NASCAR Heat Evolution was released on September 13th. There was not as much press out there for this game as one might think. I knew about it being released back in June but never saw any hype on it. People were not able to pre-order it till about 2-3 weeks before release. The developer of the game is “Monster Games”. They have been out of the racing video game genre for a while now, but they previously also developed the game Dirt to Daytona. I was actually excited to finally have another racing game out there that we could play.
The game reminds me of the old NASCAR games that have been released in the past. What I mean by this is that in the release of this game you can have up to 40 racers online at a time, or you can play career mode and build up your team and garage to build a better team and racing car. Which is basically how all the other NASCAR-themed games have been in my experience.
Of course, like most racing games, when your not playing against your friends your up against the A.I. (artificial intelligence). This is basically you against the computer. In NASCAR Heat Evolution the A.I. will also give you tips throughout the game to “take it high” or “take it low”. What this means is that when you “take it high”, you go to the top of the track to pass and “take it low”, means you go to the low part of the track.
As I was playing, the A.I. was not always right on its hints as I found out during the many spin outs and crashes I had. While playing Career Mode, I didn’t think the other cars operated by the AI were too overly aggressive. In fact, I thought they were a little too slow to get in your way. The brake setting in this game needs some work, however, because it is super sensitive, it will really slow you down.
You are able to set the difficulty of the course. I liked being able to take over positions as most people would in a typical racing game. I do watch NASCAR and the tracks really resemble the real ones. The overall graphics of the game, however, leave plenty of room for improvement. They reminded me of some racing games from way back in the early 2000’s.
In Career Mode you race with a team and earn sponsorships. Through the sponsorships, you receive money depending on how well you race. You can use the currency to build up your garage, in return by doing that you build up your vehicle. While it is all very functional, Career Mode, unfortunately, lacks lots of details that would make the game better, you are not able to personalize your car, I.E, paint scheme and color, I hope they do this in the next version or a future update. Disappointingly, there are no replays of the crashes in the game, unlike previous versions.
The concept of the game is great, and it was nice to see a NASCAR game back out on the market. Though graphics of the game are so-so, a little grainy and not all that much detail, the tracks did resemble the real life ones. The sound of the game needs some work, the so-called spotter didn’t always give you good advice, and there were not many game sounds that made you feel like you were actually at the race. I think this game will keep most people interested for a little while, but not for very long. As a fan of NASCAR titles and racing games, I will continue to play this game from time to time, but sadly not as often as I would hope.
This title was reviewed on the X-Box One.