I have played NFS since the first game. My interest in the series when steering with the D-pad stop being a steering option. , but I can work with that. What I can't work with is all the changes they made between "The Run" and "Rivals".
FIRST, Car selection is pathetic. Instead of having a selection at every level of the game that allows you to build a garage based on your driving style, they have a single vehicle unlock every level. If, by rare chance, a vehicle you enjoy using is unlocked, the upgrades aren't nearly sufficient to use it for long. There is no tuning options, and the visual customization is the worst I've seen in a racing game. Adding a decal adds it to every side of your car [L,R, and Hood] Frankly, they look stupid, and there is no way to adjust it or limit where the decal appears. The only decent graphics are in kits that come later in the game, but they are few in number and you still have no ability to alter to your taste.
SECOND, what happened to starting races on even ground? There have been NFS games where you start the race at a cruising speed, but most have started from a stand still and you take the advantage based on your aggression or acceleration. This game starts the player at a dead stop, but allows the opponents a cruising speed. Especially early on, this puts you at a severe disadvantage. I had many races where I couldn't even see my opponents for the first half minute.
THIRD, this game has the single worst GPS system since the creation of the game. I can understand trying to make it more of a background effect. Some of the older games had giant arrows in the middle of the screen or colored roadways that were clear to follow. At least you they were easy to follow! THIS game has a slight coloration on the road that doesn't even appear at every intersection and a tiny map to the bottom left of the screen. Neither get the job done. I have quit dozens of races in frustration because the GPS wasn't sufficient enough to draw my attention from the road and the ever present cop threat, to the slight variation you need to make to stay on course. At the very least, they could have made an actual GPS display up near the rear view mirror, possibly with vocal directions. At least that would be consistent with devices today.
FINALLY you have the complete lack of offline play. Quite often I simply get tired of other players coming in as cops, to wreck the progress I'm trying to make. Where is the mode that preserves the purity of getting behind the wheel and taking to the roads? What happened to the simple multiplayer from "The Run" where you can just race other players for the Gold?
In summary, this is the WORST game NFS has produced in the last 20 years. If the series continues this trend, myself, and everyone I can influence, will not be following it.