NASCAR Heat 3
There are more ways to race than ever before in NASCAR Heat 3! Jump into the enhanced Career Mode, where you can build your own race team and compete in the all-new Xtreme Dirt Tour. Prove that you are the best racer in the world in the all new Online Tournaments feature. At-track stories now mean that anything can happen on race day, just like in real-life! Plus, all your favorites are back and better than ever, including Split Screen, Challenge, Championship, 40-player online, and more. Buckle up! NASCAR HEAT 3 is the racing game you’ve been waiting for!
• Xtreme Dirt Tour - In addition to the 3 NASCAR National Series (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series, and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), players can sling some mud in this all-new dirt fantasy series.
• Online Tournaments - Compete against others from across the globe in daily and weekly tournaments. Lay down a great race time and qualify for the Finals in your skill bracket. Win your bracket for ultimate bragging rights.
• 8 New Tracks - 8 all-new dirt tracks, including dirt racing at Bristol Motor Speedway and NASCAR Heat’s first ever dirt road course. The final Charlotte Roval layout and the overhauled ISM (formerly Phoenix) Raceway have also been added.
• Deeper Career Mode – Make a name for yourself in the all-new Xtreme Dirt Tour and advance to NASCAR’s 3 National Series. Sign contracts with some of the biggest teams in NASCAR or start your own team, build your own staff, and see if you can bring home the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.
• Stories – Before the green flag waves, get live-updates on your race. Watch as a driver gets sent to the back for a technical violation. Get updates on who’s having a good weekend, and who’s struggling.
OS: 64bit Versions of Windows 7, 8 and 10
Processor: Intel Core i3 530 or AMD FX 4100
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 460 or AMD HD 5870
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 16 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Soundcards
Additional Notes: Supported Graphics Cards: AMD HD5870 or better, HD6870 or better, HD7790 or better, R7 260 or better, R9 260 or better, Nvidia GTX460 or better, GTX560 or better, GTX650Ti or better, GTX750 or better, GTX950 or better
September 7th, 2018
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Why is there a review of a NASCAR game, you ask? Well, I took this on as a personal project. NASCAR is something you’ll see on the televisions of our household during this season. As I’m engaged in my writing, gaming, or other geeky activity, I hear conversations between my Mom and Step-Dad about all the the drama that is happening on the track. On other occasions I watch for a few minutes when the real action happens, like a wreck or someone getting run off the road, for example. Honestly, towards the end of the season is where things get very interesting as these racers are fighting for the top spot.
NASCAR Heat 3 is a project I took on to bridge the gap between my hobby and the weekend pastime of my parents—an occasion where these two things cross over. Ultimately, I discovered how much I really knew about the sport and the drivers that participate in it. This review gave me a look at what makes the sport so entertaining and why people love to watch it. I discovered that there is so much more to it than trying to be the first person across the finish line, and was able to relate and have deeper conversations with my parents about something they enjoy.
Violence: The most violence within the game appears if players decide to ram into their opponents or run them off the road. This game does not contain graphic car crashes or explosions like some other racing video games are known for.
Language: The word “a**” can be heard in one of the songs.
Sexual Content: Song lyrics within the game do contain very suggestive material such as “Like hands on the hips of a woman/You start at the top and work your way down”; “Slide that dress off ya girl…Slide under the sheets girl”; Slide on into home/I don’t mind gettin’ a little bit dirty.”
What I’ve enjoyed about playing racing games over the past few years is that I’ve learned how to play them properly. The way I would play them in the past is by simply holding down the gas button and trying to turn and maybe hit the brake button to slow down in the process. Of course that is not how driving works, but it’s a concept I never grasped during my childhood or teenage years. In that same way, learning how to manage the tracks in NASCAR Heat 3 brought me a new appreciation for the sport. NASCAR might look boring because it seems like all they do is make left turns all day, but there is much more to it.
What I enjoyed the most about NASCAR Heat 3 is the driving mechanics. Managing how you take on every turn and straightaway feels very realistic, because management of the track felt just as important as trying to make first place. Before each race, you have the opportunity to learn the track with a practice run. Practicing offers a guideline that helps you get a feel for how you need to handle the track, similar to how the Forza games do it in their easier modes. I would run the track until I nearly mastered the pattern, and the results provided better lap times for the qualifying round and a better race overall. I should also mention that the real sport involves running hundreds of laps, but the game kindly gives us only about 10% of those to run.
The Dirt Xtreme Series is a new feature for the NASCAR Heat series, and these tracks took me the most time to get a feel for since they capture the accuracy of what it feels like to drive on them. This is where the Career Mode starts, because you should start with the roots of the sport as a rookie. I began in a hot seat roster and filled in for other drivers in their cars for a few weeks, and eventually was met with the choice to join a race team or run my own. This mode included videos of notable drivers that would explain the series or even comment on how you’re doing; which is a nice touch for fans.
Another feature I liked from the Career Mode was the interactions you have with other drivers. This is done through an unnamed social media platform that emulates Twitter. After a race you will see comments from various drivers talking about you in the form of compliments or trash talk. You have the option to “provoke” or “apologize” to the driver; your relationships with fellow drivers can be seen in one of the career tabs. Although, I can’t say for sure if this was reflected on the track since I didn’t have “beef” with too many drivers to see if they got aggressive at all.
Those famous drivers are why many fans will dive into the casual modes. Many of them are here, like Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Busch, for example. The guys from Hendricks Motorsports grace the box art for the game in a similar fashion to how EA puts cover athletes on their licensed sports games. Sadly, picking your favorite driver is the best route since the customization options for your own car and driver feel lackluster. I remembered building a car around the Craftsman brand and remembered slapping all kinds of cool sponsors on my car back in NASCAR Thunder 2003; I’m not asking to put a giant Fig Newton decal on my windshield, but customization is very light compared to that older game.
For fans who don’t care about the depth of Career Mode, you can jump right into Championship Mode; it works like the Season Mode of an old school Madden game. You can start the season without all the in-between management and other aspects of career mode—it’s all about racing here. If you choose to do so you can start late in the season when the chase for the cup is in full effect. I appreciated Career Mode for what it was, but liked Championship Mode even more because I wasn’t forced to start in the dirt track. I feel like this is where casual fans and gamers will get the most fun out of the game.
I really wish I could say that NASCAR Heat 3 is a beautiful looking game, but my beast of a rig and max settings couldn’t save this mixed bag. Everything on the track looks great, such as the cars and everything else that happens during a race. However, the graphics take a hit when you try to look beyond the things you are meant to focus on. The crowd and outer parts of the race track are where you will see it, especially in the smaller races. The best part of the presentation is the atmosphere; the developers did well in capturing what it feels like to be in the midst of a big, important race.
NASCAR Heat 3 was ultimately an entertaining experience. I got what I was looking for in finding ways to further bond with my family. While they don’t quite understand some aspects of my hobby, I understand so much more about theirs. This may be a great video game for someone who is a fan of the sport, because they have that deeper connection; for someone like me who is knee deep in other video games throughout the year, it was a fun momentary ride. I had a good time racing throughout the different tracks and learning that there is so much more to this sport. This was a decent warm up before I jump into the next Forza game very soon.
Review copy kindly provided by Sandbox Strategies
+ Driving mechanics
+ Strong fan appeal
+ Career Mode
- Mixed Graphics
- Light Customization