Review by parsons19
"Need for Speed: Shift PS3 review"
Need for Speed: Shift is an interesting game. An Arcade racer is where you can drift round corners as you please, bash opponents out of your way and are all about fun. Simulation however is different. In Simulation games you race precise, go for clean overtakes, perfect your driving skills and fight for the podium and best times. Shift tries to appeal to audiences of both of these games. Two very different genres put together. But does it work?
In Need for Speed: Shift you can race in Career Mode, Quick Race and Online. Career mode is where most of your time will be spent. In Career mode you start out in a BMW. You then drive a lap and the game recommends some settings. From here you can start your Career in Shift's driving world. The main aim is to reach the NFS Championship and win to become a driving champion and to reach driver Level 50. To level up you need to gain points and you earn these from every race you do. These points go onto your driver profile which will allow you to gain levels to unlock new challenges and parts for your cars. The profile points are awarded for Precision moves and Aggression moves. This is where Arcade and Simulation audiences will differ. Arcade drivers will most likely opt for ramming other racers out the way and sliding round corners where as Simulation fans, like myself, will try to overtake cleanly and perfect there cornering. These points will be noted on your driver profile and depending how much you have for each style of driving you will be recognised as precise driver or feared as an aggressive one! When you start you are given a certain amount of Cash to spend on a tier 1 car and even some upgrades if you have enough! Then you can start to race to earn some profile points. Progression in the Career reminds me of newer Guitar Hero games, like Greatest Hits, as you earn stars in races and when you hit the target for a certain amount of stars you will progress onto the next tier or set of challenges. When you unlock a new tier you will also unlock a new tier of cars to buy and race. For each race you get given money, you get more depending on how well you place, and the profile points I wrote about earlier.
In Quick Race you simply choose a track, car, laps and some other options like Number of opponents and time of day and then race! In Quick Races you will also earn points and cash which can be used in career mode. You can even set the amount of opponents to zero and practice tracks to perfect your driving line and times.
Shift has some really great online features too. Firstly there is an Online Mode. Here you can play ranked or unranked matches with friends or random people to again earn cash and points for your career mode. Headsets are also compatible. Shift also has leaderboards where you can check who has the fastest time on what event or even just see who is fastest out of you and all your friends. Slightly annoyingly you need an Online EA account to play online. You may already have one of these but if you don't it takes only a few minutes to set up and will sync with your PSN. Once you have your EA account you can use the online features and also head to needforspeed.com and login there to keep track of your stats and compare with others!
When driving in this game it is brilliant. It is similar to games such as Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport. There are many different options. For casual players there are assists that will do things for you or for the more experienced player you can turn these of and choose what levels you want traction control, etc. and play with a full damage simulation. There are four different views to choose from and your favourite will most likely depend on if you are an arcade or simulation fan. Cockpit, Bumper, Hood and Full car views are available. When driving every time you change gear, go over a bump, slightly come of the track you will feel vibrations through your controller. Also when you do these actions the camera may move, if using the cockpit camera view, as if it were the drivers head making the driving feel more lifelike. When you crash your vision may blur, again as if you were the driver.
The graphics in this game are excellent. Every car looks fantastic and the cockpits are beautiful. Each is different and you can see everything from the manufacturer badge on the wheel or the buttons on the radio. Cockpits are identical to real life cars or at least I know some are.
Unfortunately there are some negative parts to the game. For example when playing online you will of course enter races with some precision drivers and some aggressive drivers. For a precision driver like myself it can be extremely annoying when braking for a corner and suddenly being rammed off the track by an aggressive driver refusing to slow down. Sound is generally great and the music is good but when driving in certain cars the noise will occasionally stop for about a second and sometimes keep doing this. There are also some other problems I have noticed and some I may not but, such as glitches that others have found, but patches are being released to try and improve on some of these problems.
Overall I think this is a good, fun game. There are other features I have not noted in this review such as tuning and upgrading your car but I have picked out most key features. It seems this is the only alternative for Gran Turismo fans like myself who are eagerly awaiting the release of the five year long game. This will certainly keep me going in the driving department while I wait for that but Shift may not be for everybody. If you can try to try first but it can be bought pretty cheap now, I paid £23.
Good game. 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/19/10
Game Release: Need for Speed: Shift (EU, 09/18/09)
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