Firstly, not sure what the first reviewer has done but can confirm it is 100% user error. With a 360 controller the throttle and brake are progressive, better with manual gears.
The new island looks nice, graphics are good. There is some pop-up and minor bugs. But on the whole a nice place to explore. The change of light and weather is good too.
Cars aren't bad. For some reason the sound has taken a step back from the first game. Some of the cars sound real bad, as if they were from a 10yr old racing game. While others (Ford GT40) sound good. The modelling is good, the cars look nice, interiors look good.
The racing is okay, although i tried to do some racing with the Alfa Brera and it was highly frustrating. Not sure if the Brera is really that rubbish in real life but it has some serious lack of go and absolutely no torque.
But off-roading rally style with the Subaru Impreza WRX was great fun. It's one of the better cars so far, nice model and sound.
Menu's are better and the map is better too. And the first person walk about is a good idea.
Personally for us this is a good game. It's perhaps not as good as we hoped. But we like the free roam aspect, just exploring the islands with the occasional race. Like a spiritual successor to Midtown Madness. I have F1 2010 for proper track style racing.