So, I don’t know how many gamers I have that follow me. This article seems kind of odd for me to make because I don’t personally feel like despite it being NASCAR related it’s in my wheelhouse in terms of content. I’m getting too excited about this game to not write something about it.
NASCAR 21 Ignition looks to be the next generation in NASCAR gaming, and a major step forward from the bad to average Heat series we’ve had for five years. With the first gameplay trailer that came out yesterday, it’s clear that this game is set to be a new style and more immersive racing experience.
I got a shade of the F1 series of games when watching the trailer. That’s not a bad thing at all, but I do hope that there is a unique spin on it. F1 has had some of the most immersive racing games in history, and that’s impressive considering F1 doesn’t have a true progression system like NASCAR games have had with lower series like Trucks and Xfinity.
It seems like Ignition will be taking this same approach to things as it’s been confirmed that the game will be forgoing Trucks and Xfinity, but possibly adding more immersion for the Cup Series. We saw a quick scene of a driver getting his car pushed out of the garage by his team and being given a datapad. Hopefully, this means we will have some interaction with our crew which was non-existent in any games prior.
The graphics seem to be one of the bigger drawing points in the new marketing for the game as the team has been sharing multiple screenshots of how beautiful the scenery and tracks are. While everyone loves graphical updates, I think it’s also important to remember that screenshots and trailers can be edited and rendered to look better than what their natural appearance will be. That being said, I’m sure the game is going to look better than anything we’ve had in the past.
The biggest upgrade to the game that most people are excited about seems to be the paint booth which is hopefully getting revamped to the point of a near sandbox level of customization on the cars. This has been promised, but up until now, there has been no gameplay from inside the paint booth.
What I hope to see in the game:
I am a big lover of RPG games that allow you to take on a character and play through a campaign and make your own choices. I feel like this is a tall ask from a NASCAR game, but I hope that Ignition gets us as close as possible with it. We’ve always been able to make our character and race a full career, but I want to see interactions with my team and other drivers. Whether that be an updated version of the friend/rival system or a new form of interaction altogether. I don’t need to be able to walk around the entire garage on race day (despite that being cool) but I’d love to have positive and negative consequences to my actions on and off the track.
This is why I’m hoping they did away with the progression system from trucks to Xfinity. Hopefully, they realized that they are adding new content like an RPG style choice system that they didn’t want to stretch themselves too thin on by working on lower series. That is my hopeful speculation. NASCAR Heat has always just had a barebones career mode where you make a character and go race. To have any extra element of immersion will be appreciated on my end.
My other desire is to truly have a paint booth that allows for a plethora of customization. I want to be able to make shapes and designs and move them to whatever area of the car I want and adjust the size; have an assortment of colors to choose from. It seems like that is what we are getting in this new paint booth.
The only concern I have is whether or not we will be able to build our sponsor logos. In the only screenshot of the booth shared, there was a Speedy Cash logo on the hood, which tells me we will have specific sponsorship options to choose from to put on our car. What I hope they allow us to do, however, is make custom logos.
Let’s say I want to make a car sponsored by Bojangles. I want to be able to go into the paint booth and have the option to type out words and put them on the car. While I obviously wouldn’t be able to get the exact font right, it’s still better than only being able to use whatever predetermined sponsors the game gives me.
In an ideal world, this game introduces a feature that NBA 2K has in their team builders. Allow players to upload images into the game. This would allow for a near unlimited amount of customization for your car.
If we were also allowed to make and save multiple different paint schemes to switch between throughout our career season. This would add to the realism of the game since NASCAR teams have multiple different sponsors and schemes for one car and driver.
Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic that we will at least get a dumbed-down version of what I’m requesting. If that is the case, hopefully, this can be a building block towards something I’m describing in the future.