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Need For Speed: Shift (PS3)

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Genre: Driving & Racing / Video Game for PlayStation 3 / To Be Announced / ESRB Rating: Everyone / Release Date: 2009-09-18 / Published by Electronic Arts

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      06.01.2011 17:39
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      Good game, if you don't have it then it's worth getting!

      Many people recognise the Need for Speed series as souping up a convertible and driving through city streets, or being chased by the cops through the countryside (or even for some, being the cops). Shift is, for lack of a better term, a shift in the type of game that the franchise is offering - it's more of a racing simulation. The emphasis has been taken from quick thrills to precision racing, and provides a completely different experience as a result. It's one that's not unworthy of the NFS brand title, but not one that many people immediately associate with it.

      Here you are able to race on not just the circuits imagined by game developers, but also real life locations such as Silverstone, Laguna Seca and interestingly Spa-Francorchamps - the Belgian Formula 1 venue. Cars are separated into tiers, where the more you progress through the game the higher the tier you will perform at, eventually culminating in being able to use some of the fastest dream cars on the planet.

      The game physics are decent and outdo rivals such as Race Driver: Grid, but are nowhere near the standards of the Forza or Gran Turismo series which is understandable, as those games have always had the determining focus on providing a simulation while EA are only starting to dip their toes into the water - with that in mind, what they've achieved is rather impressive. The damage modelling is light-years ahead of what you may have previously seen in racing games - when you crash, you literally feel like you're crashing rather than bouncing off the tyre barriers, walls or whatever scenery is in your way.

      Beyond the sometimes jumpy and unpredictable handing of some cars is revealed a deep and rewarding career mode with many different challenges. Winning 'stars' is the main object of it all, and the more you achieve through good driving and fast racing, the further you will go in this game. It includes simple races, drift-themed events, time attacks, driver duels and eliminator/last man standing events. The variety is greater than your average simulation and the game deserves acclaim for it.

      The game is not as graphically or sonically impressive as leading titles, although it's still very impressive. The cars are as noisy as you would expect them to be in real life, and the game features intricately designed interiors for each of its cars which will please those who pay attention and soak up every last detail.

      Shift isn't going to offer quite the realism that you would be accustomed to in GT or Forza, but what you are getting here is an immersive, entertaining and unique driving experience. With the background of the series you'd expect there to be a strong element of fun and it has certainly retained that, and this is where the game triumphs - the fun quotient is arguably much higher than in its higher-class rivals, despite lacking in other areas. It is a game to be appreciated for what it does, because it does it so well! If you're bored of any other racing games you are or are a NFS enthusiast, you shouldn't be missing out on this title!

      If you enjoy this game, then a sequel NFS Shift 2 Unleashed is on the horizons - judging by early impressions, it's going to be a superb game that will prove that the NFS series is maturing and focused on what it's doing, proving that this game is not an anomaly in their developments and deserves to be taken seriously. Buy it and you shouldn't regret it!

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      19.11.2010 15:17

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      If you're into track racing, you'll enjoy it - but i'd save the pennies for Gran Turismo 5 instead.

      Great, realistic gameplay, the sense of speed is fantastic and when you crash the loss of colour, heavy breathing and blurred vision is a really great touch. The cars are fantastically detailed, damage taken is quite realistic and the controls are easy to use and intuitive. Where it gets let down is in the number of cars, the modifications to the cars and more importantly the variety of gameplay - which at times can become pretty tedious.

      With only fifty or so cars, many of them quite similar in their handling and driving it gets a dull when you want something a little different. The upgrading system, whilst quite fun is pretty samey and you don't get alot of choice with the parts you put on - just part packages, pre-fabricated body kits etc. Whilst the decals and colour choices are varying, you can't change the colour of things like the wheels which just seems like a bit of an oversight, along with the lack of any real customisation to the last tier of cars.

      The menus aren't the clearest either, with a strange noise soundtrack behind them they aren't the most easily navigated. Not to mention the lack of a real variety of tracks and course types, driving the same circuit five or six times through an initial play of a tier isn't enjoyable either - not to mention drifting which with some cars is just impossible.

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      23.05.2010 20:17
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      Sub £20.

      Need For Speed: Shift is the latest instalment in the series for the PS3, developed by Slightly Mad Studios and EA Black Box. The slowly declining series over the past few years is the reason for this joint effort with EA (and racing fans) hoping it would take a fresh direction for the franchise.

      They certainly achieved that aim with a game that has redeemed the series after the terribly mediocre ProStreet and Undercover. The most noticeable improvement are the graphics. The backdrops in particular are far more detailed and realstic. Shift aimed to give an improved portrayal of actually being a racing driver and the success of this was significantly helped by the cockpit presentation. Due to the stellar graphics, it's a very immersive experience and the only limitation I had was not owning a steering wheel controller. I've always preferred the cockpit view and to see it done so well was very encouraging right from the start.

      Thankfully, and I'm sure this relief is unanimous, there are no poorly scripted and cringe-worthy storylines... in fact, there is no story whatsoever, which is exactly how a racing game should be. NFS: Shift has bypassed the typical NFS structure and focused on realistic gameplay and the best graphics the series has produced. It's very refreshing.

      My only complaint, if you could really call it so, is that Shift is not a Need For Speed game in any sense, except of course it's loosely worn title. While I thoroughly enjoyed the underground aspect of the previous titles, NFS desperately needed a revamp and this offering is a sign of good things to come.

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      16.05.2010 19:10
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      Disappointing...

      The killionth title in the Need for Speed series, Shift, is unfortunately mostly a case of style over substance, and fails to live up to the excellence of many of the other entries in the series. Instead, it's inconsistent, misguided, and oddly glitchy.

      First things first, this is a VERY good looking game, and it's absolutely one of the best looking racing games of this generation. The vehicular models are incredibly realistic, and the environments are similarly excellent. Overall, there's also little in terms of aliasing or artefacting, and the detail extends to some really remarkable vehicular damage, which not even the Gran Turismo games have properly achieved yet. However, some more vain players might like to turn damage off, and there's that option too.

      However, the gameplay just doesn't live up to the impressiveness of the graphics, resulting in a rather disappointingly shallow title. While the previous games had you driving around looking for races in a way so popular it was then copied by the Burnout games, but here, you rather arbitrarily cycle through the different races on a list and just pick one. Furthermore, the game rather lazily uses rubber-band mechanics to a high degree, meaning that if you are winning a race easily, the opponents will magically speed up ridiculously to get close to you and make it more "intense". Essentially, little of merit has been added, and a whole lot has just been cheaply thrown in, recycled half-heartedly from better games.

      I wanted to like this game because generally the NFS games are very good, but putting lipstick on a pig doesn't change its species, and here the pretty visuals can't make up for some rote gameplay that make this an incredibly generic racer.

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        21.03.2010 04:54
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        A superb racing game but with one major flaw

        After initially downloading the demo version of this game from the Playstation store I must say I wasn't too impressed at all, at least not with the playability of the game itself. The graphics were excellent, literally quite stunning but there seemed to be this line of arrows on the road indicating the bends. Useful as a guide but when the line changes colour from green to yellow it means you need to brake and when it changed to red I suddenly found the game automatically braking for me which in turn sent me off course and I ended up crashing. It was extremely frustrating.

        However, I recently had the opportunity to pick up a copy of the game for a reasonably cheap price and I wanted a racing game anyway so I pursued it. Thankfully, although the colour-changing line is still present throughout the game you can turn off the setting that brakes automatically. In fact, this setting is only swicthed on if you do badly on the test race and the very beginning of the game.

        As already mentioned, graphically the game is literally quite stunning. Everything is crisp and clear and well drawn and the fine attention to detail is quite astounding. From shadows to lighting everything has been taken into consideration and it all adds to the playability of the game. The only thing I find a little annoying is the way the screen blurs when you crash before gradually coming back into focus. However, this does make the game more realistic and this seems to be the type of approach that is going to be used with video games from now on.

        The sound effects are probably the most realistic aspect of the game, they sound absolutely perfect. You can even hear your turbo and nos kicking into action.

        There is one major flaw to the game though and it's a very annoying one: drift. The drift races appear to be virtually impossible. Even if you don't steer at all and just accelerate, even at a minimal speed, you will find that the car still swerves ridiculously for you and it makes nearly all the drift races impossible. However, I have successfully managed to make it to level 10 (out of 50) without having to do more than three drift races.

        Shift also gives you the opportunity for online play. Although I haven't actually tried this feature yet I can only imagine that it would prove to provide very addictive gameplay with your friends.

        If it wasn't for the major flaw in the drift races then I would highly recommend this as the perfect racing game. However, the drift mode desperately needs to be addressed, it would be worth re-releasing the game purely for this reason.

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          14.02.2010 16:59
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          great game overall recommend it to anyone

          Need for speed shift

          Need for speed shift designed by Electronic Arts is a great game for anyone who enjoys racing.
          The graphics are very detailed and really complex making it look almost photo-realistic.

          The original Need for speed games where as good as you could get in a racing game, but over the last couple of years the games have not been so good so this game with all the publicity and advertising got it off to a good start and it really did deliver.

          The controls on this game are very easy and even with no experience they would not take long to master as EA gave the controls a slightly arcade feel instead of it being more realistic.


          The Game:
          Unlike previous need for speed games there is no open world so you don't have to travel around a world to get to a race anymore instead it is set out into a clear menu. You earn points for the position you come in races and the more points you earn the faster you level up meaning you can start playing races that have a bigger reward.

          There is no story in this game unlike the others which is good because they have kept it simple a racing game being a racing game.
          So you can just play the game, select a track, choose the race and off you go, no messing about.
          There is a multiplayer option which allows you to race with up to 16 players from around the world so if you get bored of going against the computer then have a go online.

          There is also a large selection of music to choose from when racing around the tracks from well known artists.

          The cockpit view is amazing, it is not like other racing games which just show you turning the steering wheel, Need for speed shift gives you a dynamic camera which demonstrates the g-forces involved when turning, braking and accelerating. What I mean by this is if you brake you will see your body move forward to the dashboard if you turn your body will move in the opposite direction to which you are turning. And this makes the game stand out from any other racing game.

          Overall great game one of the best racing games so far in my opinion 8/10 for graphics and game play.

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          02.02.2010 20:23
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          EA Fail

          Need for Speed Shift is possibly the worst driving game ever created.
          An absolute fail by EA the handling of cars is so unrealistic and poor.
          The cars however are very nice to look and can be modified and you can even modify your paint job.
          However the career as usual on NFS is very good but again can get boring and repetitive as races to get much longer.
          On the upside of things there is Nearly 70 licensed cars are available including the Pagani Zonda F, Audi RS4, and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. These cars are great to drive but I will say again very unrealistic.
          EA have failed to create a realistic racing game where you get a real experience at racing however have created an arcade game , which kind of changes your view because it can turn into fun just by racing friends and completing your favourite events over and over again.
          However I still feel EA have failed their objective of making a realistic racing game for an experienced NFS gamer.
          I would not recommend this too anyone who has loved many of the previous NFS series.

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          12.01.2010 12:04

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          A solid four stars

          Need For Speed Shift is a big step forward in EA's driving simulation franchise, after the disappointments of Underground and Pro Street, EA went back to the drawing board. I enjoy driving games but i dont have the patience for a Gran Turismo or a Forza where hours of tinkering with the set-up of your car can be lost on the first corner! Shift is more of a pick up and play arcade game with a nod to simulation which will suit most avid gamers. The action in Shift has been taken from the streets to the track with a host of fully customizable cars from a Ford Focus ST to a Pagani Zonda. As always you start off as a rookie driver and work your way through the ranks to the top, the story mode is varied, enjoyable with plenty of replay value and has a neat function which pitches your best lap times against your PSN friends. To complement the story mode there is a excellent online mode where you can pit your car and your wits against other gamers around the world. With varied degrees of dificulty there is something here for every-one, if your a fan of fast paced driving games then Need For Speed Shift is worth checking out.

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          04.01.2010 03:05
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          the best need for speed game in the series

          Need for speed shift is the latest offering in the need for speed series by EA which has been popular among racing fans for last decade, the need for speed franchise since need for speed most wanted has been going downhill so I expect something good from them this time.

          I was surprised to find out that this was easily the best need for speed in the franchise ever, the main part of the game I feel is the driving experience which I think is absolutely phenomenal, what this game does it actually makes you feel like you are in the car actually racing puts you right in, the game looks really good from the interior, the cars look accurate and handle very good and also they sound like the real cars, I really like the sense of speed in this game when you are driving fast on those straight roads.

          I really like the sound from the revving of the engine and also crashing into other cars and the tires rubbing against the ground as you attempt to drift, you can feel the squeal of the tires it sounds like an animal roaring and ripping each other to shreds that's what it sounds like, I like it when you are doing a hundred miles an hour doing turns in corners and the smile it put on my face when I nailed those turns. I felt the cockpit is dynamic; you get a lot of awesome tracks to drive on, and the course layouts are attention to detail, it feels more realistic and at the same time keeps the fun experience of need for speed that I am used to.

          One thing I noticed that there was more simulation in this game than other in the series which I felt were to Arcady, but at the same time it isn't full simulation but also keeps the arcade feel of the game that I love, the driving experience of this game is second to none leaving you on the edge of your seat as you are blowing ahead.

          One thing I like about this game is that it isn't hard that also causal or new comers to the game can pick up and play and get used to it as there are track layouts on the floor which you can follow, and also for the hardcore games like myself you can change the level to suit yourself so it caters for both racing fans.

          Another thing that you will quickly notice maybe after a few races the computer AI are very good so you have to try your hardest to win the race and they hardly do any mistakes, one thing I noticed when I crashed into them they tried to get back to me by hitting me from the back they are technically more clever this time around also.

          I really like the career mode and the way you progress throughout and the challenges and the rewards you get, when you win a race you get stars which enables you to progress and gets faster and better cars, when you race you get performance points which assess the way you drive on the track so if you drive well on it adhering to the rules and doing clean overtake maneuver you gain points but anything bad you do on the track causes you to lose points which is rather annoying but it makes you a much better driver.

          There are many events you can choose to compete in like time attack, drift competition and also car battle which you can do to see how well of a driver you really are. I think this is the best game in the series which I thought I will never say and beats even the great most wanted, the driving mechanicals and also the experience of driving the car makes you feel you are at the forefront of the action that's what's great about.

          One thing that I thought was lacking was the career mode which was lacking in depth but it was sufficient but I really like the reward system in it that just makes you stay till the end and get your dream car, also the way the car sounds is one the best part of this game and it leave you with a sensation that any race fans will know.

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            23.12.2009 04:15
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            A highly recommendable purchase.

            Need for Speed Shift is the latest incarnation in the series by Electronic Arts. Unlike in previous games the idea of street racing has been abandoned into a format that Gran Turismo fans will be more familiar with. Alll races now take place on tracks that are both real, in the case of laguna seca or worked up by the clever people at Electronic Arts.

            In my opinion the game is all the better for it, this the rejuvenation a once great series has been needing. While it is a more serious racer this time around the element of crazy has not been entirely lost. Cars can still be tuned to quite ridiculous levels with all sorts of gizmos being attached such as Nitrous. The games inherent craziness is epitomized in the two different ways you can play the game.

            You can either rely on your driving technique or skill to ghost past opponents in ways which would not be oh so unfamiliar to Jenson Button or you can beat opponents in to submission by crashing into them and other aggressive actions.

            One thing I loved about the game is one of the driving views you can take, inside the the actual cockpit of the car, where you can see exactly what the driver would see. It is the most realistic interpretation of this view I have ever seen in a racing game.

            However the game does suffer in comparison to its greater rivals such as Forza motor-sport and the up and coming Gran Turismo 5, which will undoubtedly be a work of genius once again.

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              09.12.2009 12:05
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              Not worth the price tag

              I dont think that this game deserves anything below or above 3 stars, the game is not really an arcade or a sim racer but you feel as if its trying to be like both. This game is probably not as good as it could have been, for me its a real let down and I would not buy this game - borrow it of someone else or rent it.

              At times the gameplay is fun and it can really get your heart pounding as you get closer to the finish line, some races will make you feel as if you're the best players around and other races will make you want to smash your controller - a mixed bag of feelings. The different modes to this game arent brilliant but are fun, all you do it a lot of racing. They have introduced a new points system which gets you addicted for a while, however it can really get frustrating as after the level 25 mark as it takes time to level up from here. The levelling system allows you to unlock international events, make more money, and extra bits for your car etc.

              The graphics for this game are excellent, the tracks are as detailed as they can be, the colours used are vibrant and the scenery makes this game look unbelievably real. Once the games finished, when you've completed the campaign mode and the tournament mode, theres not much to do from there onwards. The online is pretty rubbish as all you do is win for trophies and to get new parts for your cars which gets really boring after a while.

              Overall I would not recommend buying this game as its not worth the price, your better off just borrowing it of someone or renting it out. Take it from me there are better racing games out in the market and NFS shift is not one of them, I sold it within two weeks of buying it.

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              24.11.2009 15:33
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              Great racing sim

              After the previous couple of need for speed games, which I found to be disappointing and far too arcade like and not realistic enough for my liking, I was a bit dubious of buying this game. Its safe to say now im very glad I purchased this game.
              The game starts with a practise lap in a random car to establish your skill level and then sets the game to a proportionate level, which I thought was a great idea and can be changed at any point during the game as and when you improve.
              The realism is the first thing that struck me about this game, the cars, scenery and tracks look fantastic, I was especially impressed by the interior view of the cars and the spectacular attention to detail. In addition when the cars are tuned and upgraded the options are great with many perfomance upgrades available and the paint colours and wheel options are extensive and more becomes available as you progress through the game. However its not like the other games where the upgrades cause your cars to look stupid.
              In my opinion this is the best of all the need for speed games and would recommend this game for all age groups.

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                18.11.2009 13:32
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                A step in the right direction

                Playing this game I can barely believe that is is Need for Speed. This is quite the departure from the games before it and we benefit as a result. The game has received a considerable overhaul.

                As superficial as this is, UI have to say that this games graphics knocked my socks off. I was very impressed. The cars and tracks are resplendent in golrious high definition. The mesmerising visuals and admirable engine sounds draw you into the racing world and make for thrilling visceral experience.

                There are a wide variety of events covered from your average straight circuit races, to Eliminator, Time Attack, Hot Lap, the classic Drift races, and many more. There are less car customisation features available here than in the oither games but those that are there are the ones worth having and I dont believe that you'll be left wanting.

                Negatives? Well as usual, there are a number of major known bugs that EA seemingly cannot be bothered to fix. Thankfully, these do not taint the experience too badly.

                Need for Speed Shift has reinvigorated a tired franchise and certainly made me give it another look.

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                02.11.2009 12:48
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                Highly rated game!

                Need for Speed has certainly changed direction in a good way to what it was before. Need for Speed Shift comes with new realistic graphics, new realistic features,more better tracks and a bunch of new features so you can enhance your car to the way you want it to be. The quality of the graphics first of all are just too amazing in the game. All the cars look super slick and look amazing with the amount of stuff you can do to them.

                I have not been a fan of the series but after buying this game I can now say I am. The way you race in the game with the CPU is brilliant you can have plenty of fun.You can also take the game online with a whole number of people online playing the game.

                Playing against different levels with the computer is very tough to say the least. The computer racers are very good in fact tough as they come I would like to say. It is hard to race against them and takes time to be good as the computer in the game.

                You can unlock a whole number of stuff in the game so your interest in playing the game remains high.I can honestly say I was never a fan of racing games but this one is just too good not to play. The races are all thrilling and playing this game just gives me a buzz!

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                19.10.2009 16:16
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                as time progresses you will like it more

                Need for speed shift is the new release of the game in the long running need for speed series. The original concept of need for speed (and why it was so good) was street racing around cities, usually with fellow street racers and the police in tow.

                This new need for speed is less of an arcade game like the old need for speeds were, instead focusing on a real physical gameplay engine that provides realistic a realistic environment in which to race. I was a little disappointed that the original theme of the need for speed series had been lost, instead focusing on a legal career on the race track.

                The cars have all been realistically modeled and vary from Ford Focuses to BMW M3's to the Bugatti Veyron. Most cars can be customised with wheels and performance upgrades, and these tend to be OEM upgrades, meaning your car doesnt end up looking like a chav mobile when you want it to perform better.

                The menus are easy to navigate and it is very easy to understand the game if you have never played a game from the need for speed series.

                Overall a great game which I was a little dubious about at first. The game is excellent when you consider GT5 has not yet been released, and is one of the only PS3 games with a realistic gameplay engine.

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