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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 322 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] Expand
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. DaveA
    Oct 25, 2009
    Everybody who rates this game below 6 are idiots. Judging from their description of their experiences they have configured their controller improperly and that's not the game's fault. This game provides the best racing experience of any racing video game up to date. Expand
  2. LucaD
    Oct 12, 2009
    I'll start by saying that I'm not really a 'racing-game'-fan. After playing this game, I think I've become one. I plugged in my joystick, and set the graphics to high. First I had to configure a lot of settings, but once that was done, the fun started ! This game has very nice graphics, but it sure doesn't end here. Once I started playing, I simply couldn't stop. The game really puts you in the driver's seat. This game might not be the most realistic racing game out there, but it sure is a lot of fun playing. And after all that's the only thing that counts. If you have a pc that fullfills the requirements, I see no reason why you shouldn't buy this game! Expand
  3. RagettyMan
    Sep 25, 2009
    It's one of the best in the Need For Speed series. It runs well on my pc but frame rate drops somewhat where there are a lot of cars driving close to you.The physics are better than any of the previous versions, but not perfect. I do think racing games should be slightly forgiving due to the fact that even with a racing wheel, it's still not quite like a real steering wheel. Trying to put vinyls on cars in this game is too time consuming. You don't have the ability to mirror the vinyls. This game (though there is still room for improvement) is way better than the last few NFS games that were released. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. AnonymousMC
    Sep 26, 2009
    the look of the game is great while the playability is very poor. The AI are like god drivers at times while the controls for the user seem very delayed resulting in alot of over and under steering.
    maybe looking at the game play before the graphics is a better option.
    this is all based on the PC version.
  6. DiegoN
    Sep 17, 2009
    It's bad even for Electronic-Arts-console-game standards. Bad optimization, lack of realism, I hope crisis will soon finish EA and his shareholders. Expand

See all 100 User Reviews