Plot: You are a talented young race driver who has caught the attention of a sponsor. They give you a free car (yay!) in the shape of a dodge charger, but before you go out there in that vehicle, you need to gain a reputation. You still sitting there?
Right before you can become the next best thing behind the wheel, it's a case of looking at the driver invitations. These are events that will take you all over the world, driving in various types of races, from time trials to drift racing grand prix's. You can drive muscle cars, formula 3 race cars to name but two types of vehicle. Tracks vary from short circuits to the nurbergring and from time to time the le mans 24 hours race (at the end of each season) There is more than enough for you to get your teeth into with this title.
Controls are simple enough to master, R2 to accelerate, L2 applies the brakes, circle button activates the hand brake. This is the first game I think that featured the rewind feature so if you crashed, or made a mistake you could act like a timelord and reverse time and try and prevent that crash or collision. These are limited to just 5 rewinds and less on higher degrees of difficulty, and on the highest degree it isn't there at all.
Online play is fast and furious and smooth as can be, but there is occasional pop up in the distance. On the whole though the graphics are as sweet as can be, with car detail looking polished to say the least, Clouds, sunlight etc etc are reflected beautifully on the cars body work and the animation of the cars is as smooth as silk. It lacks the customization options of Forza but that does not matter.
If you want a challenging game (and even on easy it gets to be challenging with very hostile A.I. drivers) then this is it. If you want thousands of customization options then look elsewhere amigo.
Collisions are as meaty as anything seen in Need for Speed Shift and you can almost feel the whiplash after some crashes. If you don't mind a game with a fairly sharp and steep learning curve and aggressive driving then this is the one for you. The steep learning curve does impact the score I feel though. I found controlling some of the higher performance vehicles that soon become available to you a bit of a problem.
I actually think that maybe progress and access too the more powerful cars could have been scaled better. One minute you are in a high performance impreza, no worries but the next race you could (if brave enough) be in the driving seat of a formula 3 race car, a totally different ball game entirely. So be aware of that before trying this bad boy.
It's worth a go but you may want to prepare yourself to get some chill pills in!