Here is the intro / first levels of gameplay.
It’s interesting because (like many NFS games) it’s nothing like its predecessor. Cars control more realistically. It’s still not a simulation feeling, and you’re restricted to bumper, hood, and behind view. I prefer far behind or windshield view (a la SHIFT) but the hood works well enough. 360 controller worked out of the box. It controlled more like the older games, which is a good thing compared to the latest Hot Pursuit. You can’t go full speed into the corner counting on a powerslide to save you, but it’s still nowhere near realistic.
With all this technology and ability they have yet to visit a damage model. They don’t seem to think it figures into the “movie feeling” but they don’t realize if they put in an accurate physics model, the movie would happen by itself. Crashes of you or your opponents or police would result in a fiery end, mushroom cloud in the rearview sort of thing. They’ve made the racing equivalent of Modern Warfare, scripted occurences to build the excitement to make it through a scripted level. Sure, you’re going about 120+ the whole time, but there is no actual sense of danger or sense of urgency other then the surging background music.
After a good bit of playing:
So far it’s fairly predictable. Race, pass X cars (get through traffic and pass opponents), make up time (get through traffic without crashing), race some more… it’s not as organic as they make it out to be. You still stop between stretches of road. It doesn’t feel like Cannonball Run – which it almost tries to be a modern version of. The racing is ok. I like darting between the traffic, but after passing the first stage, and within 20 cars of my route to Vegas, it’s starting to feel a bit repetitive to say the least. You can apparently change cars at gas stations along the way, but it’s not clear yet how I obtain said cars. The M3 I’m in seems to be doing me well, so far there hasn’t been a need to change.
I wish they’d allow you to pass more then just the X cars though. I wouldn’t mind having some breathing room towards the later tracks, if you’re really good you can get a bit ahead, but if you need to pass X cars, there are only X cars to pass. No more, no less, and sure you get some extra XP when you are ahead of the front runner by a bit but what does that equate to? Nothing so far.