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Review: Forza Motorsport 6 NASCAR expansion is a great taste of American racing

The NASCAR Expansion pack is the second such piece of DLC for Microsoft's premiere racer on the Xbox One. Following on from the previous Porsche pack, we now have a bundle of new content focused on America's favorite motorsport.

The big question: is it worth your time? Particularly for anyone not familiar with NASCAR?

The short answer is yes. Here's why.

Turn to the left. Sometimes.

Forza 6 Nascar

NASCAR is famous for its high speed oval racing, taking to the banks of circuits like Daytona at 200+ mph in some of the closest racing you'll see anywhere. This expansion for Forza 6 does have some of that, but not a lot. That might put some purists off, but what Turn 10 did was fit NASCAR into the game it already did so well with.

The additional new career mode is projected at around 10 hours play time, which isn't bad. It's split up into nine series of five races and sees you drive any of 24 new NASCAR racers in a series of challenges around the world.

Some will take place on ovals, like the new Miami Homestead circuit, others will take you to the likes of Spa-Franchorchamps and Brands Hatch. And you won't be limited to just NASCAR only races, either.

It's all part of the NASCAR World Tour, taking in the best circuits and race series in the world.

What's new?

Forza 6 Nascar

There are 24 officially licensed NASCAR vehicles to choose from and new mods to go along with each of them. All cars are unlocked immediately, but you unlock the mods as you progress, so you'll find yourself taking a more linear path to what you drive in order to get the most from the car.

There's also a new circuit, the Miami Homestead location with both an oval and a more traditional circuit layout to race. You're introduced to this right at the beginning of your NASCAR journey.

We also get some new game mechanics introduced for the first time. NASCAR is big on drafting and close quarters action, so Turn 10 has introduced a new drafting feature to help you keep a better eye on the cars around you. You'll now see arrows appear behind the car showing you where a car is and how close it is to you. As it hits gold it's safe to assume they're getting a pretty big tow and getting ready to go past. Rolling starts are also introduced for the first time.

You also have pit stops for the first time in Forza 6. The new Quick Stop races force you to take a pre-designated number of trips down pit road which adds a little extra spice to the action. While you're making your stop you get this neat graphic that pops up to show you what's happening with the cars around you in the race.

Better still, these new game features are then unlocked to other, non-NASCAR modes, too.

There's also a bunch of new Showcase events to take on, as well as new NASCAR specific multiplayer and League modes to play.

Shake 'n Bake

Forza 6 Nascar

The previous Porsche Expansion also added a decent length new career mode, but it felt like more of the same but with different cars. The NASCAR Expansion spices things up much more than that and comes out super enjoyable to play.

It adds a new challenge to an already established game, too. NASCARs don't race like other cars in the game. They're incredibly powerful but also incredibly heavy and they only have four gears. It's a level playing field when you're in NASCAR-only races, but in mixed fields you have to carefully consider your approach.

An example: Racing European GT3 cars you find that they're a lot more capable through the corners. Conversely, when it gets to a straight line the power of the NASCAR shines through. So you enter into a game of cat and mouse. This in particular I found a lot of fun because it brought a new challenge to the table. Often when you're racing in Forza 6 the cars are fairly evenly matched all round.

There is a little bit of a learning curve, though. On ovals you have to be incredibly smooth as you scream around the banking with even the slightest movement potentially spearing you off into the wall or whoever is around you. Drafting is also a key tactic to master on these circuits, as once everyone's up to speed hitting the front is a little trickier.

Cornering is also different to some of the European race cars in the game. The NASCAR is a big, heavy beast, and changing direction through tight sections requires a fair amount of effort. Tracks like the Circuit of the Americas and the second half of Yas Marina are a real challenge. But that's the best part of this expansion. It genuinely adds a new challenge and a sense of tactics with the pit stops to the existing game.

Multiplayer

Forza 6 Nascar

Multiplayer and Leagues are both present in the NASCAR Expansion and both take on the same form as they do in other portions of Forza 6. With the new content comes new online races in both formats. But there's still an issue with actually getting into a race.

I might be unlucky, but the waiting times for a regular multiplayer race are too long. Every time I try I spend what seems like forever waiting for the lobby to load to be told that I have to wait for the current race to finish first. I'm not sure what the problem or solution actually is, but there we are.

Leagues are quicker to get into the action, but I found myself in a lengthy race with just one other person at one point. If there aren't enough players to make up the numbers, fair enough. But it's a bit of a let down either way.

Achievements

Forza 6 Nascar

There are a number of new achievements added to the overall count with the NASCAR expansion worth a total of 210 gamerscore. None are particularly tough to get and for most just playing through the expansion pack in its entirety will take care of all of them.

The addition of these new achievements takes the overall Forza 6 count up to 1500. You can find a full run down of the NASCAR achievements at the link below.

Check out the full list of NASCAR achievements for Forza Motorsport 6

The bottom line

Forza 6 Nascar

Pros

  • NASCAR on Xbox One at long last
  • Lengthy new career mode
  • Pit stops add a new dimension to race tactics
  • New game mechanics open to other, non-NASCAR modes

Cons

  • Multiplayer slow to find races
  • Leagues can be woefully short on opponents

If you were only ever going to buy one DLC pack for Forza Motorsport 6 then make it this one. It adds enough to the game overall to be more than worth the $20 outlay, especially if you've been craving a NASCAR game on the Xbox One. That will come later this year from a different developer, but in the mean time, give this a shout.

The addition of pit stop races and the drafting indicators adds a little extra spice to your races and screaming around the Daytona Tri-Oval at 200mph is a pure digital thrill. The addition of NASCAR has given Forza 6 some added personality, a wild ride next to the more precise, sterile even Porsche Expansion. Buy it and love it.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

13 Comments
  • In my opinion the expansion is only really worthwhile for the multiplayer, where the high-speed intensity and unpredictability of oval racing is at it's best. Racing online on the road circuits is also good but let's face it, the ovals are where it's special. The single player is okay, but really just more of the same stuff already in the game. It reminds me a lot of Forza 5's career where you pick a discipline and it feeds you through every track in the game and you just go through them. Nothing particularly memorable.
  • I agree, to an extent. I really like the single player. I like the way it has races that force you to pit so many times, regardless if you need to or not. (though, even on the highest AI setting, I destroy the AI on most tracks. I think I will be making my way online this weekend. - Well, maybe not this weekend, have about 1500 miles of racing to watch Sunday.) I agree 100% though that ovals shine with this expansion. As a big NASCAR fan, I love ovals, and Forza never really excelled there. It does with this expansion. I just bought Project Cars when it went on sale, but now that this has released, I imagine this is where most of my racing time will be spent. Well, until the NASCAR game ships, assuming it is better than the previous 2 games. I still am wishing/hoping that Turn 10 and NASCAR build a larger relationship and we see a full game from Turn 10 at some point. I am very much enjoying this expansion. Oh and, Richard. Can we get a new screenshot? F Kyle Bush! :)
    #DaleYeah
  • Multiplayer would be much better if the 'wreckers'were banned. I've basically given up on the multiplayer aspect of the game. Most of the time, before the pack thins out, some idiot decides to turn sideways directly in front of me for no reason other than to cause a huge accident. That's not fun at all. It's a good thing I love the single player content. Forza 6 is by far the best racing game available on the Xbox One. I just can't handle racing with 11 year olds.  As for this expansion, well, I'm not a NASCAR fan, so I think I'll skip it. 
  • This is a huge problem in all racing games. I enjoy all racing, but ovals are my favorite. Unfortunately the racing has become - who can make it out of the first turn in 1st, because you know there is a wreck behind you. And I get it, we are not professional race car drivers and wrecks happen. But you maybe get one good race out of 50+. It is super frustrating. Every now and then you can find a good group of folks who just want to race. But in general, you race out of turn 2 to the yellow flag.
  • These games release too quickly. If Forza took a slower route like Gran Turismo, I would buy in more easily. Instead, I feel myself better off waiting for the next game to be announced at E3. Yes, Horizon and Motorsport are different, but as someone who just wants a quality racer, I am fine with either version of the franchise. $100+ to get all of the content of a 2-year game is more than I care to spend.
  • Tell us, then - how much content is $60 worth? How many tracks, how many cars, how many gameplay hours? Because right now you just sound like you're entitled to everything the developers make, regardless of whether the original package is worth the asking price. Oh, and look at Gran Turismo Sport - sorry, but longer development cycles aren't making their games special at all. They've become complacent in their reputation.
  • Except it's not $60 for the whole of the content. It's $100+ to get it all. It's also possibly getting replaced in 4 months. But please, keep looking past my words because it's more fun to criticize strawman arguments than have an actual discussion.
  • Don't buy both then, decide which racer you prefer. I do own both, but if I were forced to chose, I would probably pick standard Forza. Forza provides pure track racing. Horizons is open world street racing - in a sense.... With that, I love racing, so 150 dollars or so over two years is a great return on my investment. IMO.
  • It's really not a preference of one over the other. I just want one. I'd rather just get the newest. As such, I'd rather pay $60 for the next Forza than $100+ for its predecessor. I don't consider $150 over 2 years a good deal, even as someone who enjoys it. The market of DLC just never seems to match well. Why is it that DLC can cost 30-50% of the game and include 10% of the content? One track and 24 cars for $20, after $60 got you 400+ cars and 25+ tracks, right?
  • Microsoft make a Indy car game like you did for the PC years ago. That was pretty good actually.
  • FM/EA beat Microsoft to the punch with the addition of Nascar to Real Racing 3. And it does not cost a dime. Plus they continue to add cars and tracks to the game again with no cost. Microsoft has lost its leader role in the software world and is on the decline.
  • You know, if Microsoft were in decline then people wouldn't be shelling out for the NASCAR DLC in Forza. Last I checked, Forza sets the standard for the racing genre on Xbox, not Real Racing. Companies don't add free DLC out of the kindness of their heart, they do it because they don't necessarily think people will buy the game otherwise.
  • I like car racing, the louder and faster, EPIC but, NASCAR watching cars race round and round....YAWN... Never saw interest in it...nor could I sit and watch it.. Cool for the fans tho..