on 17 November 2009
This game has excellent features, from car building options and presentations which can be totally unique, the graphics are also of a high standard, i find from racing inside the car gives a realistic visual experience.
There are 5 category levels of racing cars to proceeded through, and the structure of rewards are in three parts, the first are for driving ability on each track in the form of stars, the challenges vary from track to track, some of these are near impossible to obtain, and the second is money to buy new cars with, and the third is points from following the racing line, these points open up new driving challenges and rewards which is limited to 50 levels, this could have been much more.
The amount of space available in garage is limited, which is annoying after development time needed for each car in tuning and painting, and this lack of space means that after a short period of time you will soon have a excess of money with nothing to spend it on. You constantly need to sell and redevelop new cars, you can only buy a car once and have it stored in the garage and this doesn't allow you to develop a car to a lower level point rating to enter a race (say at a 14 value) without reselling that car and redeveloping it once again, the garage doesn't have the ability to organize your cars into categories, which would be helpful in the online mode for quick selection.
One of the encouragements within the game play is to spin out your competitors, by smashing into them, this is a real low level skill," achievable by anyone", and this is the most annoying tactic used in the online racing mode and discourages what is the purpose of racing is all about, in any racing competition contact is not tolerated and would see you blacked flag and ejected from the race for such actions, i feel if you go to all this trouble to make a realistic racing game then you should also have the realistic racing rules imposed, this is also a flaw with the amount of damage your car receives within the race, perhaps this could be more to discourage such actions if your car is more crippled in it steering and performance for such actions this would act as a deterrent, a realistic result for a realistic action.
The online mode is interesting to compete in, when it works, getting passed the log on is troublesome and i find that you often are ejected from the network, online has freezing problems with graphics which will go into a slow mode display or simply leave you standing on the grid going nowhere, EA sport simple doesn't have the capacity to cope with the amount of people globally who wish to play online, this above anything else is the most annoying, and after one hour of this yo-yoing on and off the network you simple give up with disappointment.
I find the drifting race concept interesting but lacking in what could only be done by feel of what is happening under you whilst in the real car, it simple doesn't translate into a rewarding playing feature for the game, the lack of controller controllability with the throttle plays a great part in this.
The custom tuning feature for the cars has a very low overall effect and offers no great advantage in the set up for the time consumed and with no testing track or tracks available it is hard to determine any advantages, as the only way is within a race which has to many variables to see any benefits, I find myself always resetting back to the default setting.
So overall there is still room for improvement, but some area and idea are within the game are excellent, I would buy the game again but hope that one day there will be a game that is more rewarding toward those who have the skills to drive instead of crashing. For me the best features are the graphics and the unlimited variety of design choice, and the negative are lack of garage space, and online experience.
on 18 September 2009
The direction that NFS has taken with Shift, whilst not certainly the new direction the franchise is expected to take permanently, has certainly raised a lot of eyebrows for what seem to be all the right reasons.
This game offers what I would consider to be the truest driving experience offered by any game to date. This is obviously a hugely bold statement, and this game is by no means perfect, but for the target market that this has been aimed at it really is something very special.
The re-inclusion of the in car/cockpit view has been pivotal. This is undoubtedly the way to play this game - and it is this view that truly conveys so much about track racing that you can expect. It is a truly immersive experience, making you feel everything and see everything the way you would given a racing situation. Whilst this might sound on face value like a forced situation you are placed in, in fact it is so intuitive and rational in its outcome that you are left truly feeling deep in the action at all time. Firstly, the graphics are stunning The cockpits are meticulously recreated, allowing you to see, when the racing is at its least chaotic, all of the detail from the dials to the gear knobs to the foot wells! The tracks look so polished; stands, walls and some battered wall-banners in certain places look excellent. The tracks are not barren and no detail is spared, unlike the graphically disappointing Race Pro. One of the most exemplary circuits is Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. Offering both areas of tight near-walled circuit and open, sweeping circuit you are thrown from the light parts of the circuit to the dark as you descent into Au Rouge and back up the hill again. It's just a brilliant piece of racing you simply must experience. Even the windscreens, slow dirtying, scratching through contact, cracking and almost smashing due to extreme contact are so well done.
Beyond this is the vision of you as the driver. As you increased speed along straights the dashboard and wheel start to blur slightly, as the computer simulates your eyes focusing on the road ahead, as the road ahead slightly zooms in, recreating the driver's desperate and crucial attempt to find the braking zone - it adds a massive tension to corners even when you're on the track by yourself. Hitting the brakes just right brings the vision back into focus and dropping back from the 5% zoom the high speed can induce. However, get that braking zone wrong and you will regret it - this game makes it genuinely unpleasant to get intimate with the walls at high speed. Every contact induces a de-saturisation of the colours of the world and your vision completely blurs; of course dependent upon the speed and strength of the collision. Hit the walls at high speed and your driver breathes heavily as your car is thrown into harsh spins as you come back off the walls. It gives you a sense of disorientation that, in the most high speed crashes, is almost nauseating - you genuinely fear for your senses when you suddenly realise you've gotten that hairpin so wrong and the wall is about to become your personal-space intruding friend! It is this sensory assault against the sensory immersion that makes such a compelling racing environment.
The sounds of the cars is again so striking. The cars inside are noisy, as they are in real life. As standard there is no music in car (although this can be changed) and the sense of chaos in the heat of a tight pack of cars is impressive and the sounds of the wheels protesting as you put too much throttle through the rear wheels and start to slide is in some cases quite alarming. The deafening silence following a heavy knock with an opponent or the track is a nice touch too. The menu's and music are well done, although it is a scored soundtrack and not full of the usually licensed tracks you would expect from an EA game from the NFS franchise.
The other important element of the game is the handling. This, it has to be said, is quite sensitive and takes some getting used to. I may well have missed further areas that you can reduce the sensitivity of the steering in, but it seems that even cranking the sensitivity all the way down reduces this edgy handling only a small amount. Whilst it does make your first few races quite edgy and error-full affairs, if you persist, adapt and stick with it until you can improve the down force or tyres on your car to increase grip, you will then realise that further up the vehicle and upgrades ladder, the inherent slide in corners in the early stage career are less prevalent. You can feel the car under breaking squirming as you squeeze to hard on the brakes, although all corners force you to feel the slight discomfort when under breaking and under pressure at high speed. It does certainly take some getting used to but it can be quite forgiving and you are quite capable of producing a difficult-to-maintain power slide through almost any turn (hairpins exempt for the most-part). However, the handling and perseverance in the early stage might be the thing that casts doubt on the game. I can imagine some people getting frustrated and losing their minds but it's really not that hard once you get your head around it and do several laps by yourself and get used to the lower-end cars and how they can be slide happy.
I recommend this game. I know the stalwart like Forza 3 is around the corner and whilst Shift certainly offers you a wide variety of cars and tracks, as well as differing routes for vehicle customisation; Forza 3 will always outstrip this offering. However, Forza 3 will struggle and almost certainly not quite offer the extremely immersive and intense driving experience that Shift offers you. These are two games offering you slightly different things with a great deal of overlap. Real petrol heads will get both and appreciate them for what they are - and dream that maybe someday the two could be combined. But make no mistake, this is certainly a game designed by racers for racers - if you're new or fairly casual to racing, you may want to try a demo before you jump in completely...but if you persevere and learn to ride the beast that is NFS:Shift, you will earn bragging rights and hours of driving fun and intensity that are, up until now, absolutely unparalleled.
on 19 September 2009
This game could be so good. The cockpit view is ground-breaking in its concept of introducing depth of field, superb engine sounds with all the ambient noise of the car and track, the acceleration/braking movement, dirtying windscreen, etc. Whack a helmet on, recline in your racing seat, take a hold of your Logitech G25 and you could be there!
Now the down side! This game was released with so many bugs and glitches, EA must have decided to make their beta testers redundant and let Joe Public do the job.
on 11 April 2010
I'm not a hardcore fan of racing games. I like them, sure, but I'm not crazy about them. When, after much self-deliberation, I finally decided to buy the new PS3 Slim edition last Christmas, I bought a bundle which, in addition to the console and connections, contained this game: "Need for Speed: Shift".
As I say, I'm not a hardcore fan of the genre, nor am I a particularly experienced racing gamer (though by no means do I consider myself ignorant of the genre and of its general concepts); however, after having spent a considerable amount of time playing this latest instalment in the NFS series, I have arrived at the following conclusion(s):
GRAPHICS: 6.5/10. These are not outstanding. You would expect from a next-generation console such as the PS3, combined with the stunning effects produced by HD technology, to actually experience a quasi-like feeling of being in the car, driving at a high speed on the track, etc. Not so in this game. The graphics are not "bad". It's just - they've not been properly developed. They don't do justice to the console. You will realise this by just playing the game first time round.
You may not be put off by this - I personally don't attach much importance to the visuals, but it's only fair that you should know that this particular aspect of "NFS: Shift" has not been given much consideration whilst developing the game. That's the impression I got.
CONTROLS: 8.5/10. The controls are good. They're quite realistic and require careful dosage in applying the right commands. In that respect, the developers were clearly aiming at giving a more realistic, simulation-like experience at the expense of the arcade element which, in "NFS: Shift" has been almost entirely eliminated. I say "almost" because, although more realistic, the controls are not difficult or technical - "NFS: Shift" is not, and never was, meant to be a 100% driving simulator, so obviously the controls could not be as complicated as in other, more specialist driving games.
GENERAL GAMEPLAY: 7.5/10. Other reviewers have pointed out that the game awards tons of cash after completing a quick race (and, of course, after completing the various career events and "Invitational Events"). As a result, one is tempted, if he so wished, to go and buy with that cash the most powerful car in that particular tier. Others have commented on this defect so I will say no more about it. As to the rest, "NFS:Shift" includes a diverse number of tracks, some of which are quite famous (e.g., Laguna Seca, Alpental and others). It also includes different game modes such as time attack, "eliminator", 1-on-1, and others. As to these games modes, a note on drifting. Now, as I have already said, I'm not a veteran of the genre, but I know what drifting is and I'm familiar with how it works in other similar driving games. But quite simply, I cannot drift in "NFS:Shift". There are no tutorials in the game, and the game manual is silent on the topic. From what I know, I'm not the only one who has experienced this problem with drifting and this has created much frustration because, notwithstanding the continuos attempts at trying to master this elusive technique, I still have not learnt how to drift in "NFS:Shift" and I would point out that when it comes to these things, I learn pretty fast. But here something went wrong, clearly. What I do know is that EA has given no guide on how to learn to drift. That seems unfair on people such as myself who cannot be considered inept, but at the same time are not experts of the genre.
SOUND 9/10. This is really good actually. It's the best thing about this game. The cars sound brutal. There's nothing more to say about it. Very good.
CONCEPT 7.5/10. The main revolutionary aspect of "NFS:Shift" consists in the driver's perspective. This time, you are in the car itself and you can see the driver (that is, you) manouevring and controlling the car, gear stick and clutch and all (I'd suggest enabling the manual transmission mode for an even better feel - that's if, like me, you never play with AT anyway!). That is a welcome innovation and deserves being further explored in the future.
Long story short, "NFS:Shift" is a good, but flawed, game. In some instances, too flawed. However, it does serve the main purpose one buys games for: fun. At least, that's why I buy videogames for. However, if it's something a little more "serious" (or should I say technical?) you are after, and if you have little patience for some of the inherent defects of the game (such as corners which are impossible to master despite your following perfectly the track line set by the game), defects which you may dismiss as "silly", then don't risk your money. Go for, say, Gran Turismo or other more specialist games of which you'll certainly be aware if you're really into the driving genre. As it is, and as I've already stressed more than once, I'm no expert. I'm just an ordinary gamer who wants some fun when he has the time to turn on the console.
That "ordinary gamer" delivers his:
VERDICT: 7.5 (good, but ultimately average and unliley to become a landmark game).
on 24 December 2009
There is one thing I first need to say. This is one awesome racing game!
I am going to set out my review out in sections (eg. Graphics, Physics, etc.)
How I play: The Devices I use are
Playstation 3 Slim 120GB
Logitech G25 Racing Wheel
Playseat Evolution Racing Seat
Buttkicker Gamer Model 2 "NEW"
Philips 37" LCD TV with Full HD 1080p.
General: 5/5, I like this game so much I just can't come off it once I am on it! The game is super fun to play, certainly with a FFB wheel. The game plays in HD. What more do you want?
Gameplay: 5/5, I think that the gameplay of this game is fantastic! from doing a few laps to getting points and badges. The cars feel very realistic to drive and the sense of speed is so intense. Also you have super Force Feedback which is the best part of gameplay. You just can't have more
Graphics: 5/5, These are absolute awsome graphics for a video game, almost realistic. Also when playing the game at 720p, the game looks like 3D! There is no slowdown issues on this game that you can get on certain PC's, No lag, No framerate issues as the game runs at 60FPS as the Playstation 3 has 9 Core Processor although a PC that plays the game at full speed, full framerate has a Core 2 Duo processor or AMD athlon X3/X4 at 2GHz Which a PS3 has an IBM PowerPC processor at 3.2GHz with 9 Cores. What is better than that!
Multiplayer: 5/5, I have done 10 online matches so far, If I go onto quick match, The car class is the smae as my chosen car, the skill is the same as mine, It's just FANTASTIC!
Compatibility with G25: 5/5, This game is fantastic with the G25. I use a H-Pattern gearbox w/clutch. If I change gear without the clutch the car will skid forward. If I change from H to Sequential mode I don't need to reprogram the buttons because it detects the gear modes. Next I need to talk about is force feedback, The force feedback of this game is so intense that it feels like driving an actual real car. The only thing I don't like (which is normal) is that sometimes going on rumble strips can throw the wheel the oposite way to make me crash which will always happen on my favourite track (Nurburgring). The wheel rumbles to the bumps in the road and I can tell on the different textures of the road.
NOTE: As this game rivals Dirt 2 by Codemasters, the force feedback in Dirt 2 seams better but Dirt 2 is an off-road racing game so I am still giving this game a 5/5 for force feedback.
Sound: 5/5, This game is awesome for sound, hearing the engines screeming like a foghorn. I have the volume on 50/100 which is a heck of a lot of noice. It sounds like surround sound even though I use the stereo speakers that are built into the TV!
Overall: 5/5, Packed with Fun, Simulation, Interactivity and more!
on 3 December 2009
To start off i'd like to point out how much of a let down NFS: Undercover was. It was short, dull, predictable and the the graphics weren't exactly the best around. I was left very disappointed and also with a very big hole left in my pocket from the price I payed as soon as it came out.
I didn't think that NFS: Prostreet was all that great either so when I heard that NFS: Shift was being launched less than a year after Undercover I did feel a little torn between getting it.
Eventually I caved in...there was such a gap until Gran Tursimo 5 after all. And I'm glad I did. Shift has totally reinvented the seires changing the format from an open-world, cop chase kind of game to the a realistic and track based game they probaly should have been doing years ago.
The story is minimal. But this is a good thing. Your told of an NFS World Tour, and how your goal is to get there. You start of by racing a lap of Brands Hatch and from there it decides the difficulty you have the game on. Then your thrown headfirst into the action with a race. The prize-money you win here gets you a car, and straight away your away.
The career mode is divided into 5 tiers. Tiers 1-5 and then the NFS World Tour. This works well as you unlock the next tier by getting the no. of stars needed. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to do every race in a tier...I've reached the NFS World Tour and still have uncompleted races in Tier 1.
Another feature is the points that you acquire in order to level up and unlock new viynls, car slots etc:
They are split into Precision and Agression points which means that tactics like ramming other cars and pushing them off the road are all encouaged and it adds to your reputation.
As for the array of tracks, I feel they are all good although maybe some are kinda silly. Maybe more F1 circuits like Monza, Catalunya and Imola could be in there. However the majority of the classics like Silverstone, Donnington, Spa, Nurburgring (that's the really really long one) and Laguna Seca are all in there. They look great, especially Spa, for me the stand out track.
Then onto the cars. There are loads (about 65 I think) and my personal favouraite is the Viper SRT10. They look awesome and a great feature is you don't have to spend 20 minutes using the fiddley and confusing controls to add vinyls yourself...you can just click on some ones the game prepared earlier. The cars also sound like real racers...they creak and wail and shudder as you roll through the corners really giving the impression of a true sportscar. My favouraite for this is the Porsche GT3RS which looks and sounds awesome when it's fully kitted out.
And finally the unlockables...there are loads of trophies and medals and badges that you aquire during the game. They may not matter much but it's kinda cool. You can also spend your time "mastering" each corner on a circuit. Something which may sound simple but believe me Spa's Eau Rouge corner took me a while. This gives you a real sense of accomplishment when you finally drift round the bend at the right speed and with the right line.
My only little con's are very little...
1) At the later stages of the game it gets sorta hard to control the cars if the start bouncing around because of the back splitter/body kit. Can get fustrating.
2)Unlike Motorstorm if you use the camera mode to look at the car in the pause menu, you can't save the pictures to the PS3 only upload to EA Nation and as I have never been online it means this feature is totally pointless to me.
Overall though NFS: Shift is great. A real step foward for the whole franchise
on 29 October 2009
I have played this game extensively and whilst not complete I am more than half way through. I'm up to level 32.
The quality of this game is amazing, the graphics in HD are crisp and clean, sometimes you forget your playing a game. The courses are authentic as remember their layout from other games, especially GT3, like Laguna Seca.
The choice of cars is great but I would have liked more models. The upgrades are good; I'm not a fan of tweaking for hours and hours. I just want an upgrade and feel a noticeable difference and this game does that for me.
I must say, specing up the Audi R8 as far as it will let you for me provides the greatest driving experience. This car is brilliant, I've never managed to get it to top speed, it just seems to have limitless revs. You turn right it goes right, to straighten up and it does, no over or under steer. Spot on. It loves corners! In this car you'll cream everyone! You can also pull of some amazing corner slides in this because it's so controllable.
If anyone fancies something a bit funner, give the Endurance lap on Tier 2 track, figure of eight shape, a go! It's incredible as in the middle the two lanes with cars cross each other so it's mayhem with cars and bits of them flying everywhere. The replay is spot on for this too.
You get the choice of seeing everything from inside the cabin. This is really good but on TVs less than 28inch it might be a bit too small. One problem also is the windscreen tends to get a more dirty as the race progresses and you can't clean it, no windscreen wipers, so whilst it's being true your vision is effected whereas in reality you'd give the washers a blast. On the above race mentioned, you will have no choice to abandon the cabin view after a few laps as the windscreen gets so smashed up and dirty you can't see a thing.
I would have liked to switch to different cars in reviewing replay, rather than just my own. You see the AI is so good often other cars are involved in dramatic crashes which have nothing to do with you and it would be cool to experience their crash to. I love the 3D effect of being able to rotate the camera 360 degrees though when you freeze the replay.
The only real disappointment for this game is the drift races. There's no practice option from what I can see. It is a lot harder than drifting in pro street. Sometimes I get it spot on and sometimes I'm last. It's not consistent. All the cars feel like their jelly sliding around on glass. It's very odd. I'm not really a fan of drift and just wish they got rid of it altogether.
I was a big fan of GT3 / 4 but with this game I can't really see a need to get GT5. This games excels in all the things GT3 was not very good at, like damage and a bit of fun. We'll have to see but I'll probably stick with this. I don't miss being a policecar either.
on 25 September 2009
Though I am probably in a minority I have always found previous NFS titles somewhat lacklustre - except for maybe 'Hot Pursuit' on the PS2.
This game has clearly been inspired by Codemasters' "GRID" and this is no bad thing. The unique selling point for NFS Shift is that by the way you drive, you are assessed as either a driver of predominant 'precision' or 'aggression' and your driver profile will evolve accordingly. There are many challenges included, and the vehicles span from US, European and Japanese origins - encompassing racing, time attack and drift tasks to rack up your points score and subsequently your driver rating which starts at 1 and culminates 500,000 points later at 50.
Initially you drive an assessment lap whereby various driver aids will or will not be suggested according to how successfully you completed your pilot lap. From there on, the real fun begins.
A nice touch for those of you that have your PS3s online is that anyone on your friends list will appear in your in-game menu if they have a better score than you in any particular tournament. Where you have the best score you are said to 'own' the event and this will be shown by a green circle icon. A friend with a better score will be shown by a red circle illustrating the event is 'owned' by an outsider! It will certainly bring out the competitive instinct in people and appears even without selecting to play online.
In my own experience online play was fine until I reached rank 30 (don't ask me why). From thereon it became rather riddled with glitches and bugs - events finishing and then not returning back to the menu screen, instead you just see an outside camera shot of your car continuing to lap on autopilot. I actually have not had a single 'normal' online game in half a dozen attempts as some bug or other requires me to reset my PS3 to return back to game menu.
The 5 tiers of racing that you need to complete are fairly linear and the 'mastering corner' feature (take a corner on the correct racing line, at reasonable speed, making no contact with other cars and without sliding the back of the car out) is a nice and welcome addition - very original.
The drift aspect is a little bit of a let down, and seems far less intuitive than that featured in GRID. On NFS I felt it more down to luck than judgement.
There are also various awards to win - at bronze, silver, gold and epic levels. Epic denotes you have achieved all goals in the specified subset and will take some dedication and patience in order to do so.
UPDATE: I would have given it a 5 were it not for the dodgy online experience and for the fact that after completing the platinum trophy I loaded up a few days later to the most annoying game bug I've ever come across: upon loading up the only option available was to 'start career'!?!? Even though the car image showed the Nissan I'd just bought, my only choice was to do the installation lap in the BMW 3 Series. Upon doing that it asks me to choose a car, only to be told my garage is full! There was no way out of this, I had to delete my game save file which erased all my cars, my $32,0000,000 I'd banked and my 830,000+ experience points (Level 50 is achieved at 500,000). The only saving grace is my trophies remained as they're stored on Sony's servers.
So NFS Shift is a welcome, if flawed, surprise in what was historically a somewhat middle of the road series.
on 19 September 2009
A string of new racing titles are hitting the shelves now, Dirt 2, Supercar challenge and this, with Gran Turismo who know's where in the distance. Despite having never played any of the previous NFS titles I chose it for the good reviews and excellent video's - and money well spent it is too.
Right at the start of the game you are prompted into a practice lap and judging from your performance in this the game adjusts it's settings to the most appropriate level, an opening example of the depth of detail and thought which has gone into this game. Graphically shift is superb, the in car views are particularly good, but across the board everything is such high quality - in the past Gran Turismo has really led the way in this aspect, but now Shift is clearly better than prologue, GT5 has it's work cut out.
However, all this is totally secondary to the gameplay, but again shift is worthy of all the praise being heaped upon it. Grid is very good, and Burnout even better, but shift is a step up on both. Shift is much more biased towards simulation rather than arcade, yet it stops short being an outright simulation - after all it is a game and we're all playing it for fun! Shift is judged really well, just arcade enough to be great fun, but erring more to a proper racer, and all the better for it.
In all early impressions are really good, games are a lot of money and the disappointment when you fork out and are let down is a shame. In my opinion the PS3 has needed a quality racer for some time - perhaps developers have been scared of the all conquering GT on PS1 and 2; shift is the quality racer we've been waiting for. Obviously a real step up on Grid, miles better than prologue. Money well spent, shift will take some beating, if you're looking for a racing game get this one - it really is class.
on 3 January 2010
I got this game for christmas and have thoroughly enjoyed it since i started playing it. The racing experience is great, on the straights the inside of the car becomes out of focus which helps you experience the speed. When you crash at high speeds you are blinded for a few seconds and the damage modeling is good. The overall graphics are very good.
There is a quite a large choice of cars, which can all be custormized but you can't custormize them quite as much as in the previous need for speed games. When you start the game you have to do a test lap so the game can decide on the cars settings, i would either go on quick play first or retry it a few times so you get used to the car because when i tryed it, it was my first time playing the game so the rival cars were all set to easy (of course you can avoid all this if you change the driver setting manually after doing the testlap).
The almost only bad thing about this game is that occassionally when you start a race the screen turns black and the race doesn't start or the car becomes uncontrolable but don't let that put you off buying it. It's a great game to play while waiting for GT5 to be released.