NASCAR Racing 3 Download
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
I'll cut to the quick - NASCAR Racing is all about rings. Not around Uranus, but around doughnut-shaped racing circuits, and driving round them until your neck is permanently tilted to the left and your steering controller will no longer register a right hand bend.
To some this is as interesting as a late night seminar on cat neutering, but to hordes of American racing fans who have beer can holders built into their sofa/partner's head, this constitutes edge of the seat stuff. And in all fairness, once you get into it, it's wonderful - not the rings, but the fact that a) you're travelling at speeds close to light, b) you're overtaking constantly and c) you can drive into other cars without getting 'sent off'. NASCAR 3 is a development from, hang on, NASCAR and, and has all the hallmarks of the previous games - devastatingly realistic driving model, accurate tracks, pretty cars and grindingly wearing 500 lap races.
You can play either single races or choose from three different Championships. Just about everything can be tweaked - race lengths (even reducing the length to 10% of the real thing can give a twenty five minute pootle), track rules (yellow cards, pace cars etc), realism (driving model and damage) and every conceivable aspect of car set-up. You have a choice of 28 tracks to drive on - most are ovals, but there are a couple of road tracks to test your mettle, including the old favourite Watkins' Glen.
With all realism settings cranked up, it's certainly a difficult game -remember how frustrated you were with GPLegendtf However, NASCAR vehicles can survive a fair old rear-end battering without too much discomfort so, unlike many such games, it's not all over if you have a single lapse of concentration. You can even downgrade your opponents' cars to level the playing field as well -97% is about right to give you the edge and keep your interest level up. Once you win a race at 100%, you can, and will, consider yourself God. And for pansies there's an arcade mode, though other arcade racers are still more fun and have superior playability.
The graphics are pretty if you have a meaty machine -1024 x 768 with full detail ran smoothly on a Pill 500 with a 32Mb TNT2 card - but then it would. However, the usual Papyrus design attitude gives detailed decals on every car yet the most rudimentary pit lane you can imagine. It's pants. A team of mechanics cut out of the side of a cornflake packet would look better.
Little is improved over the last version save sound (which is far better, fully 3D, and with great pit lane comments) and uprated graphics. The physics model is claimed to be improved, but I can't tell the difference, and in hundreds of laps and tens of pile-ups, not a single car flipped - the dynamics seem locked in two dimensions, though they piss on every other non-Papyrus game from a height. Still, you can't deny that it's addictive as you crank your opponents up a percentage at a time towards that god-like 100...
Multiplayer options are well represented, with LAN and internet play (up to 20 on a fast server) and serial link, though we didn't have the chance to test these (it was great on NASCAR 2, so there seems little reason to doubt it won't perform likewise). But it's the obvious similarity to NASCAR 2 that is its biggest weakness. I was hoping for all-new dynamics, with cars flipping like demented turtles, a pit lane that's worth driving into for a look, and perhaps one of those cheesy American commentators saying "He's looking for a liquor store! He's driving the wrong way round the track! What will sponsor^ Wal-Mart make of this crazy behaviour? He's not gonna get a ride next year at this rate!" Ah well, never mind.
Go and buy this if you haven't got NASCAR 2, prefer realism over fun and want the best American stock car game on the market. Otherwise, try a game where you turn right as well as left and don't need to develop an obsession to rival that of a philatelist.
NASCAR Racing 3 Screenshots
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