The game has absolutely no story in particular(in stark contrast to the EPIC storyline of the last game). A voice just tells us that we need to fight our way through the Blacklist and become the “Most Wanted” racer in Fairhaven. The collection of cars is pretty impressive. From uber-luxurious Benley’s to the classic muscle Shelby Cobra’s this game just about has it all. The city of Fairhaven has been designed with quite a lot of detail. From twisty turns down the hills to express- ays that let a player open up, to industrial sites; this city just about has it all. The graphics have been pretty well done, driving over mud and puddles actually makes the car pretty dirty.
Coming to cop chases, there are a total of 6 level of heat; this is in sync with the level of force that is used against you to stop & apprehend you. The chases on the highest heat level are pretty hard to evade, there will always be a car that will catch you in cooldown mode. With increase in heat level, the difficulty to evade Spike strips and roadblocks gets pretty difficult. You will hit the spikes atleast once when cops are chasing you in the highest heat levels. This actually makes the game pretty interesting and keeps you on your toes during chases, as a result the games forces you to take unconventional routes to evade cops. I found myself on railway tracks and in other offroad places in a bid to evade cops. Even when the chase goes offroad, the cops start deploying SUVs to chase you better. Cooling down from higher heats take a long time and happens in stages i.e when a chase in heat level 4 reaches max cooldown the heat level reduces to 3 and so on(unlike the previous game where once the cooldown becomes full the chase has been evaded).
The handling of cars could have been better. Initially it took a lot getting used to as the steering of the cars felt dead and unresponsive. But as time passed you get accustomed to the handling. To me this is the biggest letdown of the game and reduces quite a lot of fun from the game.
Each car has its own set of races of varying difficulty(from easy to hard). Some of these races are the same for more than one car. Finishing in the top 2 spots unlocks upgradable parts for the car which helps in the performance(in addition an in-game currency called Speed Points(SP) are awarded). Also each car has to separately unlock all it’s parts. Suppose I win a race with a 911 Turbo and unlock Nitro boost, I have to again complete the specific race with my other car(say SLS AMG) so that I get Nitro boost even on my SLS AMG. Once one wins an event he or she can always come back to the same event and attempt to beat your own best times for additional SP(usually 500 SP). The game also has Speed Cameras which log the speed of the car through that camera. All this is easy to track via Autolog(and even creates competition among friends). The game also has a system called Easy Drive which makes it easy to choose races and get to races via races. It also enables you to make changes to your car on the go. Just choose “customize car” from the list and we can use various upgrades that we unlocked.
Here are a few screenshots from the game: