Review by Warhawk
A solid effort for Eutechnyx
A new year and a new NASCAR game is released a follow up to Eutechnyx's NASCAR The Game 2011. How exactly is this game compared to their efforts of their first attempt at a NASCAR game and all I can say is that they were able to improve upon last year's game. There have been some changes done to this year's game but at the same time there is one thing that seems to need to be fixed but for the most part the positive outweighs the negative at this point. While this game was released well over a year after the previous game giving Eutechnyx time to improve what they needed to work on for the next game.
Let me start off that the game's presentation or how it looks graphically is much improved over their last effort. Each of the tracks looks to be more of the actual track and each of the cars featured in the game seem to be almost near perfect down to the very detail. Another thing that I seem to like about this game is that on some of the tracks in the game you can see the grove where the rubber had been laid down onto the track almost like showing you the best line around the track, which can be good for those who are new to NASCAR and not sure where the best line may be for the track. While the other tracks it's not so easy to know the best line due to the rubber not showing on the track to give that advantage of the proper raicng line on the track. Even the garage and in race shop even look better than that of last year's game which is a good thing to me, but exacting detail is not what makes this game better than 2011.
Last year's game some would know how the AI seemed to be while racing at whatever track you happen to be racing at like Daytona, Richmond, or even on one of the road courses such as Infineon Raceway or Watkins Glen International. The AI in this year's game seem to be improved making it not that easy like on a higher difficulty but the easy difficulty to me seems to be a little too easy depending on the assists that you have on. The "easy" difficulty I'm not sure how easy it should be but to a experienced racer by the end of the race you could easily have one quarter of the 43 car field lapped by the end of the race, while a difficulty such as "medium" that isn't even possible on the same number of laps. When it comes to Season Mode it can be the AI can be just as easy or hard depending on the setting for the Season but as for Career on the other hand it can be a little more difficult for the first timers of NASCAR gamer or racing type of gamer. The Career Mode in the game is much better and improved over last year's game. I say that is that you can finally do more than one year in Career and not only that they allowed you to give you a chance to improve your car via upgrades making it a little more easier to get through Career to get the wins.
Though there is one thing in Career is on restarts that's when the upgrades can come in handy later on due to the competitors being able to get a better start or restart on you. While new to this year are the addition of the Highlight Challenges which is similar to that of in the EA Sports NASCAR games "Lightning Challenges" pitting you in positions of actual races to see if you can do the same as the driver or even better try to rewrite history in the fantasy kind of way. Although there aren't that many featured in the game and looked to be more in terms of DLC next year, but each of the challenges can be challenging depending on the one that you go with. They can be easy to rather difficult to do depending on your skill level. Another thing that was added in this year's game is the head to head challenges which is similar to NASCAR Heat's "Beat the Pro" section but this time around instead of you going against the pro, you hop in their car to try beating their time at that particular track. Nice touch if I say so myself.
Next part I want to talk about is the online feature of the game. This is where the game is weak at overall. When playing online although if there's a caution that comes out, at times you can be going against like eleven other players online then next thing you know there's only like a few others on the track or maybe just you on the track. There had been races where I was online and then a caution comes out then it only shows my car on the track but I could still hear them talking to each other. I feel that the online section of the game feels a little broken and if there is a patch it should focus on making the online feature better than that. Not only that is that on a restart the car would like crawl to the restart, let alone seeing the other cars go through you before the flag drops which is rather weird. One more thing about online is that sometimes when drafting like at Daytona or Talladega the car you're drafting with can get so loose they spin out of control.
Overall NASCAR The Game Inside Line has been improved but there are some things that need to be worked on for the next game. I like how they gave this game a little more realistic feel for it but I think they can take that and a few other things from this game carry it to the next game with giving a little more effort into making the next one better than this one. Except for the online part feeling iffy, this game is definitely worth a shot to try out and if you're into racing games at all, I'd recommend this game to those who may want something different in a NASCAR only racing gaming on the consoles.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: NASCAR The Game: Inside Line (US, 11/06/12)
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