Developer Turn 10 Studios’ NASCAR expansion continues to blur the line between arcade and sim racer.
In 2016, it’s become all too common for games to feature DLC that feels like expensive re-skins and less like the traditional expansion packs of yesteryear. Thankfully, with their new NASCAR DLC Turn 10 cruises past this faux pas with 24 masterfully recreated vehicles that look and handle differently from the 400+ cars already playable in Forza Motorsport 6.
While the experience isn’t cheap, the $19.99 expansion asks the question “How would NASCAR feel on the global scale.” The answer, apparently, is quite well for racing fans. The expansion only adds one track to the game, Homestead-Miami Speedway, but it matters little because NASCAR vehicles feel at home in Forza Motorsport 6’s already respectable road course and speedway ensemble.
Although tracks like the Indianapolis International Speedway are present in the expansion, much of the new career is spent on road courses any Motorsport 6 player will be familiar with. This decision by Turn 10 certainly adds legs to the experience, but I couldn’t help but imagine hardcore NASCAR fans would be looking for a more pure experience.
Forza Motorsport 6’s new expansion makes small but valuable changes to the way you race. New UI indicators will signal when and from what angle opponents are approaching your vehicle, and just like real NASCAR, drafting feels like a much more reliable tactic to pass other racers this time around. Additionally, several of the races on NASCAR’s superspeedways will force players to utilize pit stops. Having a pit crew is nothing new to the Motorsport series, but to my memory, this is the first time Turn 10 have actually forced players to stop for maintenance during races. The developers definitely play it safe and avoid major changes, but considering how refined Motorsport is at this point, it makes sense to capitalize on the already successful formula.
Along with a myriad of different career mode options, the NASCAR Expansion also adds extra “Rivals” and multiplayer modes that flesh the experience out a little more. The modes adds more to the expansion, but if you found yourself frustrated with Forza bullies who carelessly knock opponents off the track in past, you won’t find much pleasure here. If you’re looking to mix bumper cars, NASCAR and Forza, multiplayer is the perfect place for you.
Once again, Turn 10 Studios has proved they are the premiere console racer with the NASCAR Expansion. Just like Motorsport 6’s debut last fall, the expansion features meticulously designed cars that play fantastically on legendary tracks racing fans know and love. The moment-to-moment gameplay improvements might seem minute at first, but cumulatively, they work to create a believable NASCAR racer that blurs the line between arcade and simulation.
The NASCAR Expansion is fantastic for Motorsport 6 fans who are looking for more high-quality racing content. That being said, gamers who consider themselves hardcore NASCAR fans with little desire to cruise through road courses may want to consider waiting for a full-fledged title sometime in the future.
Forza Motorsport 6 NASCAR Expansion was reviewed on a Xbox One press copy courtesy of Microsoft.
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