Though the graphics look better than ever, Need for Speed Carbon seems like a throwback to the early days of the series, when we spent most of our time outracing cops in the desert. The racing action is as fast and furious as ever, and this edition incorporates both city and canyon racing for a variety of thrills and spills. The download is large and the installation lengthy, but the provided content offers an excellent trial of the full version. Customize one of three cars--Chevy Camaro SS, Lamborghini Gallardo, or Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, in Muscle, Tuner, and Exotic classes, respectively--with the AutoSculpt feature, then take to the city streets with two races to claim territories as your own and unlock a two-car duel along the canyon.
After a brief disclaimer from digitized model Emmanuelle Vaugier and a reminder to always wear your seatbelt, you're transported to the car-selection screen, where you pick your weapon, tweak it as you see fit, then take it into battle. The Circuit Race pits you and three teammates against four of the Scorpions. If anyone on your team finishes first, you win. The Drift Race forces you into many tight curves that require drifting. The more curves you drift through, the more points you earn. The last, unlockable race along the canyon starts in medias res, as you must follow a Scorpion car tightly, then lose him when you take the lead. There's not enough here to keep anyone driving forever, but there's still plenty of fun to be had with this well-produced demo.
What starts in the city is settled in the canyons as Need for Speed Carbon immerses you into the world's most dangerous and adrenaline-filled form of street racing. You and your crew must race in an all-out war for the city, risking everything to take over your rivals' neighborhoods one block at a time. As the police turn up the heat, the battle ultimately shifts to Carbon Canyon, where territories and reputations can be lost on every perilous curve. Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of customization giving you the power to design and tweak your crew's cars in every way using new Autosculpt technology.