Pre-ordered the game because the Let's Play videos on YouTube convinced me. And well I am not all disappointed because I didn't expect it to be a simulator or something that should be playable offline (Seeing it was intended to be an MMO, I don't see why should anyone complain about that).
The game has arcade-style controls and the handling is pretty much spot on for me, at least. The game is indeed open world as I have driven a good 300 miles without doing a mission, but did stunts along the way, which is also a way to earn easy cash and parts.
Earning in-game cash (Bucks) is not that hard but buying any of the top-tier supercars is a grind, for which long faction races can get you the necessary funding (Though they might last an hour each and get you about 85000 bucks). You also get 100000 Crew Credits for joining a faction for the first time which is not obtainable via gameplay and can be used to unlocks cars without grinding, or perks that can't be bought with bucks.
The graphics are good enough, and the game works smoothly a budget gaming PC. The servers do go for maintenance frequently (And hence you can't play for about 30 minutes), but that's a good thing since it keeps things stable, allowing you to play for hours at a stretch without any issues.
So I would recommend this game if you like arcade racers NFS Underground 2.