Need for Speed Underground
Need for Speed: Underground (NFSU) is a racing game, developed and published by Electronic Arts in 2003. It is part of the Need for Speed computer and video game series. It was created at the EA Black Box studios, located in Vancouver, BC.
Its premise (highly tuned, customised cars participating in illegal street races) was likely inspired by the Import Scene and the movies The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious.
A complete reimagining of the series' formula, NFSU offered a career mode featuring a storyline, and a garage mode that allowed players to fully customize their cars with a large variety of brand-name performance and visual upgrades. All races take place in a city at night. Instead of hundred-thousand dollar exotics, Underground featured vehicles associated with the Import Scene. This, plus the increasingly arcade-like controls, became points of controversy for Need for Speed fans. Despite this, Underground was commercially very successful, and inspired a sequel.
It is rumoured that the car manufacturers were very strict in how their vehicles were to be portrayed in this game, especially considering the "illegal street racing" reputation of the tuner culture. EA took some effort in making the races appear as sanctioned racing events, and included a public service announcement in the game's introduction. In addition, vehicles do not have damage models.
Underground sold over 15 million copies worldwide.