The world of racing really has been gaining in popularity in the past few years. With some of the changes that NASCAR has done, you can see that more and more people are beginning to tune in. In correlation with that, the NASCAR video games have also been improving and have been becoming a whole lot more interesting then they used to be. So now we are taking a look at the latest NASCAR game from EA Sports, in NASCAR: Total Team Control for the Microsoft Xbox. So is this the game that really helps put NASCAR on the gaming map? Read our full review to find out!
The previous few years of NASCAR like I mentioned just a little while ago have really brought a lot of new ideas to the table, and this has really helped make the whole sport a lot more mainstream. To go along with this trend EA Sports, has begun trying to make what once was considered a total single person experience into what it really is in real life and that is a total team effort. So can EA Sports manage to bring in the team aspect of the sport of NASCAR?
One of the main features that EA Sports really tried to manifest in this game was the voice recognition, which to be honest was the key function in making team play work. In order to really control a team while going 200mph, you have to realize that pushing other buttons would be way too much going on. So, by making voice recognition possible, this eliminates that situation. However, I have to say that there aren’t a whole lot of voice commands to choose from to give you that much-needed edge in winning races. And the voice recognition function is not without its faults, as it can sometimes misinterpret what you’re saying. Fortunately, this does not happen that often, and does not detract from gameplay at all.
Although for the most part the racing in the game hasn’t been changed, the way you race now has. You have to be much more careful in the way you drive, because now you have to watch your surroundings. I say this because you really don’t want to get in the way of your teammates, as their performance matters to your overall ranking in the game. Plus when you’re driving around the track you want to make sure that you don’t bump them out of the track, as of course that will end up hurting you. With the whole team play in mind, you also can give your team orders on ways to help you get a better spot in the race. For example, you can instruct them to trail you or whatever position you would like your team members to do, and let me tell you this truly brings a whole new aspect to the game as a whole.
The actual racing in NASCAR 06 hasn’t been changed all that much from NASCAR 05, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as last years game actually drove really nice. I was impressed with how tight the controls were in the game, and you can really see how the developers have made this game very capable in the actual racing department. And speaking of the racing, while racing if you find that you are in a comfortable position but one of your teammates is not, you can swap cars and jump into your teammate’s car and try to get them in a better position as well.
The game of course also has some Xbox Live support, which is very impressive but in that regards doesn’t do a whole lot in terms of adding a lot more depth to the game. I think that EA Sport really could have done a better job in that category as there really wasn’t much going on, online. Overall this game is another solid racing game that if given some more work really is going to be something special, especially as this whole team aspect evolves. What people are going to have to remember with this is that this is the first attempt to introduce the team control feature, and it really can only get better from here.
The visual style of NASCAR 06 is also pretty unchanged from the previous game as well. I found the car models to be much of the same as last year, I really did not see much of a difference from this game from the previous game. I must say that this isn’t all that of a bad thing as the game still looks quite good and I must say that for such a fast paced game with so much detail and so many cars I was also impressed with how well the frame rate held up as well.
I can’t say the visuals are really going to overwhelm you and they are not as good as a lot of other racing games out there, but at the same token a lot of the other racing games out on the market don’t have all of these cars on the track either. So take it as you may NASCAR 06 is a great looking game that just hasn’t been improved much from last year’s game.
What I respect most about NASCAR 06 was that it went out on a limb and tried something different. Sure EA could have just went out and upgraded some minor things here and there and shipped out this game, but instead they threw in some new ideas with the team play. Although it wasn’t perfect this time around, you can truly see the potential of this idea and how in a few years we are not going to remember a NASCAR game without Total Team Control. I do wish though that they had given more options online, as this would have helped give the game a lot more depth in the long run.
NASCAR 06 was one of the few games this year that really stood out in my mind of going for more then they had to, and that is once again what I respect about this game. With that being said NASCAR 06 does have some bugs to work out and some more depth to add to the game to really make it the full package, but you can truly see the full potential in this game. If you are a NASCAR fan, then you truly will enjoy the team control that you can find in this game.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.