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SRX: The Game | Hands-on Day 1

Last week, it was announced that SRX: The Game by Monster Games would be hitting physical and virtual shelves on 28th May for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam users. I managed to get my hands on a virtual copy for my PC on Friday morning, installed the game as I rounded up some breakfast, and dug in shortly after.

We briefly reported on it last week (21st May) since it honestly popped up out of nowhere. For anyone reading this and still wondering what the heck SRX even is, well don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

SRX stands for Superstar Racing Experience (why isn’t it SRE? Or, should I capitalize it eXperience?)

It’s a brand new racing series based in the US that is headed by longtime NASCAR Team Owner and Championship-winning Crew Chief Ray Evernham, alongside one of the best US racers of all time in disciplines such as NASCAR, IndyCar, USAC, and tons of dirt car racing, that being Tony Stewart.

Stewart, along with 9 other well accomplished drivers from across multiple facts of motorsport, such as Willy T. Ribbs, Bill Elliott, Helio Castroneves and more will race full-time in the six-race inaugural season. Extra SRX vehicles will be available week to week for handpicked local track champs and ringers, drivers like Doug Coby and Scott Speed.

The first SRX season will begin on June 12th at Stafford Motor Speedway, visiting Knoxville Raceway, Eldora Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway, Slinger Speedway, and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in consecutive weeks through the summer, live on CBS Sports. They even got Allen Bestwick to lead the broadcast team, which for me is the best part about all of this.

Anyway, we’re here to talk about a new racing game, that being THE game for SRX, aptly titled SRX: The Game. Monster Games, part of the team that worked on the NASCAR Heat franchise before splitting off to do their own thing with Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car Racing and Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing put together what to me feels like just another reskin of NASCAR Heat 4 and 5. However, I’ve found some good in all of this, and I’m happy to share some first hand thoughts and experiences.

I am always down for immersion. This custom parts feature actually might be my favorite part of this game.

THE GOOD: CUSTOMIZATION

I love me some good custom features, and the SRX game gives me a little more in that field than I’ve been able to get in a while. While custom paint scheme base design is still out of the question, the ability to pin point colors, textures, logo size/rotation/placement, and number size/rotation/placement, I felt like I was able to make some decent looking racecars right off the bat.

Even the fire suit and helmet had the same feature, although I would warn that a carbon fiber fire suit just doesn’t look right visually. While it’s a step up from other games in that department, it’s still leaves a little lacking overall. Many of the same features made their way over from Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing, so while these are not exactly new to the world, they are new to me, and I appreciate it.

Regardless, future games take note, if this is the way you have to go about paint schemes or liveries, this is a good place to be at in the customization department. Nobody wants to be driving around with a tiny number on the side of the car that doesn’t look like it fits right.

That is one of the best looking custom numbers I’ve seen, and I customized it that way!

Another fun custom part of it is the car itself. Full disclosure, I only just started my career today, so I don’t know how deep the rabbit hole goes, but on the surface, I’m actually getting NASCAR Thunder 2004 vibes here. The car has a rating and that’s based on the different custom parts you can put in to it. If you get a better part, you can sell it off and make back some money.

It looks like each series only allows you to own one car, but that one car is very customizable as far as things like the engine installed or the tires mounted. They have a performance level and a durability level, so you can get cheaper parts that perform, but you’ll also be having to spend more on repairs.

There are multiple levels of parts you can get based on the shop status, so really well done on this part, because it brings that immersion level that I’ve lacked and desired since NT2004. Again, something that was done in the previous All-American Racing game, but I’m glad it made its way over here.

The game also allows hiring of managers and drivers, so if there’s a track that’s not your favorite, just send the computer guy.

THE MEH: IT’S JUST THE SAME GAME

I jumped in a multiplayer lobby that was hosted by Twitch streamer Blake McCandless who was running some SRX cars, first at Eldora and then at Lucas Oil, wrapping up at Nashville Fairgrounds. I took part in the Lucas Oil race, which Blake and I both agree that the track does not feel realistic in any sense (Nashville was fine, though), and when it was all said and done, I had won the first heat but wound up second in the main event.

Ultimately, the collision model and online capabilities are the same you would find in a current NASCAR Heat lobby. The User Interface and load screens feel like the same thing you would find in a NASCAR Heat game. It feels like a NASCAR Heat game, and whether that’s good or bad in your eyes, just know that this seems like a $40 reskin. Like Blake put it in his stream, this is a great marketing tool for SRX to get more eyes on it before the series kicks off, and if that is their main goal here, they’ve succeeded in doing so.

Physics-wise feels similar too. The SRX car itself is glued to the track. At one point while running Nashville Fairgrounds offline, I held it wide-open with expert settings on and it held grip through the whole corner. This game is no simulator, but I would hope by choosing harder settings that it would be harder to drive, not just give me extra speed that it wasn’t scrubbing with aids on.

Dirt racing for the SRX car hasn’t happened besides a few tests in the real world, but hopefully they aren’t turning more left than right like it seems to be in this SRX game.

The 305 Wingless Midget felt really fun though as I begun my career. The Stadium Trucks felt like a tank. The Dirt Late Model was very twitchy. Overall, the physics are what they are, I don’t think any real life drivers will be plugging in to get a feel, but it might be a good way to pass the time.

I never played Tony Stewart’s Sprint Car Racing or Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing before, but in doing some research on the topic, two of the cars from previous games are just ripped and placed in this new SRX game (305 Wingless Midgets from Sprint Car, Dirt Late Model from All-American). The actual SRX Car is new, as well as the Stadium Trucks, but the tracks are also mostly from the previous games.

If anything, an SRX DLC pack would have sufficed for the previous game, but I get why it’s a brand new one, and they’ll likely profit more and promote the series more with doing it like this. People who own Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing might be cursing, however.

This Stadium Truck was primarily black with some pink. After 30 laps, it became mud colored.

OTHER NEAT THINGS AND SUGGESTIONS

There are other things I enjoy from this game. The overall game feels like a finished product, Allen Bestwick’s voice-overs throughout everything you do is absolutely fantastic, and the sounds from the cars are great too.

I think it’s worth noting that having a full replay to rewind is refreshing, instead of being forced to watch highlights that the game thought were worthwhile, like, you know, the initial start in five different camera angles.

The replay could use some more features, like maybe some tools to move the angle of the shot, but I crave that on any game or sim I load up. Still, with it’s limited capacity, some good photography is possible.

Like this photo finish, for instance.

Finally, let us drive the SRX cars on all the tracks. Why bother having all those extra tracks if we can’t play the main cars on them? Seems like a big missed opportunity.

I think overall, this game is a great introduction for racing gamers and possible fans to learn about the new Superstar Racing Experience. If you don’t care about SRX, though, you can pretty much get the same experience from any previous NASCAR Heat or Tony Stewart game, and likely this game won’t see too many updates due to it’s very niche and new racing series.

Will you be picking up this game? Are you looking forward to the Superstar Racing Experience starting up in real life? Let us know about it down below.

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