Hot babes and weirdly dressed femme dudes aside, your goal is to take over the city, one race-based turf war at a time. The usual suspect race types return (speed traps, circuits, and sprints), along with some new - or old, if we're going a few games back - drift races.
The driving is spot on, bringing you in slowly before unleashing fury as you advance on rival turf. There are dozens of real-life licensed vehicles, each of which can be lovingly customized and sculpted to your heart's content, creating a unique hot rod all your own. Whether you free roam (potentially drawing the eyes of the law) or hop event to event via the map, there's at least a dozen hours of career mayhem in store.
Sadly, there's no online play for the Xbox or PS2 (what's up with that?), but the 360 and PC versions come equipped with some sweet multiplayer modes, especially the hellacious Pursuit Tag. There's something to be said for piloting a balls-out cop cruiser, chasing down a lone racer only to find the tables turned once he's tagged - at which time, you become the racer striving to keep the five-oh away as long as possible.