Excerpt: It has been since 2009 that a NASCAR game sped its way onto home consoles. Electronic Arts, as it has done with college football and the NFL, signed an exclusive agreement with NASCAR in 2003. Due to poor sales, the company decided not to renew the contract. Now that NASCAR 2011: The Game is in new hands, does it still hold up or has it lost its luster?
Excerpt: NASCAR The Game 2011 borrows a page from DiRT 2 (a better racing game) for presentation inspiration, having all the Options Menus located in some sort of garage. Putting you right in the middle of the behind-the-scenes action works wonders when trying to build the sense of immersion that's so crucial to this medium. However, DiRT 2 was a better-looking game, too, so all it really did was remind me that DiRT 3 is right around the corner.
Excerpt: Creating a NASCAR game is inherently a difficult task. The sport lends itself to criticisms of monotony, and the aspects that do make it exciting to many casual fans (rivalries, crashes, atmosphere) are very difficult to recreate. While the game does in fact suffer from stages of monotony, it also manages to portray some of the qualities that make driving one of these cars ever-so-much-harder than it looks.
Excerpt: After years of underwhelming results, the Nascar license has been taken out of the hands of EA, and put into the hands of Eutechnyx and Activision with Nascar The Game 2011. Nascar gamers were excited about this breath of fresh air, and the many big promises made by Eutechnyx. So, has the game left its predecessors in the dust, or did it crash and burn? Buckle up and let's find out.
Pros: Realistic graphics and tons of customization options.
Cons: Long load times; rival and black flags take away from the experience.
Excerpt: It's strange that exactly 10 years ago I was not a fan of NASCAR. I was one of those who fell under the stereotype that is was nothing but going around in circles with no excitement whatsoever. Then came the 2001 Daytona 500, which many fans remember as the day that Dale Earnhardt died. At the time I didn't realize how big he was, but I came to learn very quickly.
Conclusion: As a first try out of the gate for Eutechnyx, NASCAR 2011: The Game holds up moderately well. That being said, they will need to work on building a more in-depth career mode and a much smoother multiplayer experience if they really want the franchise to take off next year. It seems like the presentation and general racing experience were more important for this year's outing.
Summary: NASCAR racing returns to consoles with Activision's NASCAR The Game 2011, which is the first disc-based NASCAR title not associated with EA in many years. NASCAR fans will appreciate the attention to detail, but players looking for an arcade-style racing experience won't get that out of this title.
Pros: Great track presentations, Proximity radar and visual draft are nice additions
Cons: Barely any damage, Cars feel underpowered at times, No rivalries or changing AI