The NASCAR Heat series brought to us by the Monster/704 Games team has made some significant strides over the past few years bringing a little more of what fans want to see on the track with each installment. This year’s NASCAR Heat 3 is no exception building on the core elements that made Heat 2 a solid racer and diving into some new territory all at the same time.
For starters, the visual enhancements of the game are pretty dang good featuring all kinds of improvements in the graphics department. Everything from team logos, vinyls, and vehicle detail all the way to track, stadium and lighting effects has now received a noticeable upgrade delivering a satisfying visual experience overall.
Not a whole lot has changed in the realm of sound but things are still fairly solid here. That said there are some circles in the player community that have emphatically raised the suggestion of implementing more commentary elements into the game to help authenticate that true-to-life feel that sports fans so often live for.
Thankfully, NASCAR Heat 3 delivers a super solid race experience for drivers of all skill levels finding that healthy balance between arcade and realistic race preferences. Moreover, the driver A.I is more competitive than ever before making your race to victory lane a tried and true venture.
As in year’s past, there’s lots to get into with this installment. You can expect to have access to every driver and track from the Monster Energy, Xfinity, and Camping World series. It’s also no secret how much fans enjoyed Heat 2’s bonus Eldora dirt track. That said, 704 games has decided to up the ante in Heat 3 adding in an Extreme Dirt Tour series featuring 8 new tracks to race on!
Casual players will likely spend much of their time between Quickrace, Career, and Challenge modes. Quickrace mode allows players the opportunity to jump right in and take their favorite team’s car around the track a few times and even share the experience with friends via split-screen. In Career mode you start from the bottom in your choice of series and let your driving do the talking for you. As you gain notoriety through winning other race teams will begin to seek you out with new deals and opportunities. You’ll be able to experience Career mode from both a driver and owner perspective giving you full control of your NASCAR destiny. In Challenge mode players will work to complete 23 different challenges, one for each track. Each challenge is unique. You can either replay history, rewrite history, or take control of a fantasy situation.
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Competitive players will likely spend much of their quality time honing their skills and taking home the bragging rights in Multiplayer mode. Here you’ll be able to jump into 40 man lobbies and race with up to 39 other real drivers. A brand new spectator mode has been added into the multiplayer game offering lobby players a chance to watch all the action between races.
Arguably the biggest addition to the series this year is Championship Mode which is sure to be a gamechanger in the days to come. Championship mode separates elite drivers from the rest of the pack. Here players will compete Monday through Friday throwing down qualifier lap times with the top best finishers moving on to compete in championship race series every weekend.
At launch 704 Games announced a “Road to Miami” Championship series allowing players to compete weekly spanning the months of the 2018 NASCAR playoffs for a chance to win up to $10,000 or more. Building off that success coming into to 2019 they have now introduced a “NASCAR Heat Pro League” giving players a once in a life time opportunity to be drafted and race of an official NASCAR Esports team! A qualifier series for the leagues just wrapped up in mid-January and will be followed up by a series of “showcase” races to be broadcasted live via Twitch in February. The official draft to see what lucky players will get in to the Heat Pro League will take place in March.
There’s no doubt that 704 and Monster Games have really turned up heat with NASCAR Heat 3! You have a solid racer boasting great graphics, sound audio and top-notch gameplay. With a slew of modes to keep racers intrigued including being a prospect driver for a NASCAR Pro League I’d say things are looking up for the series. In the meantime we’ll be staying tuned and watching where this one goes over the next couple months here at GiN!