Closed betatest was launched a 'few weeks ago' in August as far as I know, but ofc the beta leaked The online playing requires the beta-key, but the editor works fine, and from editor, you can simply launch the testmaps to try how it feels.
- desert twist - driftigh final - tm love - canyon arena - canyon on fire (beta) - running down a dream - split second - tortilla chip raceway - from top till bottom - full slip - hakkyou
I'm not sure if all is officially made, since we cant actually play the game without betakeys, only the editor runs which can load maps (which are included in a separate zip, so maybe only 1-2 comes from the beta, the rest is self made, dunno, i barely find info about it)
I tried it and I have to say...I dont like it very much.
Graphically speaking not much has changed since TMU (not that I really care much) but the only thing that really annoys me are the clouds and the trees. You can literally see how their textures move with the player so that he faces them from the same direction all the time. It makes the whole game really look cheap and I cant remember the trees and clouds behaving like this in TMU.
Of course it could be because of the beta but since it already is a beta where developers normally modfiy only gameplay changes or fix bugs I doubt that its different in the release version.
About the different environments from TMU: Of course they are not included but I fear that they add them later as full price DLC's (maybe +/-10€ each, best would be if they are free but I doubt Ubisoft wants that). Now that wouldn't be that bad but since I believe there wont be great changes from the TMU version (maybe additional blocks in the ditor) I think I'll stick with that.
Canyon is also not much different from Desert, the only main difference is the car behaviour and the additional blocks from the editor.