I've only played for an hour doing the tutorials, but I think it's fair to share first impressions. I don't know that the game gets much more depthy than the tutorial challenges put into practice on a course with opponents.
First of all, the controls are not very arcadey. You will really only use a few buttons - left and right steering, accelerate, brake, and hand brake, with the option to throw in an up and down shift on the manual transmission. But the cars handle like "real" cars. They're sensitive and twitchy. Because of this, my first impression was a bit let down, but after playing for just a little while longer I started to appreciate the attention to detail that you'll need to play well.
Second, the overhead camera is really cool, but can be hard to follow, especially when you're moving at speed. Your car can get lost in the environment and boom - that's it.
Just like with real cars, if you make a mistake, you're going to feel it. It takes a little while for your car to top out at max speed, so if you bump a wall or opponent, you are going to slow down and lose a lot of ground that may be impossible to recover. I already know how I'll react to this without playing much - during races this can be highly frustrating, but equally rewarding when you execute a perfect run and win a race.
If you want something forgiving where you can zoom around and bash into things, this isn't it. You have to pay really close attention and focus while you play, but because of this RWR is intense and captivating. After accepting that there was a strong sim component to this game, I started to enjoy the tutorials a lot more, and I'm headed back to try a few beginner races.
Edit to add: Very fun to do the actual races. Not forgiving of mistakes, but your car doesn't take damage as far as I can tell, so you do get a bit of a free pass. Noob pro tip: just like driving a real car, I found myself looking up ahead on the track as opposed to at my car. Also, mastering drifting is absolutely critical.