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World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars (Xbox 360) Review

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Growing up around dirt track racing, I was super excited to get my hands on THQ’s revived World of Outlaws franchise. The World of Outlaws is like the pinnacle to dirt track fans. As a kid I had my Jeff Hewitt t-shirt at every race the Sprints ran in Indiana and Kentucky. I couldn’t wait to relive those steamy Saturday nights from my childhood in my own virtual sprint car. But just like getting a flat on your trailer on the way to the track, things start looking bad early.

You ever heard that you get what you pay for? The person who made up that phrase would certainly agree that it applies here. The best thing about this game is the budget price THQ slapped on it, and the price being the best thing is almost always a bad sign. From the way the cars glide almost above the ground to the generic guitar rock that would make Sonic Team blush, this game is budget.

Besides a soundtrack that will have you reaching for the mute button in a heartbeat, the visuals fail to impress. While the flinging mud “effect” is neat, it looks like a rough build. Anyone who has actually been to a dirt track race (30 million people a year do) knows that some mud will sling, but not the way it’s animated here. After several heat races, the tracks should become dark brown and slick versions of a small oval. But instead of the track morphing like it should on a hot summer Saturday night, we have a track that our winged midgets never make contact with. Somewhere between the developer trying to imitate the way sprints drift through turns and simulating the speed effect, everything went wrong. How wrong you ask? So wrong that the cars don’t even appear to be touching the track. The end result is something that looks barely above the quality of a PS2 or Xbox title.

World of Outlaws for Xbox 360

Adding insult to injury is the way in which World of Outlaws caters to the core fans this game is targeted at. As mentioned before, dirt track fans are amongst the most loyal sports fans in the world. I still hate Jeff Gordon to this day because of the bad sportsmanship he displayed at a rare sprint car race at Florence Speedway in Kentucky when I was like twelve years old. I don’t drink Pepsi because of him. If you think that’s odd, you have no idea the lengths dirt fans go for loyalty. But the racers they’re buying this title for are barely represented. You’ll see your Outlaws in small avatars at the end of races during the results screen. For those sprint fans out there who pick this up, that may be a letdown.

The boring red and black interface and menus match the boring feel of everything else perfectly. You can tweak your racer for different tracks like the mighty Eldora. But it won’t make a difference as it seems like nothing can make your car handle well. While I’ve never been behind the wheel of a winged sprint, I know what the developer was going for with the controls. They just happened to miss the mark incredibly. Because of the bad controls, you’ll be finishing next to last almost every race. Your insurmountable challenge is only made worse by the great driving AI in the history of racing. No Outlaw would stand a chance against the AI in this game. It’s ruthless, unforgiving, and can’t lose.

Do yourself a favor and get another racer like Dirt 2 or a Sega Rally title. Both are pretty cheap these days. While other racing titles won’t offer the same familiar cars as the ones Outlaw fans want to see, you won’t enjoy this game anyways. Save your twenty bucks and wait till the season starts up around April and head to your closest dirt track. You’ll get more out of your money sitting on some old wooden bleachers, eating bad nachos, and smelling burning alcohol – than you could ever get playing this game. If you are the uber-fan of the World of Outlaws, pick it up when it drops to $9.99 in the value bin at Wal-Mart.









+14 #1 ThanksPeter Armstrong 2010-02-25 09:10
Thanks for the review. While we hope all the World of Outlaws fans would appreciate the game, sometimes we can't please everyone. Being a die-hard fan I'm sure you've thought about what your perfect Sprint Car game would be and I'm sorry we didn't live up to that for you. We worked closely with the World Racing Group to get the handling and tracks right, but it is a delicate balance of being fun for the casual fan and fun for the hardcore enthusiast.

There's a good reason it's hard to make a racing game that meets every fans needs. If you look at the NASCAR and NHRA communities they too can be tough to please, so much so that they don't have games this year. I stand by our World of Outlaws Sprint Cars game and hope the fans do the same so that we can make a new game in the future.

Kind Regards, Peter Armstrong
+5 #2 RE: World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars (Xbox 360) ReviewBrian Flannigan 2010-02-25 11:16
Boo! I love this game. You can't call yourself a fan of Sprint Cars and not give this game something better than an eight. Of course the cars are hard to handle. They are hard to handle, duh
+4 #3 RE: World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars (Xbox 360) Reviewtajweed quran 2010-02-25 14:33
i loved its a a lot and my cousin is now a fan of World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars
+6 #4 RE: World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars (Xbox 360) ReviewAcFreeze 2010-02-25 17:43
Quoting Peter Armstrong:
I stand by our World of Outlaws Sprint Cars game and hope the fans do the same so that we can make a new game in the future.

The most important thing to remember to anyone who reads a review from any site is that it is the opinion of one person. As a member of this site I truly hope people don't take any one writer's word as the end-all / be-all. Even if this author is a fan of the sport, tastes vary. Just like fans cheer on different drivers, potential consumers have different ideas of what makes a good game. So while I respect Joey's opinion, I would never just take one opinion. Always get a second point of view.
#5 LMAOTheXSRacer 2010-06-10 14:38
Dunno what this guys beef is with The Game, but I find it to be worth the $ and a plat to boot, cant lose
#6 RE: World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars (Xbox 360) Reviewderek 2010-08-03 14:36
iam currentley playin the game and iam trying to go head to head with brian brown at knoxville....the game has the car way too loose to even drive.. its like almost imposible to beat him...every tme you go into a corner it just gets sideways and you spin out...anyone have any sugestions on how to beat him...you cant make adjustments to the car iv tried it and does not work
#7 wowrick 2010-08-07 14:13
First off to the guy who claims to be a die hard fan...This game is awsome...have you ever tried to drive a 800hp car in the dirt and not have it try to kick out sideways from you?this aint nascar you cant get yer car to stick to the track...its called knowing how to work throtel and brake and steering into a corner...it's dirt slick hit the brake before you jump into a corner to get yer car to nose plant allowing you to turn and threw the turn you work throttel and break to keep the car stable and keep it from kicking out from you...
#8 wow2rick 2010-08-14 00:23
i live in attica ohio and i am a big sprint car fan....i think it sucks attica wasnt reconised in this game even tho we host a woo show every year....hopefully the next one will have attica in it....i run push trucks and theres nothin like being around sprint cars been all my life and this game rocks.....can be frustrating if you cant control yer cars....but trust me if they wanted this to be an easy game it would of sucked cause anyone can drive in a oval....it's the real hardcore gamers and fans that understand how these cars are setup and ran....diffrent tracks diffrent setups you cant takew a setup from eldora and go to 155 and exspect the same results...so in short being a true die hard sprint car fan.....this game rocks and the improvements from the original game are so much better keep it up thq i'll buy yer game anyday......
#9 TonyTony 2010-11-25 16:40
well for starters the setup feture does work. as I have tried diffrent setups one setup will cause the car to spin out very easy the next setup may push you into the wall. but as quoted above it takes throtle and brakes to drive. and yes you can win. it took me sevral atempts to get the car setup to handle well enough to take the checkers. but it can be done. I was about to give up on it but I would race and tune till I was tired and put it away and play another title for a while and break it back out again and go after it finaly I got it tuned in and took the checkers and as the race went on for its thirty laps the handling did change the color of the track may not go to looking like pavement but I was wishing I had ran soft compound tires as it began to get slipery toward the end of the race. so if you have this game dont give up. keep trying diffrent things and make the changes small you may want to write them down incase you dont remember what you changed.
#10 easyBrad3440 2010-12-18 19:19
Man i love this game being a sprintcar fan in australia and watching the likes of steve kinser race over here is awesome and when i saw this game in the shop i had to have it but it cost me an x-box as well as i never had one and man what a game gone thorugh all the tracks and finished everything except one last race the race of champions.............................cheers

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