As for ROTT, just because it has classic features doesn't make it better than say RAGE.
Depends on what you're looking for, though, doesn't it? Me personally, I just like shooting things. I like making things explode. I... kind of sound like a psychopath when I put it that way. RAGE may be a better-quality game, but it's easier for me to get bored with it. Maybe it's my ADD, but I'm not a huge fan of walking around, talking to NPCs, then driving out into the middle of nowhere before I actually get to do anything. Don't get me wrong, I like RAGE, and I think in terms of actual gameplay it's great, but I don't like all the crap that comes in between the gameplay segments. I actually almost resent clearing out bandit dens or whatnot because I know that means I have to waste a few minutes before I get to get into combat again.
ROTT may not be nearly as refined, but I never have to worry about being bored. Something is always happening. Maybe that makes me shallow, but honestly, there are times when I don't want to work through an intricate story, when I just want to shoot stuff.
I dunno, maybe it's that I'm getting older and have less time for games. When I was younger, I loved story-driven games, I loved getting into the lore and whatnot. But when, say, you only have 5 or 10 minutes to play something, well, I'm gonna take ROTT over RAGE. ROTT certainly has its faults, but I'm almost guaranteed to get to blow shit up. With RAGE, 5 minutes means you drive to your given quest, and maybe get to clear out the first room if you're lucky.
Also, what exactly do you mean when you say the levels feel weird? They look like classic ROTT levels made with modern technology, they play like classic ROTT levels made with modern technology, so what's the problem? I mean, if you primarily play modern games, I could see you getting severely thrown off, but having played a lot of ROTT leading up to the release, I felt right at home when I finally played it.