NASCAR HEAT 5 is out now from 704Games and has similar graphics to NASCAR HEAT 4 but has made improvements in the gameplay. There are 34 official tracks included which are extremely detailed and provide a stunning immersion as you race across the asphalt. As you might expect race teams have been updated to reflect driver and sponsor changes for each team. The Paint Booth remains much the same, but additional fonts and font designs have been added. Additionally, you now have a choice of Matte or Gloss finish for your ride. It’s nice to see Matte now available as that is my preferred option.
Career Mode is back again in NASCAR HEAT 5 and is relatively the same as before. You can start from any series and work your way through the ranks by placing well and meeting sponsor goals set for you throughout the season. Become a team owner and the pressure only increases. Not only are you required to place well in each race, but you are responsible for more including hiring staff and purchasing the vehicles you put on the track.
One of the biggest additions in NASCAR Heat 5 is the addition of a Test Mode. Here you can use some of the included setups or create your own setup to get that perfect line without having to maneuver around other cars on the track. Previously, you needed to enter a race session to practice your setups.
What about racing? Good AI is crucial for any racing game and the AI in NASCAR Heat 5 doesn’t disappoint. AI drivers are aggressive in taking advantage of mistakes and will fight you for each and every position if the difficulty is set high enough. Customizing the AI level is a great way to help you get better on the track. Lower the AI as you are learning and as your times improve, bump up the AI level for more competitive racing. The one area in racing I think still needs some work is the replay editor. I’d love to see a few more options for camera angles or maybe even an option to move the camera anywhere on the track.
NASCAR HEAT 5 Review Final Thoughts:
Overall, NASCAR Heat 5 is another solid racing game for NASCAR fans. Options are available for those new to the series, those who want to just drive, and those who want more hands-on with their race team. NASCAR Heat 5 is available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam for $49.99.