Need for Speed: Shift Xbox 360

User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 135 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 135
  2. Negative: 33 out of 135
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  1. RhettM
    Sep 17, 2009
    5
    Neither sim nor arcade. Career progression is not interesting. The blurring effect gets old and a pain after sometime. Customization blows. Good graphics but not uptown the levels of GT or FM3. Runs @ 30fps. Good first try on moving NFS to a different direction but incomplete both content and gameplay wise.
  2. Sep 24, 2010
    6
    The game starts of really well with an interesting selection of cars and tracks, and fairly pleasant gameplay mechanics, but as the game progresses, it all goes down in flames. The first thing you'll notice is how great it looks. The cars look good, the tracks look good, and the light effects are spot-on. One of the best things about it is the **** view. In the slower classes you'll alwaysThe game starts of really well with an interesting selection of cars and tracks, and fairly pleasant gameplay mechanics, but as the game progresses, it all goes down in flames. The first thing you'll notice is how great it looks. The cars look good, the tracks look good, and the light effects are spot-on. One of the best things about it is the **** view. In the slower classes you'll always drive from the inside view, but as things become more fast and demanding, you'll be forced to change to the bumper or bonnet view get a wider look over the track.
    You also get really cool visual effects every time you crash. The vision goes blurry and colourless, and you can even hear the driver painful sounds. It's funny at first, but it becomes boring really quick, and also a nuisance. If you slam against a wall, you want to get back on track as soon as possible, but you can't, because you can't see where you are supposed to go.

    As for driving, there's something here for everyone. You can have a lot of driver assists, to make your task easier, or you can turn everything off and go for the full simulation experience. I haven't played in the easy settings, but according to a friend of mine, the easy setting is "far to easy" compared to the normal setting.

    As for the simulation bit, is not that perfect. The physics engine is competent for the most part, but cars never have the right feel, specially in weight transitions. One of the elements to blame is the control pad. Using a gamepad, any little touch in the analog stick will cause the steering wheel to swerve ferociously. This game was most likely design for a steering wheel, but how many of us have them? Then there's the racing line. It shows red, but if you overshoot it, it will show green, even though you are still going too fast for that corner. Sometimes when you approach an open corner, the line shows a perfect green, so you keep your finger in the accelerator and follow the line, only to see the car understeering out of the track.

    Shift starts with huge tracks, and slow cars, and then it progresses for faster cars on much narrower tracks, with little room for mistake. So if you leave the track, and have to reverse to get back on, you risk being disqualified for driving in the wrong direction. The problem is that your opponents are either dumb or highly aggressive, so they keep pushing you out of the track.

    Also, as the cars become more and more powerful, you start loosing any driving feel still left. All cars feel like they are driving on butter instead of rubber. Where are the huge levels of grip provided by heavy downforce and very sticky tires? What was the point of upgrading the car?

    You can also personalize your cars with vinyl shapes, but because the editor is so poorly designed, you'll end up using the pre-made ones.

    Some cars allow you to give them a extra tune (called the Works conversion) after you buy every single part for it. At this point you are left wandering why should you buy any car that doesn't allow that conversion.

    Then there is the starting grid. I still don't know how the order in the starting grid is determined. There is no qualifying whatsoever, and even if you're driving the fastest car, you'll still be thrown in to the back of the pack. It's not really funny to start with a perfect launch just to discover that you are twice as fast off the line than anyone else, and with no place to go, you're stuck in a traffic jam.

    You'll have some variety up to the second tier of cars/races, but after that it's a bit repetitive. You have normal races, 2 car head-on, drift and time trials. Other than that, there are some variations (like endurance), but nothing more.

    I was very disappointed with this game, and being a huge fan of Forza, GT, Grid and GTR2, this game ended up as a bit of a black sheep. There's potential in this game engine, and maybe Shift 2 will be a great game, but this one? It's not quite up to the task.
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  3. KBT
    Apr 26, 2011
    7
    Alright, it is obvious that the user scores and reviews for Shift 2 Unleashed (S2U) are not unanimously positive, although the vast majority is quite pleased with it. Now, I will try to give my own perspective on the game and hopefully showing that what it is that makes this game pleasant for most and bad for others. First and foremost, S2U has some elements which are certainly wellAlright, it is obvious that the user scores and reviews for Shift 2 Unleashed (S2U) are not unanimously positive, although the vast majority is quite pleased with it. Now, I will try to give my own perspective on the game and hopefully showing that what it is that makes this game pleasant for most and bad for others. First and foremost, S2U has some elements which are certainly well worked out and worth the attention, especially for the race sim fans. However, I believe that the game has too many major flaws which impede it being a great game like forza. These interesting elements, i.e. the surplus for the racing genre, consist of the helmet cam, the personalised sense of a racing career, night racing and the autolog for the multiplayer. As stated, on the other hand there are major downsides to this game as well. The most important one is the frustrating gameplay (especially at the beginning). Trying to balance between arcade and sim, the handling of all the cars in S2U is 'floaty.' At least to me, it didn't feel realistic at all due to frequent oversteer with all cars. This is not just a matter of tuning, it is the very way the driving mechanics work in S2U. Especially at the beginning of the game it feels like the car isn't on a race track at all, but on a ice rink. The cars you drive slide from side to side and then there is the just as frustrating minor lag between controller input and car reaction; the latter problem makes things even more difficult. Add the fact that the difficulty 'easy' is a bit too difficult for the occasional sim driver (like me) and way too difficult for the inexperienced, and the sum is a difficult car to control, and a too difficult game to master considering its pretence of being between arcade and sim. Besides the 'unrealistic' handling of the cars, the game forces you into the career mode and doesn't allow a quick race where you can choose from one of the the many cars the game has to offer. These quick races are only possible for the cars you own and this is a major mistake I believe. Another failure is the absence of the rewind option during racing; there is only the famous restart. Considering the difficulty of the game the rewind option is essential for a less frustrating, and more arcade, play. The sound and music is proper, but not special. One part of the sound did trouble me and that was a peculiar 'tic' every car in S2U makes during races (irrelevant to the view), although I never heard it at Forza nor GT.
    Although S2U has some neat features (helmet cam, night racing, personalized experience) it is far from the status of forza. The most important element in race games, car handling, is flawed per se. Add the difficulty for beginners and occasional gamers, the game is not what it is advertised to be. Nevertheless if you like the challenge and accept the shortcomings, the game can be fun. A seven.
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  4. JoshJ
    Sep 20, 2009
    7
    Looks great but having great difficulty getting the steering to behave properly. Also, the drift mode seems to throw you straight in at the deep end and is virtually impossible to get the hang of in the short races.
  5. JasonH
    Oct 18, 2009
    7
    For EA'S 1 st crack at a sim it's good visually, and mechanically but leaves you yearning for more . In It's lacking visual customizations vynle choices , and some of the races are nearly impossible to win. Some of the cars that matter the most can't be optimized to a competitive level and I"M an experienced driver and tuner. However there's still alot of great For EA'S 1 st crack at a sim it's good visually, and mechanically but leaves you yearning for more . In It's lacking visual customizations vynle choices , and some of the races are nearly impossible to win. Some of the cars that matter the most can't be optimized to a competitive level and I"M an experienced driver and tuner. However there's still alot of great things about this game and then there are some things that can only be fixed in a sequel. Forget about that Fast and Furious mentality EA ,If you're going to enter the arena with the likes of Grand Turismo and Forza Motorsports you can't pull punches. Expand
  6. BillH.
    Oct 18, 2009
    6
    The graphics are great and the car physics can be tweaked to be good. But this is outweighed by the many anoying things w/the game. Bugs in the game will cause the image of your car to disappear in your garage. The game will sometimes freeze. The balance of cars is all out of wack...a tier 1 quattro fully upgraded can beat 2/3 of the tier 2 cars fully upgraded and a tier 2 bmw can The graphics are great and the car physics can be tweaked to be good. But this is outweighed by the many anoying things w/the game. Bugs in the game will cause the image of your car to disappear in your garage. The game will sometimes freeze. The balance of cars is all out of wack...a tier 1 quattro fully upgraded can beat 2/3 of the tier 2 cars fully upgraded and a tier 2 bmw can likewise beat a tier 3 porche...shouldn't higher tier cars be better then lower tier cars hence the tier system. Why would you also buy a car w/o a W. I bet the game w/a garge of 5 cars...theirs no incentive to buy more then that. Also it's pretty lame when you work hard to level up to unlock cars that can only be used in quick races and even though theirs 60 cars you can't even modify tier 4. Got your cars skills up, got a nice car you want to race a friend w/no chance hear since NFS shift is a one player game...who makes a racing game you can't go head to head w/a friend. NFS does. Hey, like putting the same body kit on your cars, I love having a garage full of cars w/the same double finned front bumpers...really lazy guys...besides those fins look lame. One last thing, the cockpit view is great and changes w/upgrades as does the car body but it still has the same problem as prior cockpit view racing tunnel vision, sure they let you use the R stick to turn your head but when your making a turn you need the e-brake. How are you supposed to look into the turn and brake at the same time. So you still need to judge the turns based on your straight on view... If you can look past these things then buy the game...Otherwise, wait for Forza 3 and if you bought the game based on the "pro" critics hype use NFS as a trade in to upgrade to Forza 3. NFS should step asided and let Forza and GT do what they do best. You would think NFS could get it right after all these games but they did it to use once again...all show and go on the surface to cover up a game full of inconsistencies. Expand
  7. MPhillips
    Sep 28, 2009
    5
    Nice graphics but terrible car handling ruin this game. I traded it in after four days I give up because its impossible, cars skid around as if the tires are made of banana skin and that's with traction control on ?
  8. ApocalypseBrown
    Oct 25, 2009
    5
    The acid test for this game is how does it stand up to the likes of GRID and Forza 3, well having played all three Shift is the weakest link. Racing fast is fine, however the damage modeling, A.I. and bumper car physics are so ridiculous it's beggars belief. I admire EA for trying something new, but it least copy the best aspects of other games and then apply it properly in your own The acid test for this game is how does it stand up to the likes of GRID and Forza 3, well having played all three Shift is the weakest link. Racing fast is fine, however the damage modeling, A.I. and bumper car physics are so ridiculous it's beggars belief. I admire EA for trying something new, but it least copy the best aspects of other games and then apply it properly in your own game. This is nothing more than a sup-down Project Gotham, without the class. Expand
  9. TomL
    Sep 18, 2009
    7
    It's a pretty average racer that does nothing well. The racing physics are an iffy blend of arcade brute force and simulation twitchyness that leave you with a generally underwhelming experience. There are way better racers to spend your hard earned gaming dollars on.
  10. GlynnF
    Sep 19, 2009
    6
    Could have been so much better but you get the feeling this game hung itself by trying to be everything to everyone. Neither a simulation nor an arcade game the gameplay feels as if they're trying to emulate GRID but unfortunately fail. There are options to allow the user to emulate arcade gameplay by allowing the AI to brake and handle the car for you if you approach a corner too Could have been so much better but you get the feeling this game hung itself by trying to be everything to everyone. Neither a simulation nor an arcade game the gameplay feels as if they're trying to emulate GRID but unfortunately fail. There are options to allow the user to emulate arcade gameplay by allowing the AI to brake and handle the car for you if you approach a corner too quickly, but these are very poorly implemented. Although you can turn these off you're then left with a game where all cars handle like bricks with no handling whatsoever. Graphics are average for this generation of consoles, frame rate does drop now and then. The only area this game exceeds in is sound. The cars sound realistic and the music is good. However I've yet to meet a gamer who would consider this a primary selling point There is fun to be had in this game and I'm sure I'll easily log 20 hours with it, if only to justify the £34 price tag to myself. I can't honestly say I can think of anyone this game is aimed at Expand
  11. bernardodc
    Oct 12, 2009
    7
    I give this game a 7 rating. 6 for graphics and 1 for the frustratingly game experience i had. This game has better visuals than its predecessors and it has the coolest but not original cockpit view in the business. the only problem is the handling. i did all all sorts of tuning and tweaking but still i couldnt get the hang of this game. this game tries to be a grid but failed miserably I give this game a 7 rating. 6 for graphics and 1 for the frustratingly game experience i had. This game has better visuals than its predecessors and it has the coolest but not original cockpit view in the business. the only problem is the handling. i did all all sorts of tuning and tweaking but still i couldnt get the hang of this game. this game tries to be a grid but failed miserably on the handling part. it's trying to be a sim racer but it will never be close enough-leave it to forza or GT. it's need for speed and it will stay that way, arcady and glitchy. and please, dont be an idiot by comparing this game to forza 3, this game will eat dust even from forza 2!! dammit it EA you still haven't learn from last year's nfs underground mistake. Expand
  12. May 12, 2011
    0
    I agree with the negative reviews here and felt so ripped off after purchasing this game I actually registered on Metacritic to write this review. I have been a racing sim fans for years and actually work in the video game industry. This game is utterly unplayable. The cars drive like boats and just driving in a straight line is almost impossible. Beyond that, the graphics look nothingI agree with the negative reviews here and felt so ripped off after purchasing this game I actually registered on Metacritic to write this review. I have been a racing sim fans for years and actually work in the video game industry. This game is utterly unplayable. The cars drive like boats and just driving in a straight line is almost impossible. Beyond that, the graphics look nothing like the screenshots or videos. I bought the PS3 version, so maybe it does on the PC but compared with other console sim racers like Forza or GT, this game looks like a poorly executed fan mode of a last gen game. Graphics from some original PS2 or Xbox games are just about on par with this. I only hope anyone considering purchasing this title takes some time read these reviews and saves themselves some money.

    The only positive area I was really impressed with was the sound. If you close your eyes and don't attempt to actually play the game, I suppose it would be a fairly enjoyable experience ;)
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Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
  1. 87
    Need for Speed Shift gets the most important part of a racing game right and it does so with a flair that’s uncommon in a frequently po-faced genre, providing driving that’s genuinely thrilling.
  2. 90
    A glorious return to greatness (and even excellence) for EA's seminal racing franchise. Slightly Mad Studios has delivered a driving experience that, while not completely accurate in terms of its simulation aspects, is practically dead-on in terms of what it's like to race around some of the world's best racing circuits.
  3. Shift is hugely entertaining, but remember that it’s not about the sillier fun of its Need for Speed predecessors. It’s about the nail-biting intensity and challenge of hanging on to your car at high speed, and as long as that’s how you like your racing, you’ll disappear into this game.