following the collision and calls to confirm that he "took care of a problem."
6 months later the player appears on a plane flight to Bayview with a good luck note from Samantha that also refers to Rachel Teller as well as a car key with an engraved "Rachel" key fob.
The player arrives in Bayview to find Rachel's green Nissan 350Z waiting for them outside in airport terminal parking.
The player is instructed to head to a car lot and choose their first car. The money is provided by the insurance on the totalled Skyline. However the player may enter 3 race events utilising Rachel's car.
The player will encounter a man known as "Caleb Reece" whom is the leader of "The Wraiths" and turns out to be the driver of the mysterious Hummer.
Rachel reveals to the player that Caleb is attempting to take control of the racing scene in Bayview by manipulating the sponsorship deals in his favour.
The player eventually encounters The Wraiths. Their cars all have the same satin black paintjob with a grim reaper vinyl along the side. The player will also meet a female Wraith member named Nikki Morris whom drives a Ford Mustang GT.
She will join the players side after they defeat her in a series of URL events. Caleb will be infuriated by this and will challenge the player to a final showdown in his Pontiac GTO.
Players are able to enter either the career mode or Quick Race mode in the game.
Career mode will see players completing races and tuning their vehicles as they advance through the game. Careers are split in five levels with each seeing an increase in difficulty. Players will be able to enter a new district of Bayview as they advance through the game alongside new parts and vehicles.
The Quick Race mode allows the player to create their own races with different options. Players can use vehicles they have created in My Cars as well as any vehicles from their career. More tracks, cars and parts will be unlocked in Quick Race Mode as the player progresses through the career mode.
Players can drive around the city of Bayview but only during night time. Bayview is divided into 5 districts with different aesthetics and roads within each. Players can visit Tuning Shops, Car Dealerships and race events seen around the entire city. Player can use a GPS to help navigate around the city.
Players can find money rewards and unmarked race events in some areas of Bayview. Players will also compete in Outrun events with AI street racers that randomly appear on the streets of Bayview.
Need for Speed: Underground 2 features a variety of different event types. Players can unlock upgrades and cars by winning events seen in the career mode.
- Circuit - Players compete against other racers in closed circuits with a set number of laps.
- Drag - Players compete against other racers along a closed straight road. The winner is the racer to complete the stretch of road in the shortest time.
- Drift - Players have to slide around corners in order to gain points along a closed circuit. Players earn more points depending on the speed and angle of their slide. The winner is the racer with the highest amount of points at the end.
- Outrun - The leader must overtake and reach a distance of 1000 feet (300 metres) from their rival racer. Winning enough Outrun races unlocks time trials for special parts.
- Special Event - The player must complete a closed Point A to Point B event before the time runs out.
- Sprint - Players compete against other racers along closed roads from Point A to Point B.
- Street X - Players compete against other racers in closed circuits along tight corner roads with a set number of laps.
- SUV Events - A selection of circuit and sprint events where only SUVs can race. It is available in Career Mode if the player is driving an SUV. It is also available in Quick Race mode if the player chooses an SUV to race with.
- Underground Racing League - Players compete against other racers in a tournament on a closed race course. Racers get points after each race based on their position. The winner is the racer that has collected the most points after the final race. Each URL win unlocks a car in the car lots.
Underground 2 utilises most of the customisation options featured in Need for Speed: Underground. Players can modify almost any part of their vehicle such as lights, bumpers, side mirrors, stereo equipment and Spinners.
The Star Rating from Need for Speed: Underground is also used.
Performance customisation is just as comprehensive as visual tuning. Players are allowed to install various performance modifications to their vehicle.
Players will be offered to appear on the cover of a magazine after reaching certain star rating levels. Players will be given a phone call from Rachel to tell them the location of the cover shoot but the player has to reach it before the photographer leaves.
Players will enter photo mode upon reaching the photo shoot. The player can drive, show off their interior customisations and utilise different camera angles in order to find a good shot for the magazine cover.
- Pigeon Park within Beacon Hill holds a memorial dedicated to a man named Brad Lawless. The game is also dedicated to their memory within the game's credits.
- Garage doors are not rendered when viewed in the rear view mirror.
|Need for Speed Series|
|Games||The Need for Speed • II • III: Hot Pursuit • High Stakes • Porsche Unleashed • Motor City Online • Hot Pursuit 2 • Underground • Underground 2 • Most Wanted (2005) • Carbon • ProStreet • Undercover • Shift • Nitro • World • Hot Pursuit (2010) • Shift 2: Unleashed • The Run • Most Wanted (2012) • Rivals • Need for Speed (2015) • Edge • Need for Speed (2017)|
|Handheld||Underground Rivals • Most Wanted 5-1-0 • Carbon: Own The City • Hot Pursuit (iOS) • No Limits|
|Compilations||The Need for Speed Collection • Collector's Series|
|Films||Need for Speed|