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ThereThere is a huge amount of racing action in NASCAR Heat 2’s beefed up Career mode. When possible, a touch too much.
This is still an excellent problem for the stock-car racing simulator to handle. Fans have clamored for the return of NASCAR’s other two national series – the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Trucks Series – and several will be delighted to see them again. They triple the real-driver roster and vehicle fleet of NASCAR Heat 2, and they’re integral to the novel, if slow path the career sets forth.
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But if Career is your thing, anticipate to grind.
Monster Games and 704 Games put a wrinkle on the classic up-from-nothing story of career modes, which always battle to incorporate believability and fun. Players commence as “hot seat” drivers, mounted on no team but getting their focus on spot duty. NASCAR Heat 2 uses this to provide an individual reasonable objectives within their opening races. Fulfilling them brings about offers from real-life teams for another season.
There are 26 races, not counting the playoffs, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Series and the junior-circuit Xfinity Series, and 16 races for the trucks. This results in a whole lot of races prior to the player gets a team in the top-flight division. Even if the tracks change, there’s a repetitive quality to it, in particular when I raced the same course consecutively in the trucks and the Xfinity series. And all of this racing becomes formidable for a driver who prefers things such as longer qualifying and races long enough to require pit stops.
No hot seat offer could be refused, and none of the events are skippable or could be simmed. That’s a baseline expectation in other qualified sports simulations. All of this makes the career of NASCAR Heat 2 more rigid than it must be. Monster Games tries to inject just a little off-the-track personality, because of some messages from real-life drivers, including full motion video for a few, but there is quite little to accomplish in career except visit the next race as I was told.
An upgrade tree for the career vehicle is fully gone; I didn’t miss it much, nonetheless it was still a choice to consider. Two new factors replace upgrades. First, there’s momentum, that is a race-to-race boost awarded for strong finishes and undamaged driving. And there’s a star system on each team to greatly help hot seat drivers judge the caliber of the rides they’re taking. Both these are a satisfactory streamlining that reasonably segregates the field, provides tougher challenge for many who want to work to boost a lesser team, and even motivate a driver to trade up to an improved one. Unfortunately, in addition, it means the amount of money I earned does not have any purpose.
About the one thing to control in career was the rivalry system, which includes had counterparts in earlier NASCAR games. It had been fun to check on that and see who was simply beefing with me. I laughed when I saw Myatt Snider was MAD at me, in big red letters. Simply because we kept qualifying in the same area and I kept bumping and pushing him taken care of, turning him in to the wall at Kansas. Piss a driver off an excessive amount of, and and they’ll remember it, such as for example when Snider shoved me taken care of after he previously warned me I was racing too much. I appreciated the social media compliments on clean driving and even the glare when I knew I’d done wrong.
NASCAR Heat 2’s structure of race, rinse and repeat quit me desperate to skip a number of the lesser races, drive the larger events or neater tracks (just like the dirt surface of Eldora Speedway, not used to the overall game) and see more of what the mode offered and less of what I already understood. Stock car diehards could be a deliberate bunch, wanting everything in a complete race weekend, so they’ll probably find this no issue. But there is indeed much else in the others of NASCAR Heat 2, it made the Career undertake a grind-like quality. Some chunky loading times don’t help, either.
Career is a major mode, but it’s not the complete game. Split-screen local multiplayer racing is back and as a result of that, all of the tracks are unlocked in the beginning (that they had been gated behind the “speed rating” a user compiles). The 29 Challenges, shorter scenarios involving famous drivers, are also unlocked and playable in virtually any order. They are good decisions. And the challenges are more interesting, too.
I ran out of gas with Kevin Harvick in Atlanta and won, and survived an awful pileup in Dover and held to fourth place with Aric Almirola. That is also the only the main game with any real commentary (although spotter has a few extra lines). Claire B. Lang of SiriusXM’s NASCAR radio introduces each track and scenario, and completing it unlocks a legitimately helpful video, with the featured driver explaining how they race the course. Danica Patrick helped me conquer my concern with Darlington by telling me where she slightly brakes on turn 1, and how close she involves the wall exiting turn 3, reassuring me that I was in OK position.
The racing action in NASCAR Heat 2 requires such precision, whether on a gamepad or with a driving wheel. That’s what provides game a suspenseful, lean-in, hang-on sort of thrill whatever I’ve set for my goal. The racing AI appears to be a bit more challenging, slipping into openings and blocking more aggressively. Big leads and multiple passes are located only on easy and simple difficulty setting.
NASCAR Heat 2 continues to be a casino game where players must challenge themselves to utilize the advanced options if they’re likely to be winning and qualifying on anything above easy AI difficulty. The assists Monster Games devote this year now add a stability control system that novices will see helpful. But that assist also appears to slow the automobile in turns on some tracks. Recovering that speed – particularly for bigger trucks – is difficult despite having a manual transmission. Unless I had an excellent qualifying position, stability control appeared to keep me in the center of the pack a lot more than passing cars.
The game’s visuals remain a strength, with NASCAR fans sure to note every little detail, including the scratches on the trunk plexiglass of a truck or the beat-up surface of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The lighting and atmospherics are appropriate for enough time of day these events race, and showcase the brand new tracks in the overall game, like Iowa Speedway. Still, I did so notice some things such as shadows used very late when I raced at Chicagoland.
The no-frills quality of NASCAR Heat Evolution meant NASCAR Heat 2 had showing a little more than simply great racing this season, and it can in spots. There’s a whole lot of variety in NASCAR Heat 2, it’s just more immediately observed in things such as the one-off races or online multiplayer.
It’s hard to fault Monster Games and 704 though; we’d been requesting all this stuff for a long time. Nonetheless it makes me feel just like.