Game Stock Car 2013 Review (PC)
In 2011, little known Reiza Studios released Game Stock Car 2012 which was based on a popular Brazilian V8 racing series. While it flew under the radar, it actually ended up being one of the best racing sims released for the PC over the last decade. If you made the leap of faith and purchased then, than you fully understand the quality of the title. The AI was aggressive, smart, and talented – all while racing clean. The driving physics were spot on, and although the game was built on the dated gMotor2 engine, the look of the game had a vibrant, realistic look to it.
Reiza has now released their second version of their Brazilian driving simulator, aptly named Game Stock Car 2013. We had the chance to take Reizas' newest iteration out for a spin to see if it blows by the competition, or if it simply stuck in neutral.
As with the previous release from Reiza, the proof is the pudding. While the game may not be flashy, the attention to detail is what has gamers slowly gravitating towards this title. The developers have packed the game full this year, as sim racers now can choose from multiple vehicle and track types. The 2013 version includes most of the original content for GSC2012 and the DLC that was offered.
Stock Car V8 2013 Season
Camaro SS Street Challenge
Opala Stock Car Classic
Formula Reiza – Modern GP series
Formula Classic – Late 80s GP series
Formula Retro – Mid 70s GP series
125cc kart direct drive
125cc kart Shifter 6 speed
Interlagos Classic ( 1970s)
Santa Cruz do Sul
Granja Viana (6 layouts)
Interlagos (3 layouts)
With 10 vehicle types, and 26 track layouts, there is plenty to chose from. The best part though is the simple fact that each series varies so drastically from one another that it will take hours upon hours of seat time to master each one.
Speaking of tracks, once you put the petal to the medal is when the game really begins to shine. Whether you speeding down the straight away at Interlagos using the Brazilian V8 at 270kph, or taking a spin in a Kart at one of the many kart specific tracks included, the game does a wonderful job of replicating of the feeling of being on the track in real life. In order to be competitive in Game Stock Car 2013 you are going to need to put in some serious seat time with each car to understand the handling mechanics and how they react to different types of tracks. The ability to roll through corners and heel-toe the brake and gas is imperative to have any success in real life, and GSC 2013 is no different.
We tested Game Stock Car out using both a Logitech G25 racing wheel and an Xbox 360 wireless PC controller, and both handled extremely well. While we always suggest using a wheel if possible, the game offers up a very good driving experience for those who simply want to sit back and use a controller. The controls can be completely tweaked to one's liking, but the force feedback the game offers while using a wheel can not be matched using a controller.
We also need to mention the outstanding AI experience that is offered up in this game. Not everyone has the want or ability to jump online and have a full room of human opponents, and GSC2013 has you covered if that is the case. The AI is very competent and competitive, and does so with the full understanding that there is a human opponent(s) on the track with them.
As we brought up earlier, the presentation is still a bit lacking in the newest offering from Reiza, but one very cool feature that is included in the 2013 version is that the game is set up on a 24-hour time cycle, meaning you can set a race to start at dusk and end at night, with the tracks utilizing their authentic lighting system.
Although Game Stock Car 2013 does not have a true career mode, it does offer up a championship mode, which is basically just a season mode in whichever vehicle type you decide to settle in with. If you’re looking for cut-scenes or vibrant splash screens to accompany your time in this mode, you need to look elsewhere. While it’s not bare-bones, as in the past, this series does lack in the presentation department. The game does a fine job of keeping track of stats , standings, and your next location in which you will be racing, but unfortunately that is where the presentation stops.
Championship mode offers a full race weekend, including multiple practice sessions, qualifying, and warm-up, and of course the race itself. One can choose to participate in all of these modes, or simply choose to go to the next session. If you're racing anything other the easiest level of AI, we highly suggest taking these session opportunities to learn the track, and how your car of choice handles in the corners and around AI. If you’re looking to be competitive in this series, the choice to utilize the practice sessions is almost a must.
The multiplayer hasn’t changed much from GSC2012, and that’s OK. The online options are every bit as robust as offline, and allows for some great racing against a combination of human and AI opponents. Once again the player has the option to set up a full race weekend, or a simple quick race.
Game Stock Car lets you set all the difficulties, including allowing driving aids, damage, number of opponents, race length and time of race. It also allows all users to see the their ping to know if there is a bad connection.
While Game Stock Car 2013 may look and feel very similar to its predecessor, we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend picking this title up. Not only do you get the V8 super-cars, this year’s version also includes kart racing, truck racing, and historical content as well. It may not look or drive much different than the 2012 version, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The previous title was so well done that instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Reiza chose the path of tweaking and adding tremendous depth and replay value to GSC 2013.
Learning Curve – If you are familiar with rFactor, the Race Series, or Arca Sim Racing, then you will feel right at home. Driving is easy, but being competitive online or against the AI on higher levels of difficulty – that’s another story.
Visuals – The game is running on the 8-year-old gMotor 2 engine. Plus, with the tracks, vehicles, and driver models looking quite nice, they are starting to show their age.
Audio – The cars sound amazing, as do the tires – everything else, not so much.
Value – For a price point of $24.99, there is not a better value in the market today – assuming you’re a fan of the racing genre.
Score – 8.5 (Great)
Scoring Note: An 8.5, or great, means this game is not quite an all-time classic but is a must-own for fans of the sport and even potentially casual fans of the sport. Despite the dated graphics, everything else about Game Stock Car 2013 is a must own for racing fans.