Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing was developed in collaboration with 3-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Tony Stewart and is, as the name implies, a racing game centered around stock car racing where players can play through three different classes: US Legend Cars, Street Stocks, and Big-Block Modifieds. Players will be able to race around a bevy of vehicles across 26 dirt tracks. There’s also a decent variety of difficulty settings to tailor to all types of gamers from casual to expert.
The game features a handful of game modes: there’s the Career mode where players can take their career the way they see fit thanks to its non-linear design. You’ll be able to hire the most experienced staff in order to build a stock car racing empire around you. You’ll first be thrown into an introductory race in order to get the ball rolling. Once you’ve finished it, you’ll be able to select to choose a sponsor with various payouts. Once you’re ready to go for the first season, you’ll be prompted to select a set of sponsor objectives that are determined by difficulty: Easy, Normal, and Hard. Each has a set of objectives to accomplish during races in order to get bonuses. Obviously, the objectives under Easy will be easier to attain compared to the ones under Hard. As with most racing career mode, don’t expect to blaze through it. The A.I. is intense and trying to overtake opponents can be difficult.
Up next is the Championship mode. Players can choose from one of the aforementioned classes and select a championship to tackle: Modified Regulation (a full championship), Modified 1/2 Regulation (half of a full championship) and Modified 1/3 Regulation (which includes a third of the races). Each race is split into various races. Each track will require players to go through a practice lap, qualifiers, heats, qualifying dash and then the race itself. While it can bring a sense of realism to the game, it becomes boring and tedious doing the same circuit over and over; no matter how short it is.
You can also tackle quick races; pick a type, a vehicle, and a track and just go nuts. Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing also features multiplayer fun; online or local split-screen. The online multiplayer races can feature up to 25 players(!). The addition of the local split-screen multiplayer is definitely a smart move as it seems to be a feature that many developers aren’t really making any efforts to include in their games. Additionally, thanks to its wide difficulty settings, anyone can just pick up a controller and race around the circuits.
Each of the three classes handles differently. While US Legend Cars and Street Stocks races are a bit faster and more intense, the Big-Block Modifieds category is a bit slower and feels a bit bulkier to drive. The driving feels more arcade-y and has an emphasis on drifting around the circuit; braking is basically useless here.
Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing looks great. Don’t expect Forza Horizon level of details, but the vehicles are well designed and track details are pretty barebone and look pretty basic. The surroundings environments look pretty barebone and the crowds look pretty bland, akin to early NHL games. Seeing as you’re focused on reaching the top spot in the race, it won’t really matter. The soundtrack, with all due respect, does have a redneck-ish feel to it with generic radio rock and country music blaring through the menus. I do precise menus because during in-game races all you hear are the car engines as they drown out the music. It definitely nails the “Saturday Night at a short track” feel.
Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing is an interesting, fun albeit shallow racing experience. The content that is there is pretty solid and easy to pick up and play; responsive and very simplistic controls combined with a plethora of difficulty settings is sure to make it enjoyable to all types of gamers and makes for a nice diversion from the bevy of racing sims we’ve seen this year. Unfortunately, it can get boring and tedious pretty quickly for non-fans of the sport. Doing circles on very simplistic circuits over and over doesn’t account much for a challenge. I understand there’s a limitation to the racing genre, but Tony Stewart’s All-American Racing feels empty and very limited.
- Easy to pick up and play
- Split-screen multiplayer
- Decent amount of circuits
- Gets boring pretty quick