Bastered finally arrived from fed ex this morning, didnt get to install it till I got home this evening. Been playing it for about 2 hours, and I gotta say I really like it. No cheezyness... its a down to earth driving experience racing game. I got in.. I started racing...most of the time I won (I think the difficulty setting the game put me on because of the first race was "pussy mode"
) , but all the time I was progressing, accumulating points, unlocking minor and major achievements.
Control wise I am using the xbox360 wired controller. At first I thought the default use of the right stick for gas/break was inventive, but the 2 triggers are still better as I improved my lead lap times by double when I switched back.
Sound is amazing, this is the first racer where I can finally hear more then one sound coming from my car, you can finally hear the different sounds made from your engine, camshaft/gearbox, tires, and the game totaly exploits surround sound. The NFS original music is all good but the selections of tracks played during replays (You can apparently turn music on during races too, the volume level is set to 0 by default) sucked hard.
Graphics are real nice and clean, and I guess the tracks were nice and detailed..i couldn't tell because this is the first racer that has gotten me to concentrate so hard on driving and less on looking at the pretty buildings.
The cawkpit is really nice and I don't miss my default bumper view much at all. The only issue is if you bust up your front end, you can have a hard time seeing the road. Also some hills are hard to see over. Bumper mode in replay is a nice way to take in the speed of the game though. The action cam in the replay dosnt seem as exciting as GRID's was.
Performance is very nice. I was able to max out my graphic settings on my 8800gtx, and I also used a 2x/2x aa and af settings. Normaly I would be content with 0x/4x (Gotta have that AF, in driving games the road is one huge AF indicator bar) but I was trying to look down the road and see the indicator for hard turns and got really annoyed at the jaggies. Thankfully 2xaa was plenty for me to take away the edge. More or less I was quite impressed with the engine, like GRID it is fairly clean and optimized. I only noticed one issue in 3rd person perspective mode, you could see that behind the car was a super short draw distance, and that building reflections on the car would pop-out.