Something resonated with me here. I really did not like Burnout Paradise. I was a huge fan of the Burnout series, and I tried 2 or 3 times to get into Paradise but found it had so much downtime compared to the immediacy of choosing an event which some specific goals and a selection of potential cars to use. I didn’t want to spend time outside of events exploring shortcuts or jumps I might use in those events. I’d rather just learn them as I try progressively more difficult or longer races through the same sections of track.
Open world and “free-roam” was a feature that came up a lot in the mid-late 2000s, but I feel like a lot of games that went in that direction produced lifeless spaces that didn’t really serve a purpose beyond being the locations where the “main events” took place.
I guess I don’t see how racing specifically translates well to an open world format.