The career mode of the game is entertaining but lacks any significant detail. There is no monetary element in this game and all vehicle customizations are free and reduced to just cosmetic alterations. Not only you cannot purchase/apply upgrades to the vehicles but you also cannot alter their performance in any way, such as by tuning differential ratios or tyre pressures. Furthermore, vehicles become available by winning events or simply entering them.
Most of the game’s career plot is based on the fictional World Series Racing (WSR), as is your “investor’s” dream to create an event that will bring the best drives together into a single competition. As he goes about challenging racing clubs and foundations, you get to race them and, hopefully, win. Each win gathers more and more “fans” to your cause, allowing you to step closer into making your investor’s dream come true. Well, we guess that’s where realism comes in with this game, as you will working like crazy and risking your life to make someone else’s dream (and profits) true.
Assigning sponsors can help you gain more “fans”, if you complete their requirements of course, which for example may be to overtake another driver or beat a maximum top speed for a few seconds.
Aside from the career mode, players can create and host their own events. Such events only count as quick races and have virtually no implications to your “career” whatsoever. There is also a “splitscreen” mode, which is excellent for some up-close friendly competition.
RaceNet (online) gaming introduces the aspect of purchasing cars, as well as technical and visual upgrades. Everything, even the smallest decal, costs something. Winning races allows you to earn money and slowly “level-up”, unlocking more and more features. It is an entirely different experience than career mode. Progress in the RaceNet is enjoyable, as racing other real humans is certainly better than going against the AI all the time, yet it also is very tough and slow; and, guess what, here are where the downloadable “extra content” packs come in, offering more vehicles and options – for a price, in real world money, to advance quickly in a game which you already paid for. At least in Diablo III you were giving most part of your hard earned money to hard-working gold and loot miners and Blizzard was only demanding a cut, not the whole pie.
There are five main track modes:
- Race, which is your standard circuit X lap race against a number of opponents.
- Faceoff, which is a one on one match against a single opponent and the first one to arrive at the end of the track wins.
- Drift, where you gain points by drifting your way through corners and whatnot.
- Checkpoint, where you race against the clock and each checkpoint adds a few seconds to your doomsday watch.
- Elimination, where every 20 seconds the last car in the race is removed from the event, forcing you to overtake the opposition before that happens.
There are also minor events, such as a career event which has you overtaking pickup trucks in a circuit, giving you points for each vehicle overtaken. To win you must accumulate a certain number of points.