I've played parts of every game in this franchise, more so the most recent, FH3, and I just don't feel there is enough new here and some of the annoying aspects haven't been omitted. The environment itself, in a way, doesn't feel that much different in parts to the modified Australia we were given in the previous game. There were rumours of the open-world being based on Hong Kong, (apparently based on screens of an unreleased and unrelated game), but something like that would've offered more difference, even if perhaps lacking the possible variety the UK can offer. Once I'd had a few races, and checked out some sights, the feeling of familiarity was too strong for a craving to want to return to this for too long. This franchise still makes you sit through some boring BS about the story that I generally never care about in racing games, plus the crap before and after races. Call me impatient, but it does my head in. The lack of fast travel from the get-go still irks me. It's a nice way to increase the HLTB time but does little else and is one of the reasons why I haven't spent more time with this. Because a lot of this world is open plains, you can often just go cross country and drive like a maniac through the plains to reach your destination but then you miss out on the some of the things to do along the way. I do feel that games like The Crew made A-B driving more interesting with better challenges to complete along the way and the world in something like The Crew 2 feels more authentic than this too. I drive through Edinburgh in this and it was dead. Very little traffic.
By itself, it's great, and the racing is great, but having played the series, not so much. The modern NFS games get flack, and I'm not saying they don't often deserve it for some aspects, but the difference between the two most recent games in that series is more pronounced that it is here.