Customer Review

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new direction, a startling new perspective..., 18 Sep 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Need For Speed: Shift (PS3) (Video Game)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Sep 2009 13:12:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Sep 2009 12:00:36 BDT
Steering is with the left stick only. For people - like me - with a left hand of less than 100% ability, there´s trouble: I cannot play the game.
We are offered three control configurations, all of which make use of the left stick for steering. I never had any problem with "Dirt", "Grid" etc, only using my left hand for braking, but "Shift" taxes me.
Otherwise I wouldn´t disagree with the above review. But righthanders-only had better have a look at another game.
(It is an Xbox thing, I´ve been told: in their world it´s the left stick you use for steering)

Posted on 21 Sep 2009 12:08:20 BDT
Great review, and i love the game, has a real sense of realism about it, i like games where you have to drive clever, drift is still as infuriatingly frustrating as its always been, dont suppose anyone has any tips? any drift masters reading this want to give a novice some pointers then plz feel free lol

Posted on 30 Sep 2009 11:30:53 BDT
Mr Stu says:
Good review. One question - is cockpit the only possible view? Personally, when I drive, I do not look at or see my arms or steering wheel - focus is on the road in hand.

Posted on 30 Sep 2009 23:44:38 BDT
I think Amazon should pay you to write reviews for all their games! I now feel ready to make the decision about buying this game! Thanks.

Posted on 25 Feb 2010 06:43:24 GMT
Can you tell me if two players can play this game without one of them being online? ie. both using the same console? I can't see the back of the packaging to zoom in and read the specs. thanks :)
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.8 out of 5 stars (100 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (40)
4 star:
 (32)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (14)
 
 
 
£49.99 £8.79
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,083,869