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NASCAR 14 Review


Round and round and round we go, when it stops, nobody knows. If only all reviews were that easy, a brief summary of what NASCAR 14 is about if you will. That however would make not only a poor review, but a poor game.

NASCAR is to the Americans what Formula One is to the rest of the world, high-speed motors stripped of all but essential items to keep them lean and super-fast, the familiar high pitched corners of the larger oval shaped tracks allowing for even more breakneck speeds; brakes are for wussies.

With a few game modes on offer the main campaign is where most aficionados will start, the game offering a reasonable in-depth NASCAR experience, though that is also a hindrance as even though these cars hit an excess of 180mph the reality is that it is rather pedestrian, with each race preloaded with trails and qualifying, by the time you get to the actual event most of the excitement has been drained. A saving grace is that petrol heads get to make many adjustments to their cars to get the best performance possible, with you earning cash from sponsors and winnings to do a spot of shopping. Once past all of the tinkering and race qualifiers the final race is a mixed blessing with the presentation being a of a decent quality, the high speeds translating well onto the screen as your team radio in advice whilst you judge each corner and overtake with split-second precision, using the handy on screen radar to show proximity of the other racers to your own car.



Though a fast game, those with a lead foot will quickly be peeling themselves from the barriers as 100% concentration is required and that is where the game feels a bit flat as the overall nature of the races has many yellow flags, stopping and starting the action quite frequently and even if you work hard and get the thrill of a pole position, it is often short lived thanks to the brutally realistic and unrelenting racer AI’s that are too quick to nudge you and send you all the way to the back of the pack, leaving you to scrap it out for the final few positions.



For those that want a quick pick up and play there is also the single player mode that allows you to pick a fan favourite or your own career driver and race any of the tracks, skipping the rigmarole of the long winded practices, though this still has the same issues with the solid AI challenging you at every corner.

Where I found the most enjoyment was online, moving away from the regimented racers jostling an almost perfect race line and introduces the randomness of real opponents and whist many races turn into a scrappy event, at least more fun is had here.

For fans that are all things NASCAR this purchase makes sense but for those looking for a new racing game, this comes across a little boring.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS3)

Pros

+ A full NASCAR season.
+ Customise your cars inside and out.

Cons

- Engine effects are whiney.
- A rock hard AI.

Edited On 04 Jun, 2014

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