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Need For Speed Shift Review

To write the conclusion at the start of a review isn’t really the way I like to lay things out, but to be honest, with Shift it’s the only way I could think of writing. So to start off, this game is ‘meh’ a classic case of a game that I wouldn’t really miss if it got taken away. Remember that this is my point of view, and to be honest, I think this is the sort of game you would get if you combined Gran Turismo with , you know it will sell well, but deep down its just a mediocre driving game with a few added extras, that tries a little too hard. I think that it’s a bit of a shame as I loved the previous Need For Speed games, Carbon and Undercover are two of the most fun racers I’ve played (if not shoddy in some places), and Shift is a game that’s been designed for everybody, but will only please a few. EA set out to do the thing that so many games before it had tried and failed at, making an arcady racing simulator that will appeal to the masses, and unfortunately for them, it hasn’t really worked.

In the racing games market there are two main styles, a simulator and an arcade racer, simulators would be your Gran Turismo and Forza games, and arcade racers would be games like Burnout, Midnight Club, and the original Need For Speed games. Games like Dirt and Grid, seem to have found that fine line in between the two types. Shift, trying to hit that middle mark, has really made a solid game, but one that won’t appeal to fans from either side of things.

The graphics are not really anything special, tracks look quite nice, but don’t have the amount of polish that Forza 2 or Gran Turismo had, and with the free roaming aspect gone, I would’ve expected some nicer looking tracks. The details on the 60 or so cars, are very accurate, and the damage that your car takes is pretty good from a realism standpoint, but from a practical side of things, it definitely needs work, for example, if you like to drive from the first person point of view, and you crash into a wall after messing up a turn, your windscreen will crack, and sure it looks nice, but it pretty much obscures your view of the track, making you mess up even more when it comes to precision, as I said before, realistic, but not practical.

The sounds of the cars are strong, and each has its individual clips, and the sound of a gear change at 100 MPH never gets old, no matter what game you’re playing and the engine noises will have you constantly turning up your TV. The games soundtrack on the other hand is pretty terrible, and fortunately, the option for in race is default on ‘OFF’ which is where you will want to leave it most of the time.

Now, after playing this game for a few hours, I realized how bad the gimmick of blurring the outside of the car at any speed over 100 MPH is, and this makes it nearly impossible to corner accurately in first person view, as the only thing that’s not blurred out is about a metre of track in front of you, thankfully the game still has other viewpoint options, which look ok, but, the car textures look somewhat rushed.

The truth is, I cannot slate this game, as I did have some fun with it, but it just wasn’t as up there for me as classics such as Gran Turismo 4, or Burnout 3, and although it’s a solid effort for a game, it feels far too gimmicky and doesn’t really stand up too well against some more recent games, and without going into an excessive amount of detail some more of the bad things to list would be; The over complicated HUD whilst playing, the over the top customisation (more of a nod to the simulator fans than a system that works), Ridiculous physics in Drift mode, and not being able to customise the exterior of your car (which fans of the previous games will miss).

As I said it the start, the game is ‘meh’ and received a resounding sigh from me every time I pressed the quit game button, and wished for a bit more to add to the fun I already had. EA’s decision to change the game this drastically, was a bad one, and if they went back to the formula’s that they had gotten right already, tweaked and improved them, the game would’ve been much better. By no means am I saying not to buy the game, but, just take into consideration that, the fun that you do get out of this game, is somewhat overshadowed by some of the aforementioned problems.


-Dean Case

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Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Need For Speed Shift Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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