Need for Speed Shift

Need for Speed Shift Review for PC

On: PCXbox 360PS3iPhonePSP

Need for Speed Shift promises to replicate the true feeling of racing high-end performance cars like never before.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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Cars look excellent, but the damage modelling isn't so great.
Cars look excellent, but the damage modelling isn't so great.

Cars look excellent, but the damage modelling isn't so great.

Considering how great the handling is the awkward drift events come as quite a shock. Instead of competing against other drivers for the best time or position on the track, drift is all about scoring points by sliding around corners while managing to keep some element of control. After some practice you'll likely get the hang of it and not constantly spin wildly out of control, but these events simply don't fit with the overall feel of the game and for many will be an annoyance to work through. Thankfully these events are dwarfed by proper racing, but we'd have preferred none at all.

When we first saw Shift it looked incredible, and we still think it looks great, but just not as impeccable as we initially thought. It's not until you use the incredible cockpit view, so your vision is fairly limited, that things take off. Sat in the drivers seat, Shift becomes an altogether more thrilling and realistic experience. The sense of speed at times is scary, the head movement as you accelerate and brake puts you in the game like few others have ever managed, and crashes, complete with impact blur, only lack physical pain.

When played using an external camera, however, Shift is an OK game that looks pretty good. Look closer and further afield than the tarmac and blemishes start to appear - and at times the game look rather ugly. In terms of trackside detail Shift is sorely lacking when put up against recent racing hit DIRT 2, and the city tracks look relatively basic when compared to the now fairly old Project Gotham Racing 4. Car Damage is also a little disappointing, falling some way short of what we've come to expect in next-gen racers. Audio is as well done as you'd expect from an EA game, the soundtrack is trendy without being terrible, and there's even a handy voice over man that explains anything new that crops up.

This being a Need for Speed game there are obviously plenty of options for car customisation, from buying new performance upgrades and applying your own designs (making your own graphics is possible by combining primitive shapes), to customising your rims and laying down some paint. Certain tuning options are locked until you've bought the required body kits or upgrades, but assuming you've spent the cash you'll be able to adjust tyre pressure, tweak downforce and more.

Outside of the career mode there's the usual quick race and time trail options, as well as online multiplayer for up to eight players. Our tests have been limited to a maximum of five other players on a closed private network, but performance was excellent. There's nothing too remarkable about the online implementation, but with the driver points carrying through you'll always be working towards the next driver rank and the unlocks that go with it. There's some decent friend integration, with your buddies' best times on tracks appearing throughout the career mode, but there's just nothing here that stands out as anything wholly new. Thankfully the driver AI when you're playing alone is up there with the best we've seen, so the online limitations are certainly forgivable.

Need For Speed: Shift is a brilliant new start for the franchise and has clearly been built by a team that loves racing. It's got shortcomings, as you'd expect from a new entry in the genre (notably a fairly basic online offering and a catch all career mode), but the on-track action is worth the price tag. Shift comes highly recommended to all racing game fans, even if it may well end up serving as a stop gap release until console exclusive heavy hitters Forza 3 and GT5 turn up.

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User Comments

EISPower's Avatar


I call this one Pro Street with advanced graphics & i don"t now where the scores come from,the drifting sucks ( Try drifting in Carbon/Pro Street/Juiced 2/Underground 2 ) & i only respect the full assist driving mode.They tried to make a sim game well i don"t get it what is Collin Mc Rae Rally 2004/Dirt/Dirt2/Race Driver Grid.NFS Undercover might have not had the best graphics but compared to this one that game is a 10/1.Want graphics go for NFS Carbon/NFS Hot Pursuit 2010 or Burnout Paradise The Ultimate Box/Juiced 2/TDU1/TDU2.
Posted 09:50 on 10 March 2011
clangod's Avatar


You won't regret it tashie. Just be prepared for something very different to what you may expect from NFS.
Posted 21:18 on 08 November 2009
tashie55's Avatar
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is this game out yet or not lol. i have played all the need or speeds so i got to do this one aswell.
Posted 20:45 on 08 November 2009
clangod's Avatar

clangod@ Shipo

Have you played the demo???
Posted 11:40 on 03 October 2009
clangod's Avatar


If you're asking me Shipo the answer is no I haven't played the demo as there isn't one available on the PSN.
Posted 08:09 on 26 September 2009
Shipo's Avatar


have u played the demo
Posted 07:49 on 26 September 2009
clangod's Avatar


It looks great. I'm definitely interested but I do have one primary concern. Are there only two camera viewpoints (cockpit & external) or can I choose bumper or bonnet cam? I tend to prefer racers using either of the later mentioned. I've read nothing indicating that there is multiple views but i'm hopeful all the same.
Posted 07:47 on 26 September 2009
Helldrunkard's Avatar


This game really is GOOD all the Versions were really fun and new game features are exciting.
Posted 18:29 on 25 September 2009
Wido's Avatar


I have got NFS Shift on the PS3. I couldn't agree more with this review to be honest.

Well deserved 8 and its pushing towards a 9 for me as it has a FORD ESCORT COSWORTH! :lol:

Love them cars. 2 litre engine with the output of 217 bhp. Tuned outputs have gone over 1000 bhp.
Posted 15:53 on 25 September 2009
justbrett's Avatar


I’ve been playing NFS for over 10 years, and I think this is the best edition yet…the cockpit cam is great, and the physics are amazing. This is my first NFS on a next-gen system, and I’m blown away by the realism.

Also nice to see a good soundtrack, I was thrilled that they used Rootbeer’s “Under Control” – that’s definitely an awesome under-the-radar jam.
Posted 06:23 on 21 September 2009
danik69's Avatar


I expected around an 8. Cant justify buying this when i already have dirt 2 so think i will wait until it comes down in price and then buy it. Dirt 2 is so good im ok about it lol
Posted 10:44 on 15 September 2009


Cool review, im thinking of getting this first tbh. first meaning before Dirt 2 :) but not sure
Posted 10:34 on 15 September 2009
TomO's Avatar


Sorry guys, there are modding/tuning options. Added some info to the review. Assuming you've bought the right upgrades you're able to fine tune loads of stuff and if you're into custom decals you can combine simple shapes to make more complex stuff - beyond my skills though :)
Posted 10:19 on 15 September 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar


WEll it deserves a 9 acc. to me it really does
Posted 09:47 on 15 September 2009
K3RT's Avatar


I like the sound of Aggression driving this is what I tend to do in racing games anyway so getting rewarded for it will be a plus.
Is there any car modding/customization in it at all?
Posted 07:59 on 15 September 2009

Game Stats

System Requirements
Need for Speed Shift
Out of 10
Need for Speed Shift
  • In-cockpit camera is superb
  • Great sense of speed
  • Trackside detail isn't great
  • Precision and Aggression don't mix
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 17/09/2009
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3 , iPhone , PSP
Developer: Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 121 10
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