NASCAR Heat 37 critics
9.00 to 10.0
8.00 to 8.99
6.00 to 7.99
4.00 to 5.99
0 to 3.99
Though Nascar Heat 3 is a solid racing sim overall, it could have raised to greater heights with more exciting content for those outside the niche market, and a few tweaks to the frame rate stability and cheesy voice acting. Despite the lack of replayability and expansive customization options as seen in other games in the genre and in sports games overall, there’s still a whole lot of fun to be had here, especially for those who love racing, Nascar, or both.
NASCAR Heat 3 is a fun and entertaining stock car racing game that needs to take more steps towards offering a simulation for racing fans. Opening up an eSports division should encourage the cream of the crop to represent the real life sport in a virtual world. Champions of other racing games have literally gone on to win great things.
The lack of titles competing for the NASCAR crown these days means that we need to look at other series-focused racing games when trying to make comparisons. Codemasters’ F1 2018, for example, has a convincing damage model, realistic race weekends, challenging AI that can still make result-changing mistakes without looking broken, visible damage, a working and logical penalty system, historical events, and reasonably compelling online play.
Coming off of two back to back games that just felt awful to play, NASCAR Heat 3 is a fantastic display of what a bit of budget can bring to a passionate team. It’s still a NASCAR game, with all that carries with it, so it isn’t something that can be recommended for everyone even with all of the new alterations. But the changes are almost universally for the better, and I’m sure will help bridge the gap in the middle of that small ven diagram where NASCAR Fans and those with interest in racing games cross over.
The NASCAR Heat series is three years in and is just now hitting its stride. This year’s addition to the career mode is a solid foundation that pays off in the present and sets it up for the future. I don’t think the game has necessarily locked down each of its main components – gameplay, online, and career mode – but it’s making its way through the pack.
Ultimately, there is a difference between being easy and not very good. NASCAR Heat 3 is severely let down by the anodyne on-track action. Lacking any sort of driver enjoyment undoes the hard work put into the officially licenced lineup and career path options. Even for a racing game fan, this game is as dull as dishwater and extraordinarily derivative.