This isn't really necessarily a review, but more of a comment.
I honestly prefer this other than Shift 2 probably because they don't try so hard to be a racing simulator. This game is a mixture of a racing arcade/simulator. Shift 2's racing and flow was just not up to par with this. The racing in this game it actually FEELS really good. The cars look beautiful. The cockpit even more beautiful. If you're not satisfied with a car or parts you've added to it you can just SELL it and get every single cent you've put in that car. UNLIKE Shift 2. Oh yeah, that reminds me too, money in this game isn't hard to get UNLIKE Shift 2. And the fact that you can get a 100% refund for your fully customized car feels good. I don't have to worry about wasting my time putting blood and sweat into a car that I probably can't use 60% of the time due to tiers and specialized events. Of course the engines, transmission, skidding, etc sounds all amazing.
The customization is pretty in-depth giving you the option to go up a tier if you have all of your tiers vehicle enhancements. Which is AMAZING because you get to bring your favorite vehicle to more races. What saddens me is that the game doesn't have any night races or courses. Well, at least from what I've seen. This game also encourages ramming or playing clean. You get points which gives you bonus money and experience for playing either aggressive or clean. Yeah, pretty ♥♥♥♥ing ironic mainly because in Shift 2 they try to act like the game also encourages ramming with their spectacular Shift 2 announcement trailer. (No really. I really loved Shift 2's trailer. It was amazing.) But really you couldn't do none of that ramming ♥♥♥♥ in Shift 2 without crashing your ♥♥♥ into the rail. I'm not a Shift 2 hater at all. I actually do like it and think Slightly Mad Studios did a good job with it. Especially with the head-cam which I wish this game had, but it's just that this game is better in many other aspects and ways than Shift 2. I also like the in-game trailers showing off each type of event and music in the game. The AI's aren't really that hard to handle. I haven't really tried max difficulty to know though. Also the replay camera in this game is INCREDIBLE. It really gets you into the spot when you see yourself in a TV like position racing across the screen. I think this game has the best replay camera for any racing game I've seen.....Well, maybe not better than Assetto Corsa's replay camera. I think it's because the sense of speed on camera is set perfectly to make you feel like you're actually watching someone race. But yeah, overall. The game is totally worth it. You won't regret it. Also, don't think I was talking down Shift 2. I just think this game is just superior to its sequel in many ways.
Sorry about grammatical errors. Too lazy to edit.