Live support (12 racers per race)
Cars and Tracks:
You can can race any cars and tracks the host has unlocked in single player mode. There are 35 cars from a wide range of classes (ie Formula Ford, Semi truck, Ford F150 truck, Stock Car, a couple Vintage Race Cars, Touring Cars of many types such as Leon Supercopas, Skyline, Mitsubishi 3000 GTs, Formula One type cars, Rally Cars, and many others). The tracks vary from Laguna Seca, Donnington, Oulton Park, Nurburgring, Texas Motor Speedway, Pikes Peak Int'l Raceway, Bathhurst and many many more.
Gameplay in general:
The damage model is really cool, hit barriers or other cars hard and your car will develop problems. You can lose bumpers, fenders, wheels, windows, doors, etc. there are also damage indicators in the tach gauge telling you which systems are damaged (engine, transmission, wheels, etc) Bump them lightly in incidental contact and no real harm is done. The environments are nice and there is usually a lot of run off area where traction is really low so going off in the middle of a turn will almost always cause a spin or you'll slide far. However if you just barely get onto the grass you can save it by backing off the throttle a little and gently steering back onto the track. This is quite realistic and challenging. The physics model is very good, get back on the throttle to suddenly and you get wheel spin. Hammer the brake to hard and the wheels lockup. Four wheels slides are possible and controllable if you use a delicate touch, mash the controls and you'll spin.
Race with 12 people, voice chat with everyone including those in the lobby. Unique and good rating system to rank players. Everyone starts with 1500 if you suck the score goes down and if you do well it goes up. The amount by which it goes up or down depends on the comparative ratings between you and the competition and your finishing position. The races are set up as series so you run the same car or class of cars against the same people on a couple different tracks, this means you try to finish your best every time but shouldn't drive dangerously to win as it will cost you a lot if you make a mistake and lose multiple positions. The damage system does a decent job of keeping people driving cleanly especially in longer races where damage to a car can slow it down and really have an effect on the finishing order.
A bunch of series with various car types and finishing position goals for the series. Challenging and fun though most will probably charge through them to unlock more cars and tracks to run online with. The AI is pretty decent, though they generally don't take the corners as fast as they could. Drive in a little deeper on the inside and pass without much trouble if you do it right.
Pretty good, maybe not quite as detailed of cars as in PGR2 but it's sufficient and not lacking.
If you like racing games you'll love this one. If you liked PGR2 and played it online but got frustrated by people ramming you and driving with the bumper too much, you'll like this because though the first turn is sometimes hairy ... the rest of the race is usually clean an you don't have to run for the win on every race. If you think most racing games are too hard then you'll think this one is really hard.
Not much too complain about in this game. Though if I had to come up with a couple things they'd be
-it seems to glitch more than PGR2 does when playing online, perhaps it's because the game is so new that there aren't 150k people playing it online so the game you join maybe hosted very far away
-rating system isn't really well spelled out, often i raced and got no points for finishing 2nd or 3rd of 8 racers
-developer has no forum
-online persistent leagues would be awesome, i want that bad