September 22, 2000
NASCAR racing is one of the biggest sports in America. With fast and furious racing it's not uncommon to see cars with enough bent panels to keep most repairers busy for years. Electronic Arts have built this game from the ground up to ensure that the Playstation 2's power is being used to its fullest potential.
This game includes real NASCAR cars, tracks, drivers, rules, teams and sponsors. Nascar 2001 also allows you to race on the legendary Daytona International Speedway for the first time in a NASCAR video game. In fact, for the first time ever you will be able to pick a racing team and compete in the legendary Daytona 500.
Some of the driver who you will be able to control include Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. As well as Nascar International Speedway there are 11 other NASCAR tracks. The game will also include the option to play a part or full season. It is also possible to select the types of tracks you want to race on during the season including speedways, super speedways, road or short tracks.
According to Electronic Arts Nascar 2001 will have some of the most advanced AI ever seen in a game. The computer drivers actually model the real-life tendencies of NASCAR drivers. Earnhardt dives low into the corner, Jarrett drives consistently on long runs, and Gordon is smooth in and out of the turns. Long gone are the days where cars in a racing game followed a set path.
One of the most striking things about this game is the clarity of the graphics. The cars are wonderfully detailed and look exactly like the real drivers version. It remains to be seen what frame rate the game will eventually run at however I wouldn't expect anything less then 30fps. At the moment the tracks look a little barren and the crowds poorly detailed however these screenshots are several months old and there is still plenty of time for EA to polish these details.
Nascar 2001 will be a great game and should compete well against the Dreamcast's Daytona USA Online. Although the Playstation 2 version won't have online gameplay it will be amazingly detailed and include all the official teams and tracks unlike the Sega game.