In the year that I have been at DualShockers, it’s been pretty well established that I like racing games. While my favorite may be kart racers, there will always be a special place in my heart for more normal racing games as well. As mentioned in the game’s initial reveal article this past Monday, I was lucky enough to be invited to try out NASCAR Heat 3 before the game was even announced this past E3. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. Why would someone like me turn down the ability to play a new racing game before anyone else?
As someone who grew up in a very rural part of south Florida, NASCAR was very much ingrained in the culture around me. While I never watched a single race on television, I knew that people around me loved it. And being only three hours away from Daytona, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find out why that is. When I went into the demo for NASCAR Heat 3, I was hoping for an experience that would appeal to both fans of the of the real-life racing and people like me who merely enjoy the racing genre. Luckily, the game completely met my expectations.
For those that don’t know, NASCAR Heat 3 is the follow up to last year’s entry in the long-running franchise. Of course, just like every other yearly franchise like Madden, Call of Duty, etc., most of the features from the previous entries make their way into the next one. Heat 3 is no different as you won’t find too many different features when compared to last year’s.
One notable addition, however, is the introduction of the Xtreme Dirt Tour. For the first time in the series, players can race on dirt tracks, and they play almost entirely different. While you still obviously need to speed up, slow down, etc., one significant difference is controlling your turns. Since this is a dirt track, your tires aren’t going to have as much grip as they would on the asphalt, so it takes some getting used to.
Before each race, players are allowed to practice as many times as they want to get the hang of things. On the asphalt tracks, it only took a couple of laps before I got used to the controls and I was on my merry way. With the dirt tracks, however, I had to do at least 10 or so laps before I got comfortable. That’s not a bad thing either; I liked the fact that it was more challenging. It gives variety and “spice” to a game that some people would just call “doing circles a hundred different times.”
Of course, if you’re a hardcore NASCAR fan, you’ll feel right at home as well. As always, you can choose between different real-life racers, tracks, and more. You’ll be able to build a career in a variety of different Series when the full game releases, although, of course, I wasn’t able to try this out in the demo. I will say if you’re not a fan of racing games, this will do nothing to change your mind, but that’s ok because it’s not made for you. For someone like me, who likes to try as many racing games as he can, I can’t wait to see what the full version of the game looks like this September. If you want to pre-order the game via Amazon, you can do so by clicking here.
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