NASCAR Heat 5 PC Review

User Rating: 6

Recently released by publisher Motosport Games, NASCAR Heat 5 is a new entry to the long-running franchise. NH5 challenges players to the NASCAR Cup Series and become champion and features official teams, drivers and cars from the three NASCAR national series. Will NH5 bring the heat with newly added features or fizzle out to become just another boring track racing game. Here is our review of NASCAR Heat 5.

System Requirements

Min Specs Recommended Specs
   * Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

OS: 64bit Versions of Windows 7, 8 and 10

Processor: Intel Core i3 530 or AMD FX 4100

Memory: 4 GB RAM

Graphics: Nvidia GTX 460 or AMD HD 5870

DirectX: Version 11

Network: Broadband Internet connection

Storage: 18 GB available space

Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Soundcards

Additional Notes: Supported Graphics Cards: AMD HD5870 or better, HD6870 or better, HD7790 or better, R7 260 or better, R9 260 or better, Nvidia GTX460 or better, GTX560 or better, GTX650Ti or better, GTX750 or better, GTX950 or better

*Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system

OS: 64bit Version of Windows 10

Processor: Intel i5 9600k or AMD Ryzen 5 2600x

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti or AMD Radeon RX 590

DirectX: Version 11

Network: Broadband Internet connection

Storage: 18 GB available space

Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Soundcards

 

 

The racing genera are one of my most fond and early memories of gaming, well asides from Mario games of course. For me, there was nothing more fun than selecting my favorite car and whipping down the track leaving my competition in the dust. Naturally as games advanced, so did my taste. Fast-paced, street racing games where defiantly one of my favorites with the ability to customize various cars, improve performance, and dominate the races. To be honest I never really tried many circuit-style racing games asides from the occasional cruise in Forza. NH5 is not one of those games. With limited customization mostly geared at the paint and team scheme. The only customization you will find is the riding adjustments while on the track. Players can adjust the wedge and angle of the car as well as the tire pressures. Since the object is to hone your machine and improve driving skills to win the race this comes to no surprise. A welcoming new feature being introduced is “Test Session Mode” This allows players to practice against the AI and refine your race setup. There was a bit of a learning curve since coming from other games where horsepower and traction were the key elements. Once I had all the nuances figured out it was a matter of learning physics and getting that perfect line down.

Those the game features a like/dislike social media aspect, I found many races I had to play a bit dirty to beat the AI. Even with the perfect lines the drafting in the game was very dodgy at best. Putting my competitive nature down for a nap, I found the game very enjoyable to play and though having more laps to contest with, the time would fly by.  NH5 does come with one hitch, it is only compatible with the use of the controller to play. Not to say this is unexpected as keyboard play just does not emit the correct feel. Racing wheels of course are compatible and I would highly suggest one if you have access to one. I played with the Xbox one wireless controller and yielded expected results. All controls and button layouts made sense and after at least a few hours of play, I could navigate the track while following a decent line.

The Career Mode starts players on Dirt tracks trying to earn a name for yourself. Occasionally players are tossed a bone and get asked to race in an open slot. If you do well you will get more invites and move up the ranks. However, just like in the real world if you do bad you do not get as much interest and will have to work at your career and skill to obtain new races.  Career modes are fun but some times you just need to pick a track to race and blow off some steam. NH5 has you covered with single races as well as online tracks that allow you to race with up to 39 other drivers.  Something about that makes me drool.

Challenge mode is another new feature to NH5, with challenge mode players are presented with different scenarios to complete.  Admittedly I did not get too deep into these challenges due to being enrooted in the career mode and turning my car the other direction to cause a spot of mayhem. I did find them fun but a bit repetitive.

Graphically speaking the game was beautiful, vibrant colors and of course a realistic approach. I would rate them at a solid 6 out of 10. The lighting was great, the textures and mappings are worked well. However, it did give off a particular feel that screamed video games. Maybe an HDR or grudge filter would help but whom am I to judge.

The last few racing games that I have played did leave an unpleasant memory and that was the music. Call me an old soul, but I like classic rock more than half of the new type of stuff called music nowadays. Gratefully was not an issue with NASCAR Heat 5, the music was right down my ally and provided a much need to escape from mundane.


Note: A code was provided for the purpose of review.

Summary
Overall, the experience for NASCAR Heat 5 was fun and enjoyable with a hint of repetitively. Without sound to southern, isn’t that the point of NASCAR. You can watch or play while enjoying time with friends and family. You can talk with each other and have some good old fashion fun. When something major happens, you can snap right back into action. Of course, you will not will many races if you do not try but again your experience and goals may vary. I did ask myself one question at the end of it all, would I suggest this title for others to play? The answer is well, yes. It comes down to your play style and expectations from a racing game. If you are looking for a realistic racing sim that will put you in the action then I do suggest this title. If you get frustrated easily with keeping that perfect line you may want to steer clear of this title or be prepared to use lower difficulty and move up as you progress.
Good
  • Authentic tracks
  • Realistic cars
  • Great soundtrack
Bad
  • Slight learning curve
  • Lackluster handling
6
Fair
Written by
Long time tech, gadget and all around geek. I love cars, computers and movies and most importantly my family.

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