TL;DR: Nascar Heat 5 is perhaps the best Heat game of the franchise. If you're a casual or serious racing fan, you definitely need to try this one out!
the heat is on
This won’t be a surprise to those of you paying attention, but Nascar Heat 5 is a resounding success for developer 704 Games. The racing minds at 704 Games have developed another racing game that walks the fine line between uncompromising accuracy and a fervent rush to the checkered flag. If you lean more towards a gradual simulation, you’ll find pretty much what you’re looking for here. On the other hand, if you favor more arcade-style gameplay similar to Need for speed, this one will definitely hold your interest.
Those who have played the previous games in the series, like Nascar Heat 4 for example, will be familiar with what this title has to offer. Aside from a few enhancements to the 3D engine, there really isn’t much new here. The Options remain very similar to what has been offered in previous games. You can take part in single-player races, choose to race in Championship mode or go at it in a full Nascar season. Of course, if the AI isn’t to your liking, you can take your skills online and race against the best drivers around. A total of 24+ tracks are included, including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Watkins Glenn, and the famed speedway of Daytona. Add to that all the top Nascar drivers and you got a complete Nascar game right in front of you.
A total of 24+ tracks are included, including Atlanta Motor Speedway, Watkins Glenn, and the famed speedway of Daytona. Add to that all the top drivers and you got a complete Nascar game right in front of you.
round and round we go
While all the options and features have a lot of depth, the customizable game design was created to be friendly to newbies and veterans alike. Turn the driving aids down a few notches and the game switches to a full arcade fun. Turn it up, and you’ll be in awe of how complex a stock car can be. This flexibility is perhaps one of the best things that Nascar Heat offers. While other racing simulators try to overwhelm the player with their depth right from the get-go, this one acclimates players in slowly. This is thanks to both the simple design and easy adaptability of the game.
From a graphical standpoint, Nascar Heat 5 is just slightly above average in terms of visuals and presentation. Graphics are crisp, yet oddly undistinguishable. Part of this probably has to do with the subject matter because aside from the colorful and detailed cars, how much more vibrant can a big grey race track become? The pit crew on the other hand are very well done and animate very life-like. It’s too bad we can’t see more of this type of animation around the track. Sound is serviceable and spotters do a good job of helping you navigate through a crowded field. Personally, I never listen to my spotters and just tune them out when racing.
I couldn’t ask for anything more than this invigorating mix of a thinking man’s sim and an arcade fan’s thrill ride.
he’s fast, but i’m faster
Despite these shortcomings, Nascar Heat 5 is a worthy purchase for any serious or casual racing fan. I couldn’t ask for anything more than this invigorating mix of a thinking man’s sim and an arcade fan’s thrill ride. It has enough new features to justify the purchase, but just don’t expect a brand new overhaul of a game especially if you still play Nascar Heat 4.
Of course, this probably says more good things about the former title than bad things about the current one. Regardless, if you enjoy Nascar races you definitely should have both installed on your PC. They are that good.