You can read the console review here.
Way back in November 2012, Eutechnyx released its second iteration of a NASCAR game on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. Now, seven months later, they have released a version of NASCAR The Game: 2013 on PC. Has anything changed or improved since the console release? Not really. Now entering a world where racing simulators and setups dominate, it will be tough for this franchise to fit in.
If you are familiar with the console release, the menu navigation should be easy as it is exactly the same. Players can do a quick race, enter a season, start a career, paint cars, and lastly race online. The game features controller support, as well. Since the console version came out last year, it came with the 2012 version of the cars. Eutechnyx released the Gen 6 cars earlier this year, so players can revert to either car. The PC version features strictly the 2013 cars for non-DLC racing.
As for the DLC, all the challenges are included. This most certainly adds some replay value to the game if you are looking to step outside of your season or career. Basically, each race for the past two and a half years features about four different scenarios. Completing these scenarios unlocks items such as specific race setups from drivers and paint schemes. Unfortunately, you cannot adjust the driving assists for the scenario. It also would have been nice to have included the option to share paint schemes from other creators.
The biggest difference will be seen graphically during the races. Depending on the system setup, the game is not graphically demanding. The track-side details are improved to the point where they look too good, as if they were only intended for current generation console graphics. The car detail is much crisper, and the game runs extremely smooth even during accidents. Pit stop animations look great as well. It is very nice to have a smooth frame rate as there is an option to have the system aim for a specific frame rate. Replays look pretty good, but accidents do not look natural.
As for the racing itself, unfortunately the same issues that plague the console version have appeared on the PC. The A.I. does not like to compensate, let alone acknowledge, your existence in a pack. Cautions are triggered by a car coming to a complete stop on the track, even though half the field is in an accident. After the caution, the game seems to assign a random grid order.
For the multiplayer, this was a convoluted mess in the console version. Issues with disconnects and racing alone plagued the experience. The PC version sees an improvement, but issues still exist. The racing supports up to 16 players, but even during peak hour, it is hard to get a quarter of that amount to participate in a race. Surprisingly, there was no lag during races. However, the game locked up entering races twice and the racing separation occurred. This was out of ten online attempts, but overall the online is much more functional on the PC version.
Everything in the sound category remains the same. Ray Evernham is there to help guide you, and Dale Earnhardt’s spotter Ty Norris is your spotter on the track. Darrell Waltrip does his “Boogity, Boogity” gimmick before each race you do, and thankfully there is a way to turn this off. Sound effects from the cars are okay as the engines sound good, but the tire squealing and panel rubbing sounds a bit off. The soundtrack remains a generic, radio-rock fest.
NASCAR The Game: 2013 should remain a casual console racer. Judging by the amount of people online and the price ($39.99), there is actual more of a market for licensed stock car racing on PC. These other games are simulators (iRacing and rFactor) and include a lot of mods and additional content. If the ability to share paint schemes were included (such as what is done in Forza), it would add a lot to the franchise. Inside Line does not stand out on the PC, and includes much of the same issues from its console counterpart.
+ Casual NASCAR game for PC.
+ Somewhat improved visuals over console counterpart.
+ Included DLC Challenges.
– Casual NASCAR game for PC.
– Most of the same issues from the console counterpart.
– Lack of racers online.