I also want to repeat something from earlier discussions: gambling-like experiences don’t have to require you to pay real money in. Their addictive qualities can cause negative effects without requiring an endless burn on your money (by precisely replicating the endorphin cycle of classic gambling via the elements of chance, winning of something you value, and constant progression towards that next gambling-like spin with ever more things to win that you value).
When the game is designed to look like gambling when doing the major acts of progression (the 5-10k credits for completing a race are not significant towards buying that next house or super-car, the 250k credit wheel roll is as are the higher end cars that spin by on the same wheel, including those which can only be unlocked this way) and everything else feels quite light so that it emphasises time spent over how you spend that time or how much focus or improvement you bring to that time then it’s making me wonder about the decisions made to tune how everything works.
It’s far from unique to FH4, but when we discuss this game then it’s something I’ve only come to find more fundamental to how I engage with the game as I’ve put more hours into seeing everything on offer. If I do write about the game (actually collecting my thoughts) then I’d probably pitch around the slightly loose way every system appears to engage with the greater whole and just how much of it feels “floaty” because of it. Not the driving, that’s more fun than it has ever been and a great time, but the systems for progression and even just how it marks what you’ve done in the world.