Having played most NFS titles from Black Box and many before, this title builds on the best. The challenge is very much there to the frustration of any player. The new retry mode is a life saver allowing you to save at way points during the race. This is needed because depending on the difficulty driving a mere six feet off course can make you restart that section of the race. With up to ten attempts before retrying the level it is both fun and frustrating at the same time. I beat the game over the course of about five nights playing about 2 hours per night. I played through at normal half way and then had to switch to easy. I can easily say this is one of the best NFS titles yet, with Most Wanted and or Hot Pursuit above this.
To me this game has lots of issues that make this title very hard to just enjoy.
The story is very bland and its also a story thats very overused. "Young hot shot driver who gets into trouble and is offered a way out by racing". The main character is very boring and has no personality just a stuck up snob. Cutscenes and quicktime events are minimal.
One thing that kept putting me down was the load times. Some are very long even resetting after a crash can take up to 20seconds at most. Also this is the first game I've seen where when you crash or go off the road you reset to a checkpoint. So the game rewinds back and starts you back in a point in time. At times this isn't good at all. It will sometimes put your right into traffic and once you stop blinking you hit the first car in your way and start again. Why not just reset me back on the track like the other games and play catch up? I lose I start again!
As for the gameplay its just a collection of short sprints. Since they're so short I don't feel like I'm really racing. Hot Pursuit's sprints were longer than this. One think they did do pretty cheap was make the guardrails break on turns. I've never seen a guardrail break on a turn. Thats just Cheap!
The one thing I did like were the track designs for each area of the USA. The Mountain passes and Desert stretches were my favorites. Some races have natural disasters happening and you have to dodge debris which I thought was cool.
The collection of cars is very good but some are very difficult to keep under control which begs the question why use it? Its not even better than the easy handling car. I guess its there for a challenge but good luck! Also the only way to change cars during the RUN is to drive into gas stations. There's not one on every race and be careful when you decide to go to one. It will eat some time and can even lose positions. It can be very costly! Its also hard to enjoy the cars since there's no open world to drive in.