Game – NASCAR Heat Evolution
Platform – Xbox One
Release Date – September 13th 2016
Before we start I should note that I’m a huge NASCAR Fan which allows me to bring my knowledge of the sport to this review. So with that note let’s begin.
NASCAR Heat Evolution is the first officially licensed NASCAR game available on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. However, if your a fan of the NASCAR Trucks or Xfinity series this game is going to leave you disappointed as it only features the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and Cars. However, the game does feature all 23 tracks from the Sprint Cup series.
The Graphics are certainly not going to win any awards, they are adequate not great which is a shame, the track detail could be far better considering this is an officially licensed game. The detailing on the Cars seems to be pretty accurate. If you’re coming from games such as the Forza franchise and Driveclub you’re going to be seriously disappointed with the graphics on the game.
The Gameplay isn’t great, the cars handle more like an arcade game in some respects the gameplay reminds me a lot of the Old Daytona USA game from the arcade machines, especially the way the cars handle in game. The game is also plagued with frame rate issues especially during crashes the frame rates drop considerably.
One major aspect of NASCAR is their caution system especially when cars on the track crash, or those of you unfamiliar with the sport a Yellow flag the cars still move on the track at a slow pace behind the pace car, a red flag the race is paused and the cars are not permitted to move. NASCAR Heat Evolution is missing this system, resulting in the player having to try and avoid being caught up in the wreck.
The Game also features a Career mode in which the user can create their own driver, choose from a selection of sponsors and the manufacture of your car. The Career mode also features dynamic AI that adapt to your performance and provide a genuine challenge to the player regardless of their skill levels. However, I find that the AI are overly aggressive to the extent in real life situations they would be black flagged.
The Challenge mode is one of the redeeming features of the game, as you progress through the single player content you unlock challenges from drivers such as Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski which you get to play out scenarios from the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The Challenge mode seems to be the most rewarding single player mode in the game.
Race Mode allows you to race from a few laps or a full race as your favorite driver, but with the Frame rate issues, overly aggressive AI and broken drafting and lack of caution system the Race mode is unenjoyable.
Chase Mode isn’t bad but its not great neither, chase allowed you to play as your favorite driver and complete in the sprint cup to take home the prestigious NASCAR sprint cup trophy, however don’t expect full races, you usually race between 4-10 laps on the tracks from the sprint cup series. I was able to complete one of the chase modes in about 20 minutes as Jimmie Johnson. Its definitely more enjoyable than the career mode.
Overall NASCAR Heat Evolution isn’t bad but its not great neither the lack of Xfinity and Truck series content and the caution system in an officially licensed game is most disappointing and the aggressive AI becomes extremely infuriating. However, the attention to detail on the cars themselves and the sounds are definitely the redeeming aspects of the game. However broken drafting mechanics, Frame rate issues and Arcade style handling are persistent and something that can be fixed in future title updates.
Sound Effects used are fantastic and realistic
Attention to detail on the cars is fantastic
All 23 tracks are in game
You have the option to race full length in Race Mode
Challenge Mode features real life situations
Lack of Trucks and Xfinity Series content
Lack of Caution System
Over aggressive AI
Career Mode is un-enjoyable
Due to the persistent bugs and lack of content from Xfinity and Trucks Series I’m going to give this game a 6/10 Sadly the game is disappointing, hopefully the next NASCAR game has more content and less bugs with a better career mode.