NASCAR 2013: The Game – Preview (PC)

For review see here

Like many of you, my first experience with NASCAR was Daytona USA – the arcade version, of course – and that crazy theme-tune that came with it. Unlike many of you, however, my experience with NASCAR doesn’t end there. Some time in the early 2000s as I was sifting through the bargain shelves looking for a game to buy on the cheap, my eyes met with a NASCAR game and as an avid racing fan, I had to have it. Cue disappointment. The cars didn’t control well, the graphics weren’t particularly good and there was no real difficulty to it. It really just felt like holding down the accelerator and turning left every now and then.

 

That experience is in the past and from a totally different developer, so let’s move on. NASCAR 2013 comes to us from Eutechnyx who can be considered driving game veterans at this point, bringing us such games as Le Mans 24 Hours and Big Mutha Truckas – two completely different styles of racing game – showing diversity and quality. What does this mean for NASCAR 2013?

Nascar The Game 2013 2NASCAR 2013 is a Simulation Racing Game, but unlike common misconception – of which I am also guilty – it isn’t “Just turning left every now and then”. NASCAR is a bit more deep than that and draws a lot of parallels with Horse Racing. The cars have to be thoroughly researched, tuned and tested. The drivers require extreme amounts of concentration and spacial awareness. The teams also need a strategy to ensure they pull forward in the pack and don’t lose positions during their pit stops. In the NASCAR 2013, you will play out seasons as a NASCAR driver through Career Mode. There are plenty of options for customisation, tuning and even the ability to customise what happens during a pit stop. The driving mechanics are solid and there are plenty of assists to cater to any level driver.

I’ve had a lot of fun in my time previewing this game, but it hasn’t all been fun. I’ve run into some minor bugs such as graphical glitches – these don’t hinder game-play at all, but can be annoying – and major bugs such as the sound breaking and stopping the game from loading properly – I expect these will be gone in the final version. Despite these bugs, NASCAR 2013 does a lot of things right and is full of little details you just don’t see in other driving games. I’m looking forward to the full release in July. While there are some issues, the game is solid and will appeal to both NASCAR and Racing fans in general.

Check out some gameplay footage below.


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edit: I’ve been noticing some search terms popping up. I’ll address any I see here that I’m able to answer.

Q: How do I accept pit stop changes?

A: When you cross the line into pit lane, a menu will pop up allowing you to customise how you will spend your pit stop. The 1 key will set it up to fuel and change left wheels, the 2 key will do the same for right wheels, the 3 key will change all wheels and re-fuel, the 4 key will add just a little fuel. You may also scroll through these options using the left and right arrow keys. While an option is highlighted, you can use the up and down arrow keys to modify what will happen to said option. An example would be if I highlight “Repair”, I will be given the options “Yes” and “No”. Whichever option I move to will apply when I reach the end of pit lane and work begins on my car. When the animations for changing tires, re-fueling and repairing appear, you can no longer change your options. TL;DR: Pit changes will apply the second the pit menu disappears.

Q: What bugs are present in the beta?

A: The only bugs I have encountered are: The car graphics flickering and showing the roll-cage outside of the car’s body, Sounds crashing and repeating infinitely (this bug requires a re-start to fix) and some textures outside of the tracks not loading properly. I expect these will all be fixed in the final version come July (and I will mention them in my review if they’re not).

Nascar The Game: 2013 is currently in beta, and still contains some bugs. The game is due for release at the end of July. Afull review will be posted upon release.