NASCAR(r) Racing 2003 Season - PC - Preview
This ultra-realistic racing simulator should be a top notch game, if the Beta Test I received is any indication of what the finished game will give you. Here's a short list of some of the new features:
- Animated flags will now show you wind direction
- Cast shadows and dynamic lighting
- Reflections on buildings
- Animated planes, helicopters, and blimps
- New infield objects
- Animated drivers in replay mode
- Dirt and oil grime accumulation on the windshield will now add to realism
- Opponent Pit Crews, you will now have all pit crews on pit row making it a bit more difficult to find your own pit
- New sky textures
- Bump mapping on the track textures, with a feedback wheel you can now feel every crack and imperfection in the track surface
- New PUSH and LOOSE models greatly improve the actual dynamics of the car
- Changing weather and heat now has effect on the way the tires handle
As you can see, the list of improvements is quite extensive, they have tried to make this game as realistic as possible. The fact that they have factored in the effects of heat on the tires and given the car new PUSH and LOOSE dynamics, shows the lengths they have gone to to give you the most realistic racing experience outside of an actual car.
I have raced the Beta Test Version extensively and have found it to be very realistic, maybe the best racing on a computer yet to date. The interface is easy to use, and the garage options give you access to every part on the car that can be adjusted with the click of a mouse. The race options are also very well laid out and it is easy to get into the car you want at the track you want. The pit crew on the radio keeps you well informed of upcoming problems on the track, and gives you encouragement when things go a little wrong.
Gameplay is so smooth, the game runs without a glitch anywhere except the MOMO Feedback wheel where it should be. Using My Logitech MOMO wheel, I could feel, yes actually feel, every bump, crack, and imperfection in the track. You can even FEEL when your car pushes up out of the groove, the texture of the track changes enough to put you in trouble if you don't pay attention. The car physics are great, everything effects everything else. You have to be on top of things to keep these cars on the track!
The sounds provided are top notch and absolutely believable, the game music even rocks! Turn it up and play long and hard!
Graphics are what can make or break a game. This game provides some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a racing game, from detailed interiors, to track side objects, to the track surface itself, all are wonderful and make it very easy to get totally lost in this game. A huge bonus to great graphics is a game that runs them flawlessly, which this game does, it ran so smooth, not a glitch anywhere.
This game has taken everything that has worked in its previous title and added all the great details that make this game the most realistic racing simulator to date. The Test was a blast to drive, the finished version should be even more polished and will totally suck you in and immerse you in the best racing experience available. You can look for a full review on this site, of this title upon its release. I for one will be doing A LOT of online racing once the full version is released, I might even have a five point harness attached to my computer chair.