Nascar the Game 2013 – Review
So last week I got Nascar the Game 2013 and have been playing it every day since I bought it. First a little background for you few people who have been living under rock let me explain what Nascar the Game 2013 is.
Nascar the Game 2013 is a racing simulator that covers the 2013 Nascar stock-car racing season with all 23 track and all drivers and cars from the series. This game can be played from many camera angles, from cockpit to TV style viewing.
Game modes include Career, Challenge, Full Race Weekend with Practice, Qualifying and Race available both offline and online with fully customizable practice and race lengths. So there is a game mode for everyone.
I have this game running with all graphics maxed out and I’m using a Logitech G27 steering wheel and pedals for the input in game. So let’s get on with the show or as the say in Nascar, boogity boogity boogity!
Let me get one thing straight before I get started, because this has a lot of bearing on this review. When I play racing games for the most part I play the more realistic style simulators, this game is more of a simcade (Simulator/Arcade) racing game. I just want to get that out there before we start.
So for this review I started a new career as the new rookie trying to get a good start in the Nascar series. I have the racing AI set to pro level and the races are at the 50% distance.
The game opens just before the new season just underway. You are given a chance to test your car to get a feel for it before being shipped off to Daytona for the start of the season. So decide a little practice time would be good, I am shipped off to the Indianapolis Speedway for a test session.
The car feel pretty good, but I am very much over correcting and the back end is very loose and sloppy. After about 10 laps I begin to make set up changes until I feel more comfortable. The car slowly begins to become more manageable after a lot of tweaking, still not perfect but better than at first start. So I feel like I have learned enough to be able to handle the Daytona track.
This first event is first the “The Duel” a qualifying race, and then the big show, the Daytona 500.
As I enter the first practice session for the duel, once again the car is ok in a straight line but after that the car is loose and very over sensitive tail happy and don’t get me started on what it does under braking. If I brake it just wants to turn in to wall, most of the time so far I can’t regain control. So it’s time for more tweaking. I used what I learned from Indy and to no avail, it’s like the physics are completely different on this track. It’s understandable to some point because of the banking, but it shouldn’t be that bad.
After playing almost every track in Nascar the Game 2013, it’s as if they have change physics for each track rather than just for the car. I don’t really understand why you would even complicate a game like that. So if you take a setup you used in say Phoenix and try to use at a similar track, your results will vary and sometime more than you expect to almost to an almost un-drivable state.
Anyway after tweaking my setup I was able to get 33 place in the duel, so that is where I’ll be starting the Daytona 500. In the race I was hit from behind early in the race, most likely my own fault I fell back to last where I stayed for most of the race. Until the crash-a-thon began, there was a period where there was caution every lap for each lap for the next 5-6 laps as the damaged cars pulled into the pits I gained to 23 place.
I was able to maintain 23 place for about 20 or laps before be in a large wreck in turn 4, this wiped out most of the field as we were at full speed as this happened. I suffered damage to right side tire and lots of body work damage. After this the car was never the same, it pulled and really never got up to speed and I finished in 36 place covered in sweat.
It was a hard day’s work for such a low position.
I will continue my season in Nascar the Game 2013 for now that is where I’ll stop my commentary, but let’s get to the issues.
I must talk about the force feedback issues I was experiencing in my racing wheel, there is a hesitation when leaving a caution period to when you gain control of the car at the start of the restart, which tends to bump the force feedback into pulling the wheel one way or the other. This can be a major problem and it’s all the talk in the official game forums.
The biggest problem with this game so far is the complete lack of control, between the crappy physics and the surge in force feedback at starts/restarts of Nascar the Game 2013 plays will set you back, it’s an unfair advantage to the AI controlled cars.
Graphics are beautiful in Nascar the Game 2013. This is the strong point of the game featuring full damage models for the cars and lot of great detail such as leaving marks on the road, walls and whatever else is hit or run over during the running of the race. The graphics engine being used has great shading and reflective surfaces giving you the feel of a real life environment.
If you like to be creative, painting your car in the paint booth is a lot of fun but can be a time sink so be careful.
Overall the graphics are top notch for a racing game today.
Sounds are great in Nascar the Game 2013. The game is full of great music during cut scenes and transitions screen during loading.
The in-car sounds are quite amazing from the sound of the car chassis scrapping the ground to the sound of rubber flapping around from a cut tire. At some point you will be playing and wincing because you did some damage like you have to pay for it out of pocket.
Overall the sounds in Nascar the Game 2013 are very good for a racing sim.
Nascar the Game 2013 has potential to be a great game if the team continues to patch the game. Right now it isn’t perfect but still fun to play as long as you don’t have too many caution periods caused by AI cars. Yes they tend to hit each other a lot, sometime too much. This can frustrating because you will find you most vulnerable on restarts and will lose positions.
There has been some official word on the forum that the development team is working on car physics, AI, and a lot of other small fixes which should make this game better than its current state. Force feedback issues need to be worked on also, once again this has been acknowledged by staff on official forums also.
In its current state I give Nascar the Game 2013 a final score of 3 of 6
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