Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 336 Ratings

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  • Summary: Need for Speed SHIFT brings a true driver's experience to some of the world's most iconic racing tracks, including the storied Brand's Hatch in the UK. The game also features the largest roster of high-performance cars in Need for Speed history including race cars such as the Pagani Zonda F, Porsche 911 GT2 and Lotus Elise. Players are thrust into the loud, intense, and athletic experience of racing a car from the driver's perspective through the combination of perception based G-forces, the hyper reality of the cockpit view, and the all-new brutally disorienting crash dynamic. Need for Speed SHIFT features an accurate, accessible physics-based driving model that allows you to feel every impact, every change of track surface and every last bit of grip as you push yourself to the edge. [Electronic Arts] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Go, NfS! I had serious doubts about this one, but it delivers like a Porsche.
  2. It's both a genre leading racing sim and a mass market EA game at the same time, which is a particularly difficult balancing act to pull off. Shift is easily the best driving game so far this year and will certainly be in amongst the likes of Forza 3 (and possibly GT5, if it emerges) when the brake dust from 2009 settles.
  3. An excellent balancing act between arcade racing and simulated driving, with shudderingly fast cars. [Dec 2009, p.102]
  4. Need for Speed: Shift has found the right direction once again. The race feeling with the most cars is fantastic and the game looks great. There is enough to do and the experience system invites the player to do races more than once.
  5. SHIFT doesn't offer anything ground-breakingly new (despite the awesome Cockpit-View), but doesn't do anything important wrong either. So if you are longing for a solid Racing-Simulation with good graphics: go get it! But keep in mind that Forza3, Race On and GT5 are already on the horizon.
  6. Need For Speed: Shift is a brilliant new start for the franchise and has clearly been built by a team that loves racing.
  7. Tailor-made to please its boy-racer target audience, but if you want more sophistication in your racing go back to GRID. [Dec 2009, p.93]

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 100
  2. Negative: 46 out of 100
  1. Feb 20, 2012
    Awesome game. I can't really understand the negative reviews. Have you tried to change the steering sensitivity in the controls menu? I am using the "Thrustmaster Ferrari Wireless GT 430 Scuderia" steering wheel and it's working perfect. I changed "Steering Sensitivity" to 20 and "Speed Steering Sensitivity" to 100. Expand
  2. Sep 28, 2013
    This game is for serious sim racers only- race physics are even better than Shift 2, with a loyal following on the online driver duel. Been racing against mostly Europeans, they KNOW! Upgraded my PC to quad core; 1 GB 256 bit GDDR5 graphics a must for higher resolutions. This game kicks but on all those console based, arcade racer TRASH! Most realistic race physics since Porsche Unleashed, lots of JUNK put out in the 9 years in-between. Hanging with Driving Force Pro for now, but plan to upgrade to G25 soon. Like I said, if you're nothin' but a punk console gamer then don't waste your money on this one, It's optimized for PC and serious race enthusiasts only! Expand
  3. Apr 1, 2011
    The game has decent graphics and not arcadic drive physics. Real simulators, I suppose, have physics closer to the real, but they have low graphics. For me the game is a best tradeoff between realistic driving and good looking picture. Expand
  4. Oct 26, 2011
    This game is a terrible excuse for a simulator, it cannot even touch the awesomeness that is Grid and Gran Turismo. The cars do not handle as they do in real life, the multiplayer is engulfed in a mostly horric community and the UI system is the most unnecessarily complicated and confusing that I have ever come across in a PC game, ruining the customization of vehicles etc.. Expand
  5. Feb 21, 2014
    Need some new practices as how to use the keyboard to play in this game. Trust me, no other games are like this one.

    Need to pay great
    amount of attentions to the speedometer when coming up to a bend/turn, need to let go of the accelerator in the right time and brake as little as possible, let it slide smoothly around a bend or corner (with as little brakes as possible when doing it), as medium to hard braking makes the steering go poorly or even locked up when turning. Sometimes the same goes with the acceleration key, need to let go of it for a second before it can steer more effectively, the effects are not at all times the same, seem like a bug or defective to me.

    Circuit/track surfaces is also a great issue here, the race track is not all flat sideway RIGHT before some bends/turns (not all of them), even at the right speed the car can lost traction control coming up around a bend when it's tyres got bumped off the track's uneven surface, causing the steering to malfunction, it's really critical as which side of the track you stick to when coming up to a turn.

    There are 3 icons (LED lights) at the bottom right corner of the HUD: brake, ?engine/wheel and tyres. When most of the 3 LED lights comes on and off a lot, that mean the steering is more likely to lock up at high speed turns. Not easy to master as how to play, you can't brake a lot in this one, if you did then the effective of the steering goes poorly.

    BRAKE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, let go of the accelerator to cut speed than using brakes a lot, need to make it not too heavy and not too light, or else the steering goes bad when all the 3 LED lights comes on constantly.

    Few of the AI cars can go really fast at unrealistic gravitation and traction factors, the high speeding car's animations is like the AI car is a fired out rocket than a road machine that has traction and road grip matters, as the AI car can go at SUPER high speed around turns and bends without any smokes coming out from the tyres.

    Unbalanced AI difficulty HARD, as the AI skills varies by each time you quit the race to the game's main menu before returning to the SAME race SETUP again. Each random draw of AI skills varies greatly for the same AI difficulty level selected, as you may find 1 of them reasonably hard, and rest of them unplayable hard as the AI goes at godlike speed.

    There are sets of AI skills just for the AI difficulty HARD, they're almost like either 1 of these:
    1. All of them Speeding very fast ahead with unrealistic speed that you can barely catch up to the SLOWEST AI car, but it really depends on which car you're driving.
    2. Most of them Speeding ahead with reasonable speed, but has a couple of the last cars in the fleet to knock you knock like they're assassins.
    3. Most of them Speeding with slower speed, as a couple of them goes at very high speed at the front of the fleet.

    If sometimes you find it too hard to play the AI difficulty HARD, please try to play AI Difficulty medium, BUT when AI difficulty medium turned out to be too easy, then try play with more laps, more AI cars, no traction control and stability control, turn off as many helps as possible, tune the car to make it's handling worse than better so as to make the race against the AI more challenging.
  6. Jun 28, 2012
    There are seriously overlooked features in this game. For instance, no option to "quit" or "exit" from the race in-game. You must ctrl-alt-del to get out. This is inconsistent from machine to machine. Some have it, some don't. Also there is no way to skip the long prerendered video you have already watched. After your first test race, your account does not save your progress and you must watch the video over again AND do the race. These are the simple things, EA. You're killing me. The standard for good games is MUCH higher than this. Expand
  7. Nov 19, 2011
    Worst... NFS... EVER. I thought after Pro Street they couldn't sink any lower with the series but this must be what rock bottom is like. The handling is absolutely dreadful, this game is trying to position itself as a combination of GRID and sim racing and as a result fails at doing either one of those. Went into the closet after less then half an hour of playing... Expand

See all 100 User Reviews