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: 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.
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
Excerpt: Naysayers dismiss driving in a NASCAR game as simply "turning left," but series enthusiasts know that there's more to it than that. Driving with 42 others in a NASCAR race demands focus and precision, and when it's running on all cylinders, NASCAR 2011: The Game does a good job of simulating that tension.
Pros: Often captures the tension of actual NASCAR racing, Looks and sounds good, Invitational events add some variety
Cons: Online play is a disaster, Caution flags don't always fly when they should, Inconsistent AI, inconsistent challenge
Conclusion: This may even be a bit generous given all of the problems. Eutechnyx is trying to fix things and I commend them for that; unfortunately it just feels like a beta test and that's just unacceptable. We'll just have to see how they build on this next year.