Summary: The Need for Speed franchise has had its wheels stuck in the mud as of late. With Shift, EA abandons the arcade racing of the series in favor of a solid racing sim in the vein of Forza that offers a lot of content, from fast cars to great track variety. The core driving experience is a drastic change from previous titles, moving the series away from easy arcade play to a gritty challenge.
Summary: There is no doubt that Need for Speed Shift has room to improve. The drift racing mode needs to be fixed, there are quite a few frame rate issues and other bugs that need to be addressed and the sequel really needs more tracks. But I want to make one thing perfectly clear: As a lifelong NFS fan, this is the best NFS I have played in years.
Excerpt: It’s no secret that the Need for Speed series has been driving all over the place. NFS Underground NFS Hot Pursuit NFS Carbon and NFS ProStreet were drastically different from each other, encompassing gameplay types as varied as police chases and dragster street races. Now, with yet another adjustment, one more variation can be added to that list with the release of Need for Speed SHIFT Those who have been listening to the hype should be well aware of EA’s intent to push...
Excerpt: When EA announced the direction for their next Need For Speed racing game, I’ll admit I was a little concerned with their aim to focus on the ‘racing experience’ and tilt the overall theme of the game towards more of a simulation approach, while still retaining the ‘jump in and race’ arcade feeling of previous entries to the long running series.
Conclusion: Shift certainly isn’t perfect nor is it as realistically accurate as it wants to be. What it does do, however, is make you almost feel the g-forces of racing and encapsulates that adrenaline rush like no other game of its genre – this alone makes it essential for racing fans. The fact I am saying that about a Need For Speed title is complimentary in its own right.
Conclusion: Concept: The Need for Speed series goes more sim, and ends up going down the same one-way street
Graphics: When you crash the screen goes hazy and grey for a few seconds to simulate your disorientation
Sound: Nothing you haven’t heard from every racing game going up and down the street
Playability: I really didn’t like the HUD, from the race map to the Driver Profile updates that splash up on the screen
Entertainment: This game gets you revved up pretty easy, but you...
Summary: Designed to deliver a true driver’s experience that reflects contemporary motorsports, Need for Speed Shift is built by racers for racers, delivering an authentic and immersive driving experience.
Summary: While Need for Speed is certainly one of the biggest titles in racing, the past few years have been underwhelming for the classic series. With Shift , EA has decided to farm out the development duties to Slightly Mad Studios , who are best known for making the fantastic GTR series. This move has certainly paid off as Need for Speed: Shift marks one of the best entries in the franchise and a great new direction for the series.
Summary: Need for Speed: Shift is a racing game that tries to do a lot of things, and the good news is that it does most of them well. The bad news is that Shift does very little that other racers haven't done before it, and it excels at nothing. The racing, the car and track selections, the vehicle customization and damage modeling, the career mode, the online play, the opponent AI--all of these things are good, but none of them are great.
Pros: Makes a point of rewarding you, regardless of your driving style, Very good assortment of tracks, Sense of speed borders on scary at times
Cons: Default controls are overly sensitive, Modest car selection, Drifting events are prohibitively difficult, Career mode is very bare-bones, Online play rewards other drivers for spinning you out