The tutorial as it had been mentioned in previous posts is a terrible introduction. It is unhelpful, talky, starts and stops needlessly interrupting play, and is very condescending. At least it is short though.
When the game starts out it puts you in a public game by default. It is designed to be multiplayer, but this leaves a really bad first impression. There is no matchmaking that pairs you with people who have the same cars unlocked. This means that you will get out classed by the cars other people have unlocked. People seem to actively just try to grief other people the entire time. Since you have almost nothing unlocked, there is very little you can do about it. This is the internet, and that's what people do on the internet but it should restrict other player matching to those with the same progression. The only way to get out of this is to change the setting, and quit the game entirely. There is no leaving a multiplayer match at will. Even so you can only access the options menu when you are at your garage. So if you are out in the road and need to check on something, then you are fucked.
I like the idea of the open world environment, but navigation is poorly implemented. There is no quick way to change your gps marker while you are racing. You have to dig through menus with the dpad. Why can't I just push a button or swipe the touch pad to quick select a location? If you are getting chased, you better hope that you accidentally make it to where you need to go.
The controls and crashing don't seem to be implemented well. This may just be from a lack of experience with the game though. The optional boost add on seems to be an instant crash button. There is a slight delay on start up and stopping. You can crash on anything, and since you can't see much of the map while racing it makes boosting guess work. If the road looks straight, push it and hope it works out. It feels like the game doesn't know if it wants to be a fast reckless racing game, or a careful precision game.
This is an arcade racer. Everything should be designed around fun. Boost should be fast, precise, and responsive. Objects should be able to be hit to a certain degree because being able to hit things more is more fun.
Are my impressions off? Does the game get better?