Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image | June 14, 2024

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Need for Speed Shift Hands On

All the winners of the Need For Speed Shift – NYC Press Event managed to make it. Here are there thoughts on the event and game. None of you guys meet up at the event though. I should have planned that better, ah well.

Here are Jason’s thoughts on the event and the game.

For the uninitiated, Need for Speed: Shift is not your typical NFS title. Fundamentally, you still race those cars you dream of owning at speeds you wouldn’t dare attempt to. What’s different this time around is how you’ll be doing it. Shift is more akin to racers like Forza and Gran Turismo and reflects a departure from the “Arcade” sub-genre. The event was held at Blvd; a swanky night-spot that was modified for the occasion with LCD screens hooked up with 360 dev-kits running the game. Electronic music set the mood as you made your way through the club to the stations, passing the open bar (drinking and driving anyone?) and the beautiful NFS-Ladies offering you tips and tidbits about the game.

Now to the game. Before you even let loose from the starting line, you can’t help but notice how bright and vivid the colors/graphics are in the game. Paused in photo-mode, or speeding along in motion; the game is gorgeous. Audio-wise it doesn’t come up lacking either, though there’s nothing new in that regard. Then the race begins. I must note, I’m sure the build we were playing was locked to a “professional” driving mode, so I can’t comment on if there is an easier way to drive. However, I was told that most of us attending – myself included – ended up steering off track on the first turn. As I mentioned, we’re in Simulation-territory this time around. Even with Forza 3 arriving a month after, hardcore race-fans still will find a bunch of reasons to pick this one up come September. The cars are as detailed as they come, inside and out. I crashed a couple times, not because I didn’t break early enough, but I was too preoccupied staring at the well articulated cockpit of the Lamborghini Reventón I was driving.

Speaking of which, I’ll briefly touch upon some of the mechanics I found in the build. I didn’t get to play around much with the Driver Profile. This allows you to get points according to how you play. If you’re an aggressive driver – you know, the grind and sideswipe your way to victory kind – you can choose this option and earn points faster by playing the way you play. If you’re a precision stay-in-the-line driver, you can do this as well. I got a great sense of speed from this game, something that 30fps nay-sayers may be concerned about. It has about 18 tracks from around the world, from familiar race-tracks to city circuits. I can’t quite remember the number of cars that’ll be in the final game, but I believe it’s going to be around 70 at least. The community manager gushed over the impressive physics the game employed as we watched an unfortunate driver do a barrel roll after making a bad judgment call. Speaking of crashes, I took note of the discombobulating effect you’ll see when you of when you experience one; that is, when you crash you’ll experience a brief sensation of dizziness and the like. Trust me, it adds to the immersion, though with constant crashes it may be an annoyance. Can’t forget damage either. From my cracked windshield to a depressingly mangled supercar, it’s all there on varying levels. Another nice feature is the driver assist that’s employed during the race. There’s arrows that can be seen along the track, showing you where you should be driving. It’s displayed in one of three colors: green, amber (yellow) and red; same colors as most common traffic lights. Like those, green is to go – or maintain speed – amber signifies slowing down and red means brake. What I love about it is that the colors are done in real-time depending on how you race. For those experts out there, it can be turned off.

All in all, the game is looking like one hardcore racing fans shouldn’t miss. I should mention that it supports the 360 steering wheel in addition to Logitech’s PC and PS3 offerings.

I only wish I got to play with a wheel during the event. Then again, I’ll have that opportunity September 15th.

Andrew took a video, check it out:

Here are Kenneth’s thoughts:

For the last time I wanna thank for extending me this opportunity. I read a lot of different sites but never has one reached out to me “the common reader” like this.

Off the top I want to say the game looks AMAZING!!! (especially the lighting!! I capture a little of that on one of the videos). I really have to give it to EA they really have given both Gran Turismo and Forza a run for their money graphically….seriously the game is stunning. And apparently the game manages to make it to market before both of them on Sept. 15.

I should say here that I didn’t get to actually play the PS3 version because all of the 10-12 games running were on the 360. When I asked about this the PR guy didn’t give an actual reason but assured us that a ps3 version would be launching day and date with the other versions. This takes me to my next point. I’m already garbage on these simulation racers and having to steer a car with the brick that is the 360 controller made things even worse. Watching others play proved far more rewarding…LOL. While I’m no expert and find these racing sims to be a bit tedious I did hear that Shift comes close to the Gran Turismo’s in terms of real world physics and how you would expect a car to handle under similar circumstances.

Overall it’s was a great night with fellow gamers…talking about the industry, ps3 vs. xbox and wii, and Shift of course. All over a little alcohol and the hors d’ouevres that were served. In the end Shift made me wanna go home and play Prologue.


  1. No Kill Tayler

    Nope I don’t believe i’ll be picking this title up.
    The rumor was proven true that GT5 is coming this december.

  2. this game is looking great but i wonder if it would be more worth my money getting grid cheaper. or just waiting for gt5. tough call!

  3. Jason

    Sim-fans should love this one.

  4. NFSkev

    I agree. Sim fans or anyone that can appreciate great graphics should love this game.

  5. Mindbendo

    GRiD was supposed 2b a simracer too, but even with all assists off you still could do a 90 degree turn @ 100mph…does Shift feature the same kind of Hollywood arcade BS or are the driving mechanics really more like GT and Forza? I can’t wait for both of them, so I’m looking forward to NFS this month. A demo after release is not a good sign, and (p)reviewes aren’t helping either. So you all missed turn 1? Therefor it’s a sim…c’mon man, do your job. Better yet, let a racer do your job.