So I figured I'd pop in and give my opinion of the games new card system since I've been playing the game. I'd say this is only relevant to anyone who is actually at all interested in the game. For those who are on the "fuck EA and all of its games" bandwagon, this isn't important for you. But more power to you.
I'm just here to talk about the card system/lootboxes/microtransactions, not the whole game overall. If you want a quick opinion of the rest of the game, all I have to say is that it's not really any better or worse overall than 2015's NFS. It does some things worse, and some things better, but overall I'd say they even out the same. So don't expect this game to impress or disappoint you any more than the last game.
As for the cards and whatnot, it's stupid but not as bad as it seems everyone else is making it out to be.
-Is the system a good idea? No not at all. In fact it's a pretty stupid change for the series. I can't say the previous system was perfect, but Payback went the wrong direction.
-Does it feel like it was made in order to sell microtransactions? Yeah I'd say so. Idk why else they would make it this way, especially since it's under EA. So no surprise there.
-Do I feel like the game is trying its hardest to sell me microtransactions? No, not really. I don't think the game ever actually tells you that they are there, and if they do it's only one time. Also they don't really seem to sell you anything that makes buying them worth it. You have the option but at no point have I felt like they would benefit me at all. They're not tempting, and trust me because other games do tempt me to buy them.
No matter what they don't belong in the game and they can fuck off regardless. But compared to other games, this game has a fairly harmless paid loot box system. It has ruined the upgrading and progression of the game, but I don't feel like it now pushes me to buy these loot boxes at all.
-If I ignore the paid lootboxes, does the game give me enough options to earn them and individual cards? I'd say mostly yes. You can earn in game lootboxes at a somewhat fair pace. Tune up shops which sell cards for in game cash rotate stock also at a somewhat fair pace. You can also get rid of unwanted cards and receive tokens, which can be used to roll for new cards. The rolling system is dumb, but hasn't really ruined anything. In game loot boxes give medium sized sums of cash, and tokens.
I also want to point out that the loot boxes are earned a number of ways. Leveling up, completing multiple daily challenges, and participating in the world activities. Those include drift zones, speed traps, speed runs, and jumps. They're all found in the free roam map. Each one has three stars that can be earned, and earning those stars will eventually earn loot boxes. So you do have options.
-Is the grinding required for in game money and cards obnoxiously bad? No I don't think it's quite that bad. In the beginning I did have to do some extensive grinding, but after that I've been at a pretty smooth pace with everything.
-Does the new system make it hard to enjoy lots of cars? Yes, definitely. I've found that it's best to find a car you want asap, and use it as long as you can. That's not an issue for me, since I've been able to find cars I like pretty easily. And I have no problem using them as long as possible. Also I already have two of the five derelict cars, and I'm content with using them for their respective classes for a good amount of time. But if you wanted to have a bunch of cars, you'll definitely have a lot of grinding to do. I haven't been able to swap cards from one car to another, so a new car means new cards. And buying new cars will drain your cash pretty fast. Don't expect a huge surplus of money.
Right now it says I have 23% overall game completion, so I still fairly early on. Maybe everything gets way worse over time. But for right now I'm not having a horrible time with progressing through the game, but maybe I'm playing differently than others. I've just seen websites and videos talking about the new system as if it's the worst thing ever. I don't feel like it is, but I won't deny that it's a terrible system. I'm still enjoying the game enough. That's just my thoughts.
Update: First off, they released a patch for the game that has increased the experience points and money earned from races and other activities. So that will help make things better overall.
And overall I've been acquiring money much faster. I'm already getting close to 2mill, which is a lot of money in this game. Keep in mind though that I haven't been buying cars unless I need them, so I'm not spending too much money really. The cards haven't really changed at all for me. I'm on the last chapter of the story, so I'm not too far off from experiencing everything the game has to offer.
Also I played some multiplayer, and it's just a nightmare. Unranked matches are useless unless you have a fully maxed car since that's what everyone else has. And ranked matches recquire a high level car. It's really not that fun or worth it.
Once I platinum the game, I'll come back and give my thoughts on the rest of the game. Spoilers, it's pretty meh and it's E3 reveal was very deceiving.
Not in cruelty, not in wrath, The Reaper came today, An angel visited this gray path, And took the cube away.