Not tried the 2012 version but 2011 had the option of a stand alone or mod install (like VHR). It started as a fairly small project so they ported over the NR2003 physics and models as a base to work from. Since then almost everything been gradually updated/tweaked/replaced as time/expertise allows. The driving experience is a little less manic than VHR but it gives better fluidity with a gridfull of cars. The races just have a better flow to them that somehow feels more natural to me. The handling of cautions is also a little better and the AI are much improved. Sadly i can't comment of 'proper' multiplayer experience as there are very few servers but my instinct it that it would be pretty sweet.
Only thing i don't like (with 2011 at least) is that they have totally overhauled the UI so it makes navigating annoying until you find your way around. Also a lot of the models are still fairly basic compared to VHR's eye candy.
Overall it feels pretty different to VHR so this may or may not be a good thing depending on your perspective but i'd say it's definitely worth a look.
Last edited by Darren_Blythe; 03/01/12 10:20 AM.