Days of Thunder: Nascar Edition E3 Impressions

This summer is going to be all about Tom Cruise. Paramount Pictures plans on celebrating the 20th anniversary of the movie, Days of Thunder, by releasing this game on PSN. I got plenty of hands-on with Day of Thunder to test my skills of driving in a circle.

The demo didn’t contain any story, so we can skip that. The gameplay seemed was what you would expect. You race against a collection of other cars in a Nascar race. Naturally, the first thing I did was try and crash my car into the other cars on the track. It turns out vehicles don’t take any damage in Days of Thunder, and it was impossible to destroy my car. The only track available for the demo was a regular oval track, although it looked like the full game will offer a wide variety of tracks to race. Now, the racing was a little arcadey. You can pull in for pit stops anytime you want, and mash one of the face buttons to refill gas, fix tires, and fill transmission fluid. Your car doesn’t actually stop in the pit stop while you are doing this, it just keeps driving. You also have access to bullet time and boost. A meter at the bottom of the screen will let you know how much bullet time and boost you have. You earn bullet time by drafting, scraping up against the wall, and spinning out. Bullet time can be deployed to help you do tricky maneuvers around cars. You gain boost by drafting and passing cars. The boost was particularly effective, and it allowed me to easily get two car-lengths ahead.

Here’s some more information you should know about the game. The game is given the title “Nascar Edition” because it contains exclusive, official tracks and cars. This game will also be released on Xbox 360, Mac, and PC but will contain fictitious tracks and cars in those versions of the game. Days of Thunder will have a system that will let you earn new sponsors and upgrade your car. To upgrade your car, just distribute “performance points” into speed, tires, fuel, or any other area you want. If you decide you don’t like your configuration, you can redistribute your points at any time during the game. As for multiplayer, the game will let you jump into a 12 player match. Michael Rooker, the actor who played Rowdy Burns in the movie, will be featured in the game offering friendly advice from the pit crew as you race.

Be on the look out for this game when it its the PSN store later this summer.