A bad balance between realism and arcade.
Fun for the first few hours.
Menu with a controller is extremely clunky.
Because, unlike other NFS games, SHIFT doesn't bother to change menu buttons, like "7", for "X". It thinks you want to navigate the menus with your keyboard and mouse, instead of the obviously hooked up XB1 controller, because I'm driving with that.
Controls are just ♥♥♥♥.
Unlike most other 'realistic' racing games, SHIFT thinks that you want to go into full lock when you're at top speed, instead of progressively lowering sensitivity the faster your speed is. No, what this game does, is force you into a dumb as ♥♥♥♥ slide, as your TCS activates, because apparently it thinks you want to... you know what, I don't even know what the game thinks you're attempting to do, because that ♥♥♥♥ing TCS goes on constantly, because your car is constantly out of control at the slightest steering input. It's probably easier if you have a steering wheel, but there's no reason for the controls to be this bad on what a majority of users would be using, which is a XB or PS controller.
Physics are questionable.
Rear ending cars with another car, in real life, doesn't cause them to get shot 20ft into the air. Flipping, sure, but even that isn't simulated right in this game. Cars flip, because some part of it digs into dirt/grass, or they are really sideways when their tire suddenly gains a ♥♥♥♥ ton of grip. In this game, it's like the cars become cardboard boxes once none of their tires are touching the ground, as in they have no mass, so they just get launched 20 ♥♥♥♥ing ft into the air when you bump them right and it's ♥♥♥♥ing dumb.
And then there's the handling between these ♥♥♥♥ controls and questionable physics. Apparently, when you go into a banked corner at 'just the right speed' your car bottoms out, as evidenced by the long trail of sparks underneath the car, which causes your car to go out of control and not accept any sort of steering input. I don't know what ♥♥♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ suspension these cars use, but you can't adjust that at all in the game. I have never seen any racing cars just absolutely bottom out through the entire corner, unless it had no wheels. In fact, this is the first game I have ever played that does this. It's not like the cars doing this are F1 or other low ride height cars either, they're just tuned tier 1/2/3 cars, which should never have this problem, ever.
♥♥♥♥ this ♥♥♥♥ing DRIFTOOOOOOOO ♥♥♥♥, it's so ♥♥♥♥ing dumb, because the controls and CAMERA switch, randomly, between 'oh, you want to corner' and 'DRIFTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO'. As if the car wasn't hard enough to control already, there's a whole new dimension added with drifting events. Instead of a linear transition, or you know, a complete physics/control system, this game has a very strange camera and control transition between the start of your drift and what it considers a 'drift', which makes it unnecissarily difficult to do these events. In fact, it felt so clunky and stupid, that I totally lost interest doing any of them.
OH MY GOD, I can't complain enough about this. Okay, I get that crashing hard will disorientate you, I've had that happen in real life, but this game goes overboard with it. Tapping another car or kissing the wall does not do that in real life, yet this game does. It was fine at first, but gets extremely annoying after the 10th race with ♥♥♥♥ing ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ AI drivers that decided to randomly ram you or brake check you. and like ♥♥♥♥ I am going to hit the brakes for ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ AI getting in my way.
Oh, hey, do you like simulated frame drops? This game does that when you hit things. At first, I thought it was my PC, but turns out, that's a feature effect this game has.
And if you want to point out that I can just drive smoothly, I do when I can, but the ♥♥♥♥ing controls and handling become ♥♥♥♥ on some courses, that I can't be bothered to drive smoothly around the AI.
LOL. A map that tells you if you've 'mastered' a corner or not, it's nothing more than a distraction. Mastering a corner doesn't mean ♥♥♥♥, you just have to finish in first place, because there is no smooth cornering in this game, just the disappointing sight of smoke coming from all 4 tires, because the game thinks you want full lock instead of minor inputs.
Progressing through the game
Don't like to do some events you don't consider to be fun? well, too bad. Unless you do those, you're not going to be able to progress through the game. And that's where I said '♥♥♥♥ this game' and went ahead and uninstalled it.
I don't care about drifting events in this game, it's done terribly and I want no part of it.
Racing is fun, until you get the go-kart map with nearly zero opportunity to overtake.
Time trials, didn't even bother with those, I want to race against other cars, not the clock, especially when the controls and handling are so clunky.
Endurance. LOL, a ♥♥♥♥ing '8' shaped course for endurance? that was the most hilarious ♥♥♥♥ I've seen.
Battles. Just choose the OP car, there's no point in using the ♥♥♥♥ one, because it's going to lose 100% of the time.