NASCAR 14 Review

NASCAR14_Screenshot04Publisher: Deep Silver Developer: Eutechnyx Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC

When you load up NASCAR 14, the first thing you notice is just how different, yet similar, everything feels.

The game is the third from the development team at Eutechnyx, and while it is an overall better experience than the first two titles, NASCAR 14 just leaves a little too much to be desired.

Players start the game by creating a racer profile that will be used for your custom racer and career mode. After that, there are plenty of menu items and things to do to keep you busy before you actually get on the track.

From car customization options in the paint booth to pre-race setups, NASCAR 14 offers players the ability to control everything about their car. Then you get on the track.

The game feels like you are just going around in circles – no pun intended – when it comes to how the on-track experience feels.

Though the AI is smarter when it comes to knowing when to attack the gaps you leave them for passing, they are as incompetent as ever in terms of overall racing strategy.

Even with the AI skill at 100%, the opposing drivers still feel the need to rear-end you like it’s the last lap of a destruction derby race. They also seemingly lack the ability to make good decisions when it comes to pit stops: no driver should have to stop for gas in an eight lap race.

NASCAR14_Screenshot01Multiplayer is where the game saves itself. NASCAR 14 offers players a single race mode as well as 16-player online leagues. Getting into a multiplayer race was a massive challenge – there was no one on it felt – but once in, it made the game’s experience so much better.

The online league allows the owner to create his own schedule of races for the players to compete in. It adds a twist to a game that so desperately needs it.

From a graphical standpoint, the game looks like of middle-of-the-pack quality last-gen title. It doesn’t pop out at you visually like games like Gran Turismo did on PS3 or even Forza Motorsport 4 did on Xbox 360.

With that in mind, the game’s visual department is where a primary issue kept arising. No matter what the settings were, there were multiple instances in a race where the frame rate would skip when driving in the third person perspective. When it happens once or twice, it can be forgiven. However, when it keeps happening to the point where the car looks like a flickering firefly, that’s when it becomes a problem.

At the end of the day, NASCAR 14 is your typical stock car racing game. While the replay value is pretty high due to the multiplayer, the game really that doesn’t offer anything substantial that makes it a must-have game for the casual fan.

The foundation is there for a series that could reach, and surpass, the heights of the old EA Sports NASCAR titles, but right now, it’s just a game that comes up short of expectations.

final score_7


(A copy of this game was provided to GameSided for the purpose of this review.)

Tags: NASCAR 14 Review Video Games

  • Bram

    Gran Turismo did not “pop” in any way visually and was even worse audio-wise. Luckily, I traded it back for $30.

    This game looks like a $10-$15 Steam purchase down the line.

  • Christy Leavins

    For starters I am an avid NASCAR fan. My Xbox is 3 months old. I play other games without any major issues. Racing, Football, Shooter, Fighting games.

    I have been playing NASCAR 2011: The Game for the last few years and it had its bugs along with being ultra easy to win races but you could drive around and feel like you was doing something. I was ready for this years game and figured by this time they will have put out a great game with maybe some minor bugs.

    Feb. 18 I waited in front of GameStop in my hometown until they opened the doors. As soon as the doors opened I went in and purchased the only copy they had. I took it home and put it in. The sound was amazing and the graphics really improved. The more technical aspects of the sport were included now and I was ready to see what I could do. I started career mode and took to the track.

    I realized rather quickly that if you give the AI an inch they will take a mile and put you in the wall. So instead of complaining at first I drove harder. Bump drafting was difficult in this new game but I pushed as hard as I could and got to the front. I was able to hold everyone off and finish in 1st place! Until the game said congratulations I finished 4th 1 lap down. What?! I had just raced a 40 lap race to have my win stolen from me? The 3 guys it said finished ahead of me were 1 lap down before the checkered flag all the way in the back!

    Now I thought this is just crazy and it wont happen again….wrong!!! It happened in 3 out of 5 races were the checkered flag finish and what the game said I finished was different…way different.

    This game has lots of problems. I have been stuck in the pit on multiple occasions while I watch the rest of the cars lap me over and over.

    I have had the game lag and no I am not online. It just goes into ultra slow motion and it may take 10 minutes to come out of it and then of course you crash!

    The biggest issue I had with the 2011 game was that the AI was stupid pitting and coming off of pit road which in turn caused cautions but never the issues I have with this NASCAR 14.

    I went back to Gamestop and told them of my issues. They guy behind the counter said he hadnt heard of these issues yet but that the very few games they had sold had been mostly on PS3. They would not give me a refund but they did exchange the game for me. I promptly took it home, raced California and GOT STUCK IN THE PITS!!!!!!!!

    If you want to waste $50 hard earned dollars buy this game. Otherwise stay away. I love NASCAR and wanted this to work. I am extremely disappointed. The sad thing is I just read were ETX just laid off 12 more developers. With this sad excuse for a game I am afraid they will have to lay off more.