There used to be a point in time where I was a fan of a Nascar game; back in those days though, the only point to them was to drive around backwards. The entire entertainment spectrum was based around that method for me, as it got boring way too fast. So when the Nascar genre had ended in 2009, I was more than happy to wish it a farewell.
To be rather honest, I have never been a fan of the actual “sport” of Nascar; I cannot justify turning left all of the time. However, I had heard that a company by the name of Eutechnyx was developing a new one. Once I had heard this bit of information I figured I would give it one more go-around and see if the game has truly changed or not.
The issue with these types of games is that it is usually a hit-or-miss situation; they either get it right or they flop it. Sadly there is no in between for this genre as there are quite a few hardcore fans. I believe the Eutechnyx actually got it right for the Nascar genre.
One thing that I honestly found the most pleasant is the amount of custom options you have over YOUR car. If you are not really into those things though you then you do also have the option to play as one of the other 43 drivers. However, for me that was not an option; I have no allegiance towards any Nascar driver as again I am just not a fan.
Before I get into the actual single player “campaign”, I really would like to address the multiplayer. Yes you heard me correctly, online (and Split Screen) multiplayer! This is really one awesome addition to this franchise, and I can say without a shadow of doubt that the multiplayer is just great. However, that is when you can actually get into a game. The only issue I had was being dropped from games due to the dreaded “game lobby no longer available” type of thing that I have become so accustomed to. However, I have raced online successfully around 15 times, and out of those times I can say it was AWESOME. There was just something about playing with others online that just took this game up a notch; maybe it is the competitiveness of it.
As for single player though, this game does truly shine. If you have ever played the previous installments of the Nascar franchise, you would remember that they lacked depth and realism. Well Eutechnyx has put both of them into it with the ROBUST create-a-car / drive feature; as for realism, well let’s just say if you’re not first, you’re last. If you really want that competitiveness that is Nascar, I suggest playing the game on anything but Easy as you tend to lap them a few times (depending on the amount of laps). I had to actually put the difficulty on hard to feel challenged, and they did challenge me.
This brings me to my next point, the AI is great; one of the greatest I have ever seen in a racing game. If you play on Hard as I do, then prepare yourself because they WILL try to make you crash. I encountered so many AI opponents bump drafting me, who then would spin me into a wall. When you are driving be sure to pay particular attention to your crew chief and the “map” on the bottom of your screen as they both give you a great advantage.
In conclusion, Nascar: The Game has brought new life to a previously horrendous franchise. As long as Eutechnyx continues to make the Nascar franchise, I will have no reason to not play them. Outstanding job on Nascar: The Game!