Hey, PlayStation drivers! NASCAR Heat Evolution began with a mission: deliver the most intense NASCAR racing experience. Working alongside Monster Games, known for developing classic NASCAR games like the original NASCAR Heat and NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona, we pushed ourselves to find innovative ways to make our racing vision a reality.
That meant extensive car tuning options, adaptive AI that adjusts to your skill level, in-depth Career and Championship modes to capture the exhilaration of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and a new Challenge mode for those who want to step into the cockpit of their favorite drivers and recreate real-life history.
But the biggest thing we wanted to do to separate NASCAR Heat Evolution from any NASCAR title you’ve played before is in online competitive multiplayer. As the first official NASCAR game on PS4, we recognized we had the power to do things never before possible in a NASCAR game. So we committed to giving players the real deal: a full field of 40 racers in online multiplayer — 40 human players all going for the checkered flag in the same race.
In previous NASCAR console games, each multiplayer game was hosted by a specific user, and that kind of peer-to-peer system could result in a number of issues — the host could leave, or have a poor connection, and that could negatively alter the entire race. We knew that system wouldn’t fly if we wanted to put 40 players together in NASCAR Heat Evolution. We built a new system where each online game’s data is hosted by a server. All race data comes from that server, so the entire race experience is no longer tied to any one player.
There will be three different online lobbies available: No Rules, Normal, and Hosted.
- No Rules: If you’re a beginner just looking to learn, bump, and crash (or you just want to bump and crash), the No Rules lobby is for you. This is a great place to practice, try things out, or just have a good time with friends.
- Normal: For players who want to test their skills but are still looking for a good, clean, and friendly race.
- Hosted: This lobby is for people who are more serious about racing. Race hosts will have the option to decide which level of player can join the race session. For example, if the host only wants racers level 5 or higher, he or she can set that parameter when creating the session. In addition, hosts have the right to boot players from their game.
Within each of these lobbies, players have the option of joining an existing session or creating their own. When creating your own race, you’ll be able to select the track, number of laps, fuel/tire wear, and max number of players. Once a race has been created, it will begin in 60 seconds whether the requested number of drivers have joined or not.
Unfortunately, due to the resources required to balance 40 separate players in one race, caution flags will not be available in online multiplayer. It’s not an ideal situation, but we really believe in the new opportunities that multiplayer on this scale opens up. Pitting will still be available in online races depending on the race length and wear options selected. Finally, players have the option to create a private race and invite their friends. This feature is perfect for NASCAR Heat Evolution leagues that want to host weekly races.
Multiplayer will only feature human drivers on the track, so if there are 24 human players in a session, you will see 24 cars on screen. Your starting position is determined by previous lap times at that track. Those with faster lap times will start closer to the front, helping to ensure that players of equal racing ability are placed near one another for a clean start. If a player quits a race for any reason, their car will disappear from the race, but everyone else can continue to compete for the checkered flag. Players who finish online multiplayer races will get Speed Points, as they do in offline racing. There are also a number of PlayStation Trophies up for grabs for those who compete online.
Online or offline, we’re very excited for you to finally get your chance to play NASCAR Heat Evolution when it launches on September 13. See you on the track!