I've always been an avid NFS fan, and have owned all of them from when they began. Most Wanted was, in my opinion, the best one, Carbon was above average, but I think EA have made a serious error in this one.
When the intro screen came in and said "Lets keep racing off the streets", I thought, I wonder if they'll employ that in the game... and indeed they did. There is no street racing, you are constantly confined to boring and monotonous tournament race days which become repetitive after a couple of hours. The racing is solid, realistic, but unexciting.
The essence of NFS has been sapped out of this game, no police chases, no street racing. On the good side, the game looks good (even though the environments you race in are VERY limited), there are alot of cars which look fantastic, and what you can do to them is endless, with very accurate optional upgrades. But that's about it.
This game shows how much potential disappointment can exist in the genre. The cover looks great, the adverts looked amazing and made you want to go and buy it, but the outcome is shocking. For someone who has made racing games for years, I would expect more than this. Don't buy it, you'll be disappointed.