With the 2013 NASCAR season well underway, Eutechnyx has finally dropped the green flag on it’s season long DLC for NASCAR The Game Inside Line. The first big batch of DLC packs include challenges for the first 4 races of the year, plus the Gen 6 car model. The plan is for the development team to release a DLC Challenge pack every week through out the year, giving NASCAR fans a chance to relive and/or rewrite the events of every race this season.
The challenges so far have been mixed and varied in difficulty. Each race is broken down into a handful of challenges, each challenge has a goal which could require you to re-creating a situation in the race or re-write what occurred in real-life. Each of the challenges for each race also has their own preset difficulty. Unfortunately you can’t alter the difficulty, so while you might really want to re-write the finish for the Daytona 500 if you can’t cut it, there is no way to play it at an easier level. This will be a bit annoying to the more casual NASCAR gamer out there, but a solid challenge for those looking for fun. One thing that is really neat with the challenges is that the team has access to all the real car telemetry from the races. So what you see unfold on-screen is an exact duplicate of the real race.
As for now, challenges will be added each week or at least that has occurred so far, as last weekends race challenges just hit the game as of Friday. Hopefully that pattern will continue throughout the season.
The Gen 6 car scheme is the other part of the recently released DLC. This is pretty straight forward. To bring the game in line with the 2013 season the new paint schemes and car models have been added. Unfortunately the Gen 6 cars are only available in car selection screens and not the game’s career or season mode. If you are playing single or multiplayer you can select either 2012 or 2013 cars, but in career mode starting fresh or even progressing to later seasons still has you stuck with the 2012 car model. This is a big disappointment as career modes of sports titles is where the bulk of play time is spent.
Now while the content of the DLC is pretty enjoyable overall, I must mention that the implementation of the DLC is the WORST I have ever seen in a video game. And truthfully makes the DLC not really worth the headaches. First-off the DLC is an in-game download. This causes the game to treat the content as a save file, which caused a few issues on my Xbox 360. I use the Cloud Save feature for my saved games. When I load NASCAR The Game Inside Line and download the 2013 content, it saves all 300+ megs to the Cloud Save, causing me to be locked out of loading any saved games. To my knowledge and that of Xbox support, DLC is prohibited from the Cloud but due to the system seeing the content as a save file it allows it. Now once moving the content to my hard drive, loading my true game save from the Cloud prevents NASCAR The Game Inside Line from seeing the DLC on the hard drive. The only way to use my save and the content is to have them in the same exact storage location. Again no other game I’ve played does this. A title like Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (also published by Activision) downloads all maps to the hard drive and my game saves live in the cloud. I am able to load both without issue.
To cap off the horrible content data implementation, the content is locked on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the single user who purchased it. So unlike EVERY OTHER DLC that is purchased on my console, other gamertags CAN NOT access the DLC of NASCAR The Game Inside Line without also purchasing it. And to make that even worse, each gamertag needs to download the 300+ megs of content separately so you’ll have multiple downloads of the same content. AGAIN no other game even Activision’s own Black Ops 2 does this, if you download a map pack it is available to all users of the console it was initially downloaded on, that has been the DRM system of the Xbox 360 since day one. So gamer parents with kids who have their own gamertags, be warned they won’t be able to access the content unless they use your gmaertag.
So while the content could be enjoyed by NASCAR fans, I can’t endorse buying it until the team fixes the issues with how the DLC is implemented. For some reason Eutechnyx didn’t follow the standard execution path for DLC and it not only hurts consumers but also showcases one of digital contents biggest headaches. As a long time NASCAR fan the last two years of NASCAR games have been nothing short of a disaster. I truly hope the licensing department at NASCAR rethink their video game rights in the future, Eutechnyx has talked great ideas but the execution has been as bad as the “BIG ONE” at Daytona.
NASCAR the Game Inside Line DLC can be purchased separately or as a Season Pass for $24.99 (2000 MS Points) give you access to all the DLC of the game.
A Season Pass was provided to us for this review