NASCAR '14 (Video Game Review)

NASCAR '14 is the newest release for the racing sport that once again comes from developer Eutechynx and publisher Deep Silver. The new release introduces some enhancements for the series following the success of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line on consoles and NASCAR The Game 2013 on PC for Steam. New NASCAR Highlights and a much improved Career Mode makes NASCAR '14 the most realistic racing simulation to date, and the introduction of Online Leagues allows players to team up with their friends and enjoy all of the thrills of a full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season no matter where they live. NASCAR '14 is plenty of fun and a great way to spend a weekend while waiting for the real races to begin.

NASCAR '14 is authentic to the original sport and features each of the 23 officially licensed NASCAR events from the upcoming season. Players can begin a career as an established racer or head in as a rookie driver attempting to make it in the big leagues. There is plenty of excitement throughout the season, as players drive their way through each race, but the game also includes all of the other important events such pre-race qualifying, practice and other special events to always give gamers something to work on. It's also important to nab some high quality sponsors to earn cash to fine tune vehicles and further customize the rides in the player's garage. Players can also further manage their staff and hire key contributors to their team that will help their vehicle perform at the height of its potential Though the Career Mode is only available in single player, it's still a lot of fun for fans of NASCAR.

NASCAR '14 does make some improvements over its predecessors in that driver AI has been improved to allow for more realistic races offline. Players will find that other drivers will react better to the often chaotic events happening on the track around them. The AI in the previous releases definitely wasn't broken, but it wasn't uncommon to see wrecks occur that could have been easily avoided by more careful driving, and obviously, the additional yellow flags made races less immersive and not as enjoyable overall. These problems have been corrected in NASCAR '14, so fans will find racing in the new game even more fun than it already was.

Some of the other offline modes present in NASCAR '14 include free races that allows gamers to choose real drivers from the NASCAR sport to use in the game. There are over 40 different racers in the game all with the same cars they use in real life. The game includes many different paint schemes and designs as well, so that players can choose not only their favorite driver but their favorite version of their stock car as well. More DLC is planned for the game that will add even more driver specific content to the game as the season progresses for fans who want the game to stay as up to date to the 2014 season as possible. NASCAR '14 supports splitscreen multiplayer so that players can enjoy NASCAR gaming in the same room, a feature that is often overlooked in many current generation games. There are also plenty of different options available to customize races that includes pit stop options, number of laps, difficulty settings for the AI and the effect damage has on vehicles during races.

NASCAR Highlights return in the new release with enhancements and new moments that offer even more content for gamers to enjoy alone. The highlights captures some of the key moments from the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and allows gamers to completely reenact the events as they happened in real life or rewrite history books to produce new winners from races. The Highlight moments happen exactly as the events unfolded in the real races from the position of cars on the track to minor effects such as how the weather changed at the exact moment during the races. Players can then take control and try to take out a driver they don't want winning the race or actually race and attempt to really change the outcome by winning with a different racer. The mode is a lot of fun, especially for fans of NASCAR that know where the different NASCAR Highlights originated.

One other tremendous new feature for NASCAR '14 is Online Leagues. The game variant allows gamers to join up with their friends online and race through an entire NASCAR season together. The mode is a big advancement for the series, and the only downside is that players must actually be on each others friends list to participate in Online Leagues. The mode comes with plenty of options and allows the league creator to choose which races will be completed, when the races will take place and change options to add new members or begin races at different times if necessary. The online portion of the game works well with good servers that never really seem to lag up game sessions, so players can enjoy the intense racing action without leaving the comfort of their own bedroom or living room.

Players can enjoy other race modes online with friends or random gamers as well. Online play in NASCAR '14 supports up to 16 different players at any given time, and despite such a large amount of players in one game, matches never seem to suffer. NASCAR '14 does a decent job of matchmaking, though many sessions still seem to have at least one gamer who is clearly better than the other members of the session, though there also seem to be a couple who are never as good as the rest, and we're definitely not complaining about that. NASCAR '14 features authentic racing action, so players will need to learn how to drive on the different tracks from the Sprint Cup Series before racing online, since losing repeatedly is never fun. There are plenty of options available online, so that players can always get matched up in a session that fits their playstyle.

Fans of the Eutechynx and Deep Silver NASCAR games will expect an excellent presentation in NASCAR '14, and they likely won't be disappointed. The in-game menus are easy to navigate and there is plenty of content packed into the game that basic game modes and options don't cover. Players will be greeted with friendly tutorials when starting up the game that can help with learning to navigate the various screens and menus in the game. As for the game itself, the graphics are adequate; the game doesn't look bad, but it obviously doesn't look nearly as good as other recent racing releases such as Forza Motorsport 5 and Gran Turismo 6. The game's soundtrack is decent once again too with some songs being really catchy and others falling flat out of the gate.

NASCAR '14 is a great game for NASCAR fans and a fun title for fans of racing games in general. The game doesn't do anything different that will draw a different crowd outside of racing fans, but it does give a great homage to the sport that fans can really support and enjoy. NASCAR '14 features the same drivers and race tracks seen in the real sport throughout the Sprint Cup season, and players can join in their own season in Career Mode, relive the best moments of the sport in NASCAR Highlights or even play with friends in private Online Leagues. The game packs a ton of entertaining content, and fans should start their engines in NASCAR '14 today!

NASCAR '14 is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $49.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. NASCAR '14 is rated E by the ESRB. For more information on the game, check out the official NASCAR '14 website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-16
  • Online Leagues
  • Relive Classic Moments in NASCAR Highlights
  • DLC Support
  • Online Leaderboards
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Eutechynx
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PC
Release Date: February 18, 2014

Score: 8 out of 10
Powered by Blogger.