After Shift, Pro Street and the rest of the recent installments of the NFS franchise I didn't have much hope for the latest sequel. In spite of my fears the game turned out to be a positive disappointment in every way.
First of all, it has a good storyline, something I have missed from the afore mentioned prequels. The protagonist is a capable, young driver, who somehow managed to anger the maffia to a point where they want to kill him. An old friend proposes to deal with this little trouble, if Jack (the protagonist) agrees to enter and win a race from San Fran to NYC. And so the 4600km run begins...
The gameplay is quite smooth in story (or Run) mode as we progress through the States. Controlling of the cars is managable, even though there are several categories from easy to expert but these are stated in the cars' description. During the races, you will pass checkpoints to which you can reset your car if you belive that to be good (or it gets reseted automatically, should you wreck it). A few times during the course of the game a quick-reaction minigame will appear which I think makes the game more coloful.
The graphics are mind-bogglingly great (at least at 'ultra' they are) and the environment is very diverse: you'll have to race though deserts in Nevada, snowy mountains in Colorado, huge cities like Chicago and rural and industrial areas alike.
When you finished (about 12-14 hours) the story mode, you can start the Challenge Series mode. In these races you will have specific tasks to complete for different kinds of rewards.
All in all, I believe everyone would enjoy this game, especially the old Need for Speed fans.