NY Sports Day

NASCAR 2011: The Review

Formats: XBOX 360, PS3, Wii
Developer: Eutechnyx
Publisher: Activision

I have to admit, racing games are not my genre. When it comes to sports simulations, I prefer the sports like baseball, tennis and hockey – in no small part, these are the sports I cover for NYSD – and of course football, basketball and golf. But NASCAR has fallen by the wayside.

That’s not to say I appreciate a good driving game. So when developer Eutechnyx and publisher Activision acquired the rights for the NASCAR series from EA Sports, the resulting product NASCAR 2011: The Game gives the player an enjoyed and realistic experience of the racing experience.

The game goal is simple, win the race. With very realistic graphics and an easy feel, NASCAR 2011 is probably one of the better racing games to come out recently.

Playability

After loading in the game, the NASCAR plays though the garage, where a user picks the driver of choice and plays though a career mode of 36 races, consisting of the various tracks around the United States and also invitational events around the world.

The player gains what is called NXP points, from the races, which is used to level up and gain experience, opening locked paint schemes on cars, gaining racing pins and also receiving invitations for special races. The better the finish, the more points are scored. And when a player wins a race, there is 30 second burnout for an additional bonus.

The controls are what they are. Without the use of a special steering wheel controller, the player is must rely on the normal controller, which takes some time to get used to and expect to crash into a few cars and walls before mastering the system. That said, it only takes a few races before that mastery  occurs.

Once racing, the user needs to learn how to draft, a technique of gaining speed behind other cars and using that to slingshot past them. It’s not a hard to learn and something needed to succeed.

Graphics

As mentioned, the graphics are fantastic with a very realistic look and feel. There are also various views of the race, although it does distract a player from driving. Only during the beginning of the race does a player see the full look of the course, but that’s a minor pick.

Online Ability

NASCAR 2011 does have a full online community, which does feature online racing. And as a new game, it is easy to find an online match.

Yet, like many online communities, it does have some bad eggs, forcing crashes and ruining gameplay, but that’s not the developers fault rather a product of many environments.

Achievements and Trophies

NASCAR 2011 has challenging achievements (XBOX 360) and trophies (PS3) that are challenging and fun to get. They enhance the game play and not hinder it.

Glitches

Being a first generation product with a new company, there are some glitches and problems, but as of last Thursday, the developers are creating patches to solve the problems, which should be out very shortly.

Conclusion

NASCAR 2011 is a good game for anyone who is a racing game fan, a NASCAR fan, or just a casual gamer. It’s not perfect, but at the same time very few racing games have reached perfection Therefore NASCAR 2011: The Game is recommended.

Grade: B+


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