this game is way much better than NFS rivals. it has a story line, more selection of cars, and is a lot more fun to play. like I said in another review, rock star can make a better racing game than E A ( NFS ) ever can.......unless they join forces, then who knows what kind of awesome game they can have. I also love the online gaming as well without having to put in some code or pay like you do with E A. as you can tell I wont be renting anymore E A games until they improve their game by a 100%.keep up the good work Rock Star games.
As someone who isn't a fan of arcade racers thanks in large part to not having the patience to deal with lazy rubber band AI, the post-patch MC:LA makes for a great, yet still challenging arcade racer. What's great is that the post-patch difficulty settings more or less allow you to play the game at the challenge level you desire, so that like so many other (to be fair, mostly from amateur developers) arcade racing games you don't go from immediately slaughtering the competition to being slaughtered once you pass the first 1/4 of the game.
By the time you hit the half-way point, you'll have no problem racing against hard AI in neck-and-neck races and if you hit a brick wall, that's fine. Just lower your difficulty.
However, there are some major, MAJOR frame rate issues. The game very frequently drops to around 5 frames per second sometimes when nothing is happening to cause it, but absolutely guaranteed to drop every time a special ability is used that causes many car crashes and it stays lagging for many seconds beyond the crashes, too. Also, the city blocks really don't provide for the best racing. By the time you're reaching the end, you'll have done races that feel almost exactly the same as ones you've done before many, many times. You can only take so many turns at city block intersections before you realize that they're never going to change. Likewise, going off into the river or highway only changes up the races so much.