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: 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: 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.
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.
Conclusion: Overall a very good initial offering from Eutechnyx. Their Euro background definitely doesn't seem to be a handicap as they were able to translate the "feel" of driving one of these big, heavy cars to a rather effective degree. The game is really fun and is a joy to play, but the shallow depth in the main single player "career" is a large hindrance to it's overall quality.