NASCAR Revolution; known to the sim racing community as a nightmare. Well, EA has come back with something totally new, called NASCAR 2000.
NASCAR 2000 includes 33 Official NASCAR Winston Cup Drivers including such favourites as Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, and many more. There are a total of 18 official tracks in NASCAR 2000. Five fantasy tracks have also been included.
The menus in NASCAR 2000 are very easy to navigate. The quick race option makes it easy to "just race." This feature randomly selects a driver and track and begins the race.
One special feature found in NASCAR 2000 is the ability to race against the King. You race against a simulated Richard Petty, and attempt to beat his best lap around the track. This is much more difficult then it sounds.
Many simulation enthusists agree that a paintshop to customize the players and opponents cars is crucial. NASCAR 2000 lacks a paintshop to paint those cars. This forces the player to drive one of the NASCAR Winston Cup cars included with the game.
The garage feature in NASCAR 2000 are moderately extensive. There are a lot of changes which can be made to the car, which will effect the handling of it, but these options are very minimal compared to the garage found in Sierra's NASCAR Racing 3. Some options include modifying the tire pressures and changing the spoiler angle.
NASCAR 2000 features a multiplayer connection setup which allows connections via Internet or Local Area Network. This is very limited compared to to NASCAR Racing 3's 32 player online capabilities. In NASCAR 2000, connecting to online games are a daunting task, which takes a lot of configuration and time. It is well worth it when you do get online though.
Many simulation enthusists agree, the tracks are what will make or break a game, and EA has done an excellent job on modeling them. The surface textures and trackside objects are much improved over previous simulations, although players are unable to drive into the infield to victory lane after a race, or too the garage after a large wreck.
The sound in NASCAR 2000 is very well done. The introduction scene before the races which was present in NASCAR Revolution has been removed. The engine sounds are very realistic, but can still be improved. The tire squeals should be improved as they are not very realistic.
The physics model in NASCAR 2000 is much improved over the NASCAR Revolution physics. The handling of the cars have been much improved from NASCAR Revolution as well. The cars now handle and feel more accurately like NASCAR Winston Cup stock cars. The flips and rolls in NASCAR 2000 are much more controlled. Hard impacts with objects will send your car on its side and rolling down the track. One downside to NASCAR 2000 though, is the ability to "catch air" is not present, meaning the car can spin at 200 miles per hour and will not flip because the air which would get underneath the car has not been modeled.
The damage model in NASCAR 2000 is very good. The graphical effects are very well done, but the force of impact has no effect on the damage sustained. Although the car may become airborne on a high speed impact, the damage will not be much different from that of a lower speed impact. NASCAR 2000 is one of the first games to offer side damage and "donuts" from tire contact on the side of the car. Cars can suffer tire damage, or suspension damage depending on the severity of the crash. Heavy plumes of smoke will come from your tires when you suffer tire damage.
One major downfall of NASCAR 2000 is the artificial intelligence. The computer cars will race you very hard, and will do everything possible to avoid a crash. They will not give any ground, and you may find yourself into the wall if you decide to cut an opponent off. The major problem with the AI however is, when involved in a crash, they will do strange things like drive onto the track backwards and wreck half the field. This is a very difficult way to race.
The graphics in NASCAR 2000 are very good. The crowd and track graphics are excellent, as are the car models. NASCAR 2000 is the only game which currently has the licenses to use the real car manufacturers in the game, which is an extra treat.Transparent smoke effects have been added, but the smoke is not very thick in a crash. Some other graphical features include motion captured pit stops and working roof flaps. NASCAR 2000 supports both Glide and Direct3D modes, although the Glide graphics are substantially better.
Overall, NASCAR 2000 is a much better game then its predecessor NASCAR Revolution. However, even after many changes, it is still more of an arcade game. The graphics and sound in this game are good, as is the damage model. The poor AI and the limited physics make NASCAR 2000 more of an arcade game. If you are a NASCAR or simulation enthusiast, them this game is for you.