NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All Review

Drag racing video games have been few and far between and the genre seems to be almost completely ignored. Developer Team6 aims to fill that void with NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All and we have been attacking their 1/4 mile racer for the last week. Is the game ready to launch, or does it need more time in the pits?

 

Read on to find out.

Developer Team6 isn’t new to the drag racing genre, as they have released quite a few street racing games over the years. NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All is their first foray into the world of legalized and professional drag racing, and their inexperience shows.

NHRA: Speed For All Review – Grind for Tutorials

Upon first launching NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All, you will probably try jumping into a quick race, and that’s probably not a good idea. The game only has tutorials in career mode, and those are only accessible once you earn enough cash to unlock each type of drag car. That will take a while. While Super Modified and Pro Stock dragsters are easy enough to figure out, the Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters are entirely different animals. Those 8000+HP beasts require a much different technique to handling and racing them, so the lack of a Main Menu tutorial for any type of drag racing is a shock right at the start.

Going into career mode is the best place to start out with the game, and you’ll learn how to properly heat up your tires for the first three types of drag cars you’ll be using. Technically you act as the team owner and you’ll be hiring a driver and a crew chief, but in actuality you are all three, just not by name. I’m not sure why they opted to not let us use our own name as a driver, so you’ll have to choose between several available drivers and crew chiefs to get started. The game has some management sim components that will keep you on your toes in order to improve your overall drag cars.

NHRA: Speed For All Review – Skip a Run and Save Some Cash

Career mode is broken down into a 24 week season, with a different race every week. Research & Development is needed in order to improve your drag cars, but you’ll also need more cash to upgrade the parts for your car. R&D does NOT carry over to the next class of dragster, so keep that in mind if you are just trying to reach the Funny Car or Top Fuel classes. You’ll need to earn ALOT of cash to get there, though, so keep an eye on your sponsorship goals as these all give a huge influx of cash when reached. I upgraded the engine, gearbox, and tires to the best available option on my Super Mod and started leaving the field behind and winning by half a second. That’s a huge gap in drag racing. Once you get past the learning curve of learning how to properly burn out, stage, and launch straight, winning early on shouldn’t be too difficult.

A full race weekend consists of a couple of practice runs on Friday, followed by 4 qualifying rounds on Saturday, and then a full race of the top 16 qualifiers, in single elimination rounds. between your runs, you’ll need to work on your car and make repairs as needed, and all of these repairs will cost you something if you have to swap out parts. You only have 30 minutes of allotted repair time, so you’ll need to choose wisely in order to not break down on your next run. I found that if I qualified with enough of a gap with my first run, skipping the next few rounds saved me money and headaches. If you need the practice, then take your runs, but if you don’t, you can always save your cash. While the career mode is pretty basic, it’s also a fun experience.

NHRA: Speed For All Review – Gorgeous to look at

I played NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All on both the PS4 and the PS5, and the graphics are pretty good on both. The PS5 was lightning fast to load, while the PS4 did lag a bit. Gameplay wise, both versions looked pretty similar, with the PS5 having a slightly better overall experience. It’s a gorgeous game to watch, and the cars are nicely detailed. The engines had a nice roar to them sound wise, and turning up the base really gave the game a deep feel that, when really cranked, made the cars almost sound real.

The Pro and Super Mod drag racing isn’t too hard to master, and the game almost has an arcade feel to it. Top Fuel and Funny Car racing is a bit trickier as the physics of high speed racing really starts to kick in, and even a simple burnout can ruin your weekend. Getting to those tutorials is a must if you really want to master all aspects of the game.

NHRA: Speed For All Review – Lacking True Multiplayer

The multiplayer modes for the game are either split screen racing, or facing off against the top 20 ghost times for each track of the top drivers from around the world. There’s no head-to-head online drag racing, it’s just you versus the ghost driver in the other lane. It would be cool if we could race against friends online, even if it was unranked. As it is, it’s just you against some other driver’s near perfect run, every time. There’s no human error involved or possible for the competition as it’s just a carbon copy of their best runs.

Personally, I am a huge fan of drag racing and used to hit the NHRA Fall Nationals in Texas every year as it almost always falls around my birthday. As a lifelong fan of the sport, I’ve always wanted a deep drag racing game to enjoy. While NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All is an enjoyable experience, the overall depth of the game is lacking. A more in depth career mode, with a winners circle after every race would be nice. Winning a weekend should get you a cool trophy and maybe even a post race interview, but not here. There’s zero storyline to follow, and nothing to really attach you to the game experience.

Developer Team6 did a decent job of creating a fun and enjoyable drag racing game, but there’s plenty of room for improvements and plenty of room to grow.

7


NHRA Championship Drag Racing: Speed For All review code provided by publisher and played on anPS4 and PS5 using Thrustmaster peripherals. For more information on scoring, please read What our review scores really mean