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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: NASCAR 14

Created: 02/25/2014 9:36 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

Get your engines ready race fans, because “NASCAR 14” is out, and you will want to check this game out.

I just played a review copy of Deep Silver’s “NASCAR 14,” and it is by far the best NASCAR/racing game that has been released in my opinion.

The game is absolutely amazing, and the graphics are stunning.  You would swear you are really in the driver’s seat of a real NASCAR.

There are so many fun and new features that have been added since the last NASCAR game that will have fans playing for hours.

Before you start racing, you can choose the design and look of your race car.  You can select custom paint in the paint booth and you can also create and upgrade your car for every race.  I guess a lot of fans have been asking for this feature and the developers listened and made this feature possible in “NASCAR 14.”

The first thing I did when I started playing “NASCAR 14” was play a single player race.  There are a few different options to choose from when you do select single player.  You can do a quick race where you choose your driver and track.  You can do a track testing where you can test one of the many different tracks and you can also start a single player season.

I chose to do a quick race and selected the “Race Now” selection.  Then I could choose to begin the race, change my assists, tune up my vehicle or go back to the race shop.

I selected “begin race and my first race was awesome.  Once I chose my driver and track the race started.  There were 43 other cars in the race, and it was exciting.  As soon as the race started, my heart was pumping, and I was on the edge of my seat.  I didn’t win the race, but it was a great first experience.

Controlling the “NASCAR” car is very easy and just about everyone will be able to pick up the controller and start playing with no problems at all.  I am not very good at racing games, and it usually takes me a little while to figure out what I need to do. 

I didn’t have any problems with the controls at all, and the nice things is that there is a spotter or a person that is talking to you the whole time you are racing and telling you what to do such as break or where to move the car.  I thought that this was really helpful, and it felt like you were listening to them through a head set.

The handling of the cars has really improved, and the cars perform just like they would in real life.  This is very impressive, and I know players who have played the other NASCAR games are really going to notice this.

The AI system has been improved, and the drivers will respond to how they would in a real life race.  This is awesome because it really gives the more experienced racers a challenge when they play.

At the top of the screen, there is a video box that acts as your rear view mirror, and you can see cars as they are getting close to you.  On the right side of the screen is a diagram of your car.  This shows you how badly damaged your car is and also how your tires are doing.  If you damage your car, run out of fuel or your tires get worn you can choose to make a pit stop, and everything will be quickly repaired.

On the bottom right of the screen is your speedometer and fuel gauge.  It also a good idea, to keep an eye on these gauges as well.

You can choose to play multiplayer online, and you can create an online league where you can have up to fifteen other players join, and you can all race an entire season and the game keeps track of all of the stats and schedule.

You can also find and play single races online, and I didn’t have any problems connecting or playing a full race.

There is also a career mode which is a lot of fun.  You can create your own car and driver.  As you start winning races, you will earn credits that you can use to upgrade your car.  Plus you will also start getting sponsors. 

Before you start a race in career mode, you can look at the driver standings and see who is in the number one spot.  You can check out and upgrade your car in the research and development menu.  You can see who your sponsors are and you can also restart your career.

One of my favorite modes is the “NASCAR Highlights.”  Here you can relive and rewrite some of the greatest moments in NASCAR history.  You are given an objective such as, you are Dale Jr., and you are in fifth place, you must pull ahead and win the race.   There are many of these exciting moments that you can choose to play.  Players will be able to download highlights of the 2014 season each month on the PSN, XBOX Live and Steam.  I know players are really going to like this.

I really enjoyed Deep Silver’s “NASCAR 14” a lot.  It is such an exciting and thrilling game.  The graphics are amazing, and the controls are very easy to learn.  There are so many great modes such as single player, multiplayer, career, and highlight that will keep players racing for a very long time.  If you are a fan of NASCAR and racing games, I would highly recommend that you check out “NASCAR 14.”
 

“NASCAR 14” is rated “E”

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.

Photo courtesy of Deep Silver

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