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Need For Speed: Shift (PC DVD)
|Price:||£6.90 FREE UK delivery.|
- True Driver's Experience - A variety of visual cues delivers the true driver's experience including a three-dimensional HUD that mimics driver head movement, inertia and G-forces. The depth of field also adjusts based on the speed of the car
- So when the car is travelling at high speeds the perspective will shift to the distance putting the car/cockpit out of focus
- Enhanced AI - A sophisticated AI system will mean that your races are more exciting than ever before. AI opponents will react and perform based on the player's aggression and overall driving skill thus creating race experiences for all skill sets
- Dynamic Crash Effect - When the player hits a static object or opponent car, the player will feel like they are 'taking damage'. A combination of visual and audio effects will leave the player disorientated and briefly disrupt the race
- Total Customisation - Need for Speed SHIFT features a comprehensive customization option that lets the player tailor every aspect of the cars performance and styling. Go under the hood to upgrade and tune your vehicle to increase its performance. The visual customization system allows players to personalize both the exterior and trick out the interior to reflect their individual style and preferences
- Photo Real Cars and Tracks - Nearly 70 licensed cars are available including the Pagani Zonda F, Audi RS4, and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. There is also over 15 real-world locations like Willow Springs and Laguna Seca as well as fictional circuits like downtown London and Tokyo
- Additional gameplay features including career mode to be unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2009.
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- Platform: Windows XP
- Media: DVD-ROM
Platform: PC | Edition: Standard | Format: Box
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Need For Speed is one of the best-loved and most successful driving game franchises ever – but you can forget everything you knew about it, as NFS Shift – the clue is in the name -- takes a radical new direction. You could argue that it has grown up – it has moved, by and large, from the streets to legendary race-tracks like Spa, Donington and Laguna Seca (although there are street circuits, too), and gives you the chance to pilot drool-inducing machinery like the Pagani Zonda and Koenigsegg CCX.
The shift in emphasis becomes immediately apparent when you start a Career in the game: there’s not a cop-car in sight, but instead, NFS Shift assesses your driving skills by putting you in a BMW 3-series and dropping you into a short race around a gloriously detailed reconstruction of the legendary Brands Hatch. Buy a car and you instantly have a choice of five races. What initially strikes you are the stunning, mega-crisp graphics, best enjoyed through NFS’ famous cockpit view, which now has a level of attention to detail that beggars belief.
You swiftly come to appreciate the structure of Need For Speed Shift’s Career Mode, which sounds complicated but has been cleverly designed to work in your favour. To progress through the game, you must win stars, which are given out for finishing on the podium (three stars for a win and so on), but also for passing thresholds for Profile Points in each race. Profile Points are awarded for two opposite aspects of your driving: aggression and precision, and the balance between them defines your driving style. This system works brilliantly, as you actually get awarded for indulging in driving that would be frowned on in real life, such as punting opponents off the track or four-wheel slides. Those who fancy themselves as budding pros will undoubtedly want to earn more points for precision than aggression, though.
There are four Tiers to negotiate before you even get to the NFS Live World Tour, the two-series culmination of the game, in which you compete in the world’s most exotic cars – to move up the Tiers you need to collect specified numbers of stars. And your Profile Points let you level up as a driver, to a maximum of Level 50. Each time you level up, you get rewards like sponsorship, new rims and vinyls, plus invites to extra races.
NFS Shift boasts straight Races, Time Attacks – in which you get a certain amount of time to post the fastest lap – Eliminators, Drift events, Driver Duels – in which you pick one of two cars and must defeat the other over three races – Endurance races, Manufacturer races – in which you’re given an identical car to everyone else on track – and Hot Laps, where you have three target times to beat in order to grab the stars on offer. You earn plenty of Invitational Events along the way, and you can see who out of you and your Friends owns each event in Career Mode. NFS Shift is sure to be a big draw online: up to eight players can compete in Races, Time Attacks and Drifts.
Factor in realistic handling with bags of feel, AI that makes rival drivers improve steadily through the game and extensive customisation of both mechanicals and bodywork, and you have what must be the most complete, best structured and best-looking racing game ever, whether you’re a serious petrol-head with dreams of becoming the next Lewis Hamilton, or an enthusiastic amateur who tends to favour arcade-style racers. With Shift, Need For Speed has stepped up several gears at once.
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Top customer reviews
The graphics, built on top of superbly rendered cars is real eye-candy.
Disappointed when first loaded 'cos it flagged up my system was missing an updated dll, and needed to rummage thro' Google results to find what & where to find the update.
Since then it had been go, go, go all the way.
HOWEVER - tried to play the game again today 8/11/09, & all career data lost. Message boards indicate I'm not the only one to suffer. Unless EA sort this out rapidly, then they'll lose a lot of sales (as an EA brand, not just as NfS)
Invariably, I will have to compare and contrast this game with Racedriver: GRID, as that is the only other popular triple A circuit racing title currently avaliable for PC gamers, thanks to Forza, Project Gotham Racing and Gran Turismo's console exclusivity. Sure, there are many other 'real' simulation racers I could compare SHIFT to, such as rFactor or RaceOn, but I haven't played these games, unlike GRID, and these titles also don't have a huge following. So how do SHIFT and GRID compare?
Perhaps the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking about GRID is the fact that it was a FUN and entertaining game! Something SHIFT just isn't. While GRID's main menu was designed to look like the garage of a racing team, SHIFT's menu looks like some abstract artist's glossy creation viewed from weird angles. The menu font is unnecessarily huge and angled upward; and unlike GRID, you cannot choose the angle from which you want to view your car when applying bodykits and cockpit upgrades. Instead, it is rotating constantly. Furthermore, the music: in the main menu, it is cold and foreboding; only distorted racing engine sounds are heard, in stark contrast to GRID's pleasant tunes. You aren't greeted by your name, you cannot pick your nationality, country flags are absent from the tuning options and the race branding of each car comes as a mere handful of pre-done liveries. In GRID on the other hand, the sponsorships you earn throughout your career are the logos you then display on your car, which was a very realistic approach.
Next up, no team spirit: in GRID you could choose a name for your team, hire, fire and split winnings with a second driver, and throughout a race, one of your buddies would inform you about the procedural damage your car would take. NONE of this is present in SHIFT, a game that calls itself the 'ultimate driver's experience' - seriously, you can crash your car at 200 miles per hour into a concrete wall and except for the driver omitting a yelp and subsequent blurring of vision, you can hit the reverse to move your car back onto the track and continue racing. In GRID, velocities half of that would get you TOTALED. Which is why GRID also implemented a rewind-system. True, this is very arcadey, but it can get frustrating to restart the race everytime you skid off a corner. And unlike GRID, SHIFT doesn't feature any night racing. You can only choose between dawn, midday and dusk. No weather options such as rain, fog, snow or hail are present either (but then again, those also aren't available on GRID). At the end of the day, Racedriver: GRID gave you a heartwarming "you're part of a team" experience, while in SHIFT you feel like you are a lonely racer working his way through a bucketload of events with nobody at his side except a distant announcer with a British accent.
Don't get me wrong. Need for Speed: Shift is a really good racing game - so what are the good things that SHIFT has to offer? Well, first and foremost: the graphics. In GRID, the graphics are overbloomed and look washed out, compared to SHIFT's clean and amazingly crisp visuals. SHIFT is also one of the few racing games that, unlike Forza 3, GRID, or even its own sequel, SHIFT 2, manages to get trees and foliage look realistic. The much praised, extremely detailed cockpit view is also truly stunning - easily surpassing Forza 3 and right up there with Gran Turismo 5, if not even better! (Gran Turismo 5 had really jaggy shadows) Then, there's the physics. GRID is a half-arcade, half-simulation racer: while it has spectacular crashes and realistic procedural damage, cars are quite easy to turn and there isn't much of a struggle for the tyres to get a grip on the road, even if you enter a corner with speed. In SHIFT however, you can literally feel - that's right - feel how the tyres rub against the asphalt. Car engines also sound raw and loud (turning down the engine volume helps here), compared to GRID's rather muffled engine sounds (thought this might be more realistic if you're inside the cockpit), and high speeds really make your car and steering wheel shake and vibrate. The car interior gets blurry, drawing all your attention to the road ahead, and when travelling at such speeds, you really start to get nervous, knowing that a crash at such velocity could prove fatal. But this immersion is, as explained above, just an illusion - even if you crash into something, you'll live, and so will your car. The worst thing that can happen to you is a cracked windshield (compared to GRID's fully broken one - heck, remember how GRID's cracked windshield make it a chore to even be able to see anything? Not so in SHIFT), a squished hood, a missing bonnet and faulty tyres. Ironically, another disappointment is the implementation of one of the trademark features of the Need for Speed series: Nitrous. Even though this is supposed to be a circuit racer, sure, you can kit your cars out with bottles of NoS. But when you activate them, you just don't get the feel of the nitrous kicking in. Instead, you barely notice an increase in acceleration, that's all. It may be the realistic approach, but it just robs all the fun out of it so that very soon, you just don't bother with NoS anymore.
Nevertheless, SHIFT has some other cards up its sleeve. One of them, is vehicle count. Sure, it gets nowhere near Forza 3's 400 cars, or GT5's 200 premium & 900 standard cars, but SHIFT still sports 68 cars, 26 more than GRID. However, GRID has a bigger variety of cars, ranging from standard vehicles over karts to full-on Le Mans protoype racing machines. Patch 1.02 adds 5 more cars from the 1970s to SHIFT, bringing the total vehicle count to 73. There is a possiblity (albeit complicated) to download the Exotic and Ferrari DLC packs that were released for the console versions of SHIFT from the internet for free, giving you an additional 17 cars and bringing SHIFT's vehicle list to a staggering 90 cars and giving you an additional track (to the original 19) as well, set in Monte Carlo, although you will not get the plethora of new events tailored for these cars the DLCs shipped with.
In Need for Speed: SHIFT you are awarded for clean overtakes and mastering corners, or trading paint with opponents and spinning them out. Depending on which approach you take, you are either a precise, or aggressive driver, earning a lot of badges on your way, including one for drafting your opponents - trailing close behind them to eliminate wind resistance, and then slingshotting past for an easy overtake.
Shift's Career (and car list) is divided into 4 tiers, starting from common consumer vehicles, over luxury vehicles and exotics to hypercars such as the Lamborghini Reventon or the Bugatti Veyron. Races are divided into common circuit laps, time attack (producing the fastest lap in 4 minutes), car battles - essentially a one on one match between two equally good cars (something I really love, as it really gives you an adrenaline rush), drifting, unique events allowing you to race at a higher tier, and racing exclusive to European, American or Japanese vehicles. Reaching the podium or performing certain side goals, like sticking to the race line, or spinning opponents earns you stars and cash, and you can spend this cash to buy new vehicles once the respective tier (and slots in your garage) is unlocked, which happens once you earn enough stars. You can buy upgrades for your car such as turbo chargers, race exhausts and brake pads, to make it faster and improve its handling. Cars can also be fine tuned with plenty of options to choose from, such as finding the balance between oversteer and understeer, acceleration or top speed, and you can even go a step further and tune at even finer detail. Your car can be decked out with vinyls, whose size, position and angle can be freely adjusted. All of these features for example, are absent in GRID. There's just a basic level of painting and vinyls to choose from, no adjusting. So both games have things to offer that the other doesn't. Thus, it is not a waste of money to own both. NFS SHIFT offers online multiplayer with up to 11 other opponents.
Ultimately, SHIFT would have been a fantastic racing game if its developer, Slightly Mad Studios, had added finishing touches like realistic car damage that can seriously impede your driving, more pleasant menus, a better soundtrack (SHIFT's soundtrack is really horrible - most of the 24 songs are from bands I've never heard of and don't sound good either. There is a complicated method to add your own songs, though. But note that they all have to be mp3 format, not copy-protected and have to be exactly 24 in number) and added the ingredients for team-racing, as in GRID. However, what remains is a good-looking, immersive (SHIFT is meant to be played in cockpit view) but rather soulless game without any cutscenes or story to keep things interesting after the initial "wow"-factor has subsided, thus getting boring in the long run. Need for Speed: SHIFT is without doubt graphically the best looking racing game on the PC platform, surpassing its successor, SHIFT 2. What remains is also a great game for the Need for Speed franchise (arguably the best non-cop chasing game in the series, beating Pro Street and the first two NFS titles by miles), but only an ok game in today's competitive simulation genre that is more present on the consoles. A four, out of five stars, but three for gameplay.
Well I watched the demos and saw the screenshots and it appeared to be more of an actual racing game to me than one about what colour your paint is and the size of your alloys, so I decided to try it out. I am so glad I did.
I played Grid for 1000s of hours online and to me that game was the best racing game I had ever played.
The graphics in Grid were beautiful, but I always felt it looked a little washed out and the bloom effect was used too much giving soft blurry edges to backgrounds. Shift is a much sharper game visually, especially in the track detail. The cars in Shift look a little better I think, its a shame that some of the textures are not a little better, however I felt Grid had that same problem. The cockpit view in Shift is light years ahead of Grid. All the car interiors are exact, all the dials move correctly and look clear, the textures on the dash in particular are very good.
Then there is the vehicle choices that Shift has to offer. More exotic vehicles than Grid, of course Grids cars were all trakc cars, with Shift you modify a standard car so theres a lot more choice to begin with in Shift.
Its a hell of a rush blasting down narrow tracks in a Bugatti Veyron at 175mph, cars either side of you, cars all around you in fact, then theres an accident in the group just in front of you, wow, cars flipping, parts flying through the air. The attention to detail is astonishing.
However the main thing is the gameplay and it is absolutely perfect. Whether you use a pad or a wheel it plays fantastic. I've been playing with both my Logitech cordless rumblepad 2 and a logitech formula force GP wheel and pedals, and they both feel great to play with. Every car feels different, and once you've modified your cars you can really tell the difference in all areas.
Most recent customer reviews
More like a knock off Gran Turismo, or whatever that driving sim game was... Stick to what you know EA, oh wait...
Fairly high spec pc, mine is running Microsoft Windows 7 x64 bit ultimate, 3ghz AMD cpu,...Read more