Nascar Heat 4 – Xbox One Review
Our Xbox One Review of Nascar Heat 4
It seems to be this time of year that we get treated to a brand new NASCAR game. I hadn’t touched a NASCAR game for a few years, since NASCAR Heat 2, which I quite enjoyed. With that said, I`ll probably find myself quite enjoying any racer, as on the whole it`s one of the best genres to play – lots of single player competitiveness, and lots of multiplayer competitiveness, a mix of two great ingredients and getting both right offer a very fun experience. Over the past week or so I`ve had the chance to jump back into the world of NASCAR, with the latest instalment, NASCAR Heat 4. How was it going to fare? I remember the last being quite fun to play, and this was no different.
Nascar Heat 4 is developed by Monster Games and published by 704 Games Company. It is the latest instalment in what is an ever growing franchise. Similarly to many other racing games, you have the ability to either play through competitively on your own against the AI in a number of different race modes and tracks, including quick races and career mode, and challenges, or jumping into the online aspect of it and racing against others in what I could only call carnage and precise driving needed. It`s a game that offers good variety in the game modes and early on, that`s a good sign.
Similarly to previous NASCAR games, and for a driving game, the gameplay feels good. There`s nothing particularly too worse than playing a driver that lags and cause a real headache. It feels good and smooth, and although it doesn’t hit anywhere near the same sort of frame rates that we see on other racers such as Forza, it feels good and playable without issue – if you`ve played any of the previous NASCAR titles then you`ll be fine. Mixed with the controls of the cars and feel, you shouldn’t have too much issue. I`m not sure I`d recommend going straight from the smoothness and movement of the cars in Forza to NASCAR because you may have a bit of difficulty at first, but with any game, practice makes perfect. You`ll notice this after the first race you do (I jumped into a quick race to start things off) which is a good sign.
I always like a good bit of variety in my games that I play, and NASCAR offers that in its game modes. I`m not a great driver, and the few online races I had I finished near enough in the back couple of the line, especially when I play online against other random racers, so I tend to stick to the Single Player options. You have the choice of jumping into Quick races to get use to the tracks and cars, and there are a number of tracks and cars/franchises to choose from, and for those that want to get straight into the action it’s a good way to start. For those that love a good career mode where you can take a driver to the top the career mode within NASCAR offers a good fun experience. You`ll need to increase your fan base by winning races and meeting contractive objectives set by teams that want to sign you. You`ll also get the chance to race on different tracks and different class types. Perhaps from one aspect it does feel repetitive after a while, but I think perhaps that`s the racing genre on a whole – bit similar to other genres, you may start to think it feels repetitive after a while.
But the one mode I quite enjoyed is the challenge mode, which I don’t remember from my previous time in a NASCAR game. You`ll be set challenges, and you`ll need to meet them. These might involve winning a race from a far back position or even just overtaking an opponent to get back into the front line after a few laps. There is a good variety, and that`s something I really like.
Of course, with any driving games, you have the ability to customize the controls to your advantage. I didn’t bother touching many of the settings though and played through on the default settings (Which perhaps may have been a bad thing? I could have made it a bit easier for myself).
As mentioned, I didn’t touch too much of the online aspect purely because I`m terrible at it, and although the races I had were quite fun, my focus and enjoyment lied offline and on my own. For those that like to jump into online races though, the game offers up to 40 player races and also local two player races for those that want to race against each other on the couch.
NASCAR Heat 4 is a game that feels similar to the last NASCAR I played. The controls feel good, the gameplay feels good, and I like the variety that`s on offer within it. Whether you`re someone like me that likes a good single player race experience or someone that likes to jump online, it offers a good experience all around. Yes, it doesn’t have the feel or thrill some other racers do, but it does well in what it offers, and it`s another NASCAR title that I`ve quite enjoyed getting some time with.
Thanks to 704 Games Company for the review copy.