Three distinct regions are offered in the city of Rockport, along with cycling weather. Racing events take place between sunrise and sunset, unlike in the Underground where the events took place at night. A Grand Theft Auto-like Free Roam mode is provided as in Need for Speed: Underground 2, but is still limited to Career mode, as well as pursuit-based events in other modes.
Brand promotion previously seen in Underground 2, is present here as well, with Old Spice, Burger King restaurants, Castrol oil, Axe Unlimited and Edge shaving gel featured. The Cingular logo is still visible in the game's wireless communication system. Performance, body and visual parts that can be bought in the game are also from real life companies. However, Best Buy stores did not return from Underground 2.
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