If you're not from the United States then there's an excellent chance your only exposure to the world of Nascar is the lackluster Tom Cruise flick Days of Thunder and Sega's amazing coin-op Daytona USA - neither of which Nascar: Redline seeks to emulate.
Instead of letting you get hands-on with the crazy asphalt action, the game forces you to watch from the sidelines for much of the race.
You're called in a key points to indulge in pretty shallow mini-games - usually involving hitting a certain speed or slowing down - but aside from deciding your driver's level of aggression and when to pit, there's actually very little involvement.Pedal to the metal
This places Nascar: Redline in a rather strange middle ground between management simulator and reaction tester. It's actually quite fun to see your career progress as you unlock new upgrades and receive cash from sponsors, but even these peripheral elements can't hide the fact that once the race begins you might as well be a back-seat passenger.
It's an interesting attempt to replicate what it must feel like to be viewing proceedings from the pitlane, having to make split-second choices which could determine the fate of the race, but the real issue is that it's not all that exciting.
In some of the races, we were only called upon to take action two or three times - we're guessing that in real life, a Nascar event is a little more action-packed than this game would suggest.
The presentation is impeccable and the visuals are appealing enough, but ultimately Nascar: Redline just isn't sufficiently engaging to earn a recommendation, and largely squanders the incredible potential afforded by the licence.