NASCAR The Game: 2011
|NASCAR The Game: 2011|
Game box art
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
|Genre(s)||Auto racing, Sim racing, Arcade|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, multiplayer, online multiplayer (16-player)|
|Distribution||Blu-ray disc, DVD-ROM, Wii Optical Disk|
NASCAR The Game: 2011, also known as NASCAR 2011: The Game, is the first edition of the NASCAR The Game racing simulator series. Developed by Eutechnyx and published by Activision, it was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 29, 2011, then for Wii on May 24. It is the first NASCAR game since the contract between EA Sports and NASCAR expired (not including Gran Turismo 5), and the first by Activision Blizzard since NASCAR Racing 2003 Season (from Sierra, which later became Vivendi Universal Games, and now Activision Blizzard).
The game also features online races for 16-players. A damage model is included with cars catapulting into the air and barrel-rolling over others. All of the 23 Sprint Cup Series race tracks are featured in the game. Eutechnyx later announced 43 drivers were added to the game, as well as some other drivers who compete in the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series.
NASCAR The Game: 2011 is the first game relating to NASCAR from Eutechnyx. One of the features is a career mode, which lets players compete at all the tracks on the 2010/2011 schedule and compete for a Sprint Cup Series championship. The game also features ferocious damage caused by accidents on the track. Some types of the accidents include catapulting cars into the air and barrel-rolling over others leaving fragments of the car, commonly called debris, scattered across the track. This feature allows all areas of the car to display damage build up realistically, in relation to the impacts during the race. It also has enhanced AI to compare with the characteristics of actual drivers. The player is able to tune and adjust their car's handling, and change the paint color, decals, number and sponsor logos. The controls and HUD are completely customizable as well. There is also a scrolling ticker across the top of the screen during a race with updates that include the amount of time behind leader, the time behind the car in front of you, and the time in front of the car behind you.
Other features on the game include pit stops and spotters. The pit stop feature displays the pit crew changing the tires and fueling the car. Pit stops average 14 seconds. Each animation was actually photographed from real Sprint Cup Series teams. The spotter feature informs the player of the drivers in the race that assists them, such as bump drafting, blocking, and slingshot. The spotter also alerts the player of any hazards happening ahead, as well as behind. Furthermore, the spotter has calculated suggestions on pit strategy, such as fuel level, tire wear, the number of laps remaining, and the player's position in the race and in the point standings. The game has an interactive celebration mode where players can do burnouts and your victory lap, as well. The player then goes to an animation involving an out-of-car celebration, which if you're Carl Edwards, can result in a backflip off of the car. If he or she is in career mode, they will go to victory lane and pop the ceremonious bottle and pour it all on their team. In the game, players can earn NASCAR experience points to unlock rewards. Some rewards include career sponsorships and special races throughout career mode. These special races are called "invitational events." What these do is allow you to unlock special custom paint schemes after completing each challenge in each event.
Similar with the 2010 and 2011 season, the game features the 22 tracks that the Sprint Cup Series competes on, with the addition of Kentucky Speedway, which held a race in 2011. The game includes 43 competitors, however only 40 had competed in the Sprint Cup Series. Most notably, Regan Smith, Tony Raines, and Joe Nemechek are absent from the game. Jennifer Jo Cobb and Ryan Truex had yet to compete in the Cup series. Other drivers such as Aric Almirola, Todd Bodine, and Michael Waltrip only attempted a few races during the previous season. One object of contention is that some drivers piloted cars representative of schemes driven in other series.
The following songs and artists are featured in the game.
|ZZ Top||"La Grange"|
|Black Rebel Motorcycle Club||"Mama Taught Me Better"|
|Submersed||"Better Think Again"|
|12 Stones||"Anthem for the Underdog"|
|Slaughter||"The Wild Life"|
|This section requires expansion. (December 2010)|
The game was officially announced on September 29, 2010 by Activision and Eutechnyx, even though there were rumors of a new NASCAR game since the expiration of NASCAR's contract with EA Sports. The announcement included the platforms the game will be compatible with, such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. On October 3, 2010 the first game trailer was introduced on Speed's NASCAR Race Day show. Since then many screenshots have been released. On January 11, 2011, the box cover for the game was released. The game's first announced release date was February 15, 2011, however developers announced a six-week delay in January 2011 and a new release date of March 29, 2011. Developers cited the need to include additional features, test for bugs, and tweak the gameplay as their reasoning for the delay. However, the Wii version of the game, was delayed further to May 24, 2011. Like in the EA Sports games, there are no alcoholic sponsors. Also, Kevin Harvick's 2010 sponsor, Shell/Pennzoil, is omitted from the game, instead being replaced with RCR logos (the 2011 alternate (Jimmy John's and Rheem) liveries were not available in development; the 2011 primary scheme is an alcohol scheme). A later patch was made so the Harvick #29 was shown the Jimmy John's scheme only.
The game overall has received mixed reviews. GameSpot gave the game a 6.0/10, citing that, "When the game finds its groove, it delivers a good sense of enjoyable tension that rewards smart, controlled driving. Unfortunately, the more deeply you dig, the deeper the hole NASCAR 2011 digs itself into." The reviewer, Kevin VanOrd, criticized the faulty online play and the erratic caution flags. Game Industry News reviewer Todd Hargosh gave the game 3 out of 5 "gems", stating that the game overall was a "freshman effort" for Eutechnyx. IGN gave a similar review, rating it 6.0/10 However, The Wii version reviews were mostly negative. IGN gave the game a 4.5/10, stating that "even if you bleed NASCAR, NASCAR The Game 2011 simply doesn't deliver. While it offers up some fun, the lack of control finesse, poor graphics, and missing customization make it one to pass up."
Upon release, NASCAR the Game: 2011 was plagued with bugs, including the infamous 'rubberbanding' bug and 'surging' bug. The game was heavy criticized due to the glitches and bugs. Following that, Eutechnyx released 3 patches as of December 22, 2011.
Patch 1 was released on the day of the release, and just added some specs to the game.
A second Patch was released on August 1, 2011 and fixed some of the bugs and glitches that were in the game. However, it also created some new problems as well. The patch was negatively reviewed; partially because it was delayed for 4 months before being released.
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