Archive for category Need For Speed Shift
Amazon’s deal of the day is Need for Speed: Shift. Discount is good until 12:00 AM PST on October 20th or when supplies run out.
Need for Speed has come a long ways since its introduction back in the PS1 days. There have been many games since, 13 titles total, and many of them have a distinct theme or style. When Underground came out, the series really spun into popularity.
It wasn’t until Pro Street came out that people started looking down at the series because the game returned to it’s more realistic racing roots. Gone were the storylines and open-world cruising. The iteration, Undercover, went back to the open world racing and whatnot of Need for Speeds before it because of the critical negativity Pro Street received.
But this review isn’t about those games, this one is about the newest addition to the franchise, SHIFT. Apparently, SHIFT was supposed to have been a sequel to Pro Street originally, but due to the game’s previously mentioned less-than-stellar critic reviews, the name was dropped and SHIFT took its placed.
This is their first title that delves into the simulation aspects of the racing genre, leaving the arcade style of racing behind. Overall, this was definitely a good decision, as the game is more suited for my tastes. It’s not without its problems, though, as I will get more into detail from here.
Visually, the game looks amazing. It may not be the best looking, but it’s definitely up there! The cars are very detailed and the lighting just pops out at you. Sense of depth is very good as well and the motion blur you get as you’re speeding down a straightaway at 130+MPH really gives you a sense of speed (though, driving that fast in real life doesn’t result in that effect, but it still looks cool).
As you’ve seen from many trailers in the past, the cockpit view is superb. It really gives you a connection to the car and effectively makes it an extension of you. What’s really cool is when you do cockpit upgrades, you can actually see the roll cage and whatnot in there as well. Since it’s dynamic, the view responds to your acceleration, turning and braking so you feel like you’re actually driving it.
When you get in a wreck (and a lot of us almost definitely will), your helmet will shake violently and gray out the screen. When your senses come to, you can see the cracks in the glass and the damage done to your front end, both obstructing your view. There were moments for me when it got bad enough that I had to switch to an external view! The game also allows flipping over, so you can either cause, or be involved, in a spectacular wreck with a car flipping wildly on the road.
The tracks, a lot of them actual racetracks, are highly detailed and feel very much alive, with onlookers watching the races and photographing you as you pass by. If you’re inclined to do so, you can go ahead and snap photos of your car yourself! Some of the tracks have been modified in the backdrop slightly, so they aren’t 100% faithful reproductions of the tracks themselves, but the layouts are the same.
The visuals aren’t without their flaws, though. Occasionally, so much will be happening at once that the frame rate can drop to a very noticeable chugging. It’s not that frequent, but it is a nuisance when it does happen. The rear view mirrors also hold a few issues, as you watch your opponent behind you, you will notice a lot of pop-out in the background as things like signs and overpasses disappear. I mean, it’s not a huge deal, as you’ll be paying more attention to what’s in front of you. There is also some occasional pop-in as well, usually with billboards that feature in-game ads, but its not noticeable, as I’ve only actually seen that happen to me once.
It looks like Sony will, indeed, be offering bundles (at least in the UK) for the PS3, featuring 250GB hard drives (the Final Fantasy XIII bundle was already confirmed for Japan). They will start showing up on October 1st (which is when the PSP Go also launches). The first bundles to show up will vary between multiple titles, including one that comes with two Greatest Hits titles and the other will be an inFamous bundle (for those of you who haven’t played inFamous, it’s really good!).
On October 16th, an Uncharted 2 bundle will hit shelves (day and date with the actual game release) and a couple days later on the 19th, the Blu-Ray movie pack will be made available, which also includes a Blu-Ray remote and a copy of both X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Dark Knight. Also, according to a press release from yesterday, there will also be FIFA 10 and Need for Speed: Shift bundles. The bundles will go on sale for GBP 284.99. As far as why Sony decided to come out with these bundles, they stated:
Following the great success of the new, smaller, 120GB PS3, which sold over one million units in its first three weeks on sale, the 250GB model has the same hardware specifications as the current model, but with greater storage space, to offer consumers even more choice.
No word on whether or not any bundles will hit the states, though.
IGN reviewed Need for Speed Shift. They gave it a 9.0
For a full write up on the game check out there review.
If you want to check out the game before it hits the stores and you live near LA. We are giving away passes to LA Release Party.