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Need for speed shift S60V5

Tested on 5800 XM and N97 . . Fully supported and functioning. . .

So far the game is looking quite solid. Fans of the series might be surprised by its move towards simulation and away from its arcade past, but the gameplay survived the change. A big selling point for the game is the use of licensed cars, and it takes full advantage of those with over 60 models, including the Nissan Skyline and others ranging from incredible supercars to some lowly compacts.

The visuals look great and paired with a large plasma television Shift was impressive (we only played the Xbox 360 version). There was a liberal use of the lens flare, but I was generally too busy looking at the other cars and the track to let it bother me. The most exciting feature was the cockpit view, which gives you a look inside the car. This is completed with functioning gauges that are different for each car, and a line-of-site that is in keeping with the driver’s position. This view won me over, though I’m sure I wouldn’t use it 100% of the time because it limits your view of the track. I can say that I loved the look of the tracks and the choices offered.

Gamers are going to have to decide for themselves how they like the driving experience, but I did notice that the difficulty settings play a huge role in this game. On easy mode (a number of settings make up this) cars are tough to spin out and racing is not overly difficult, while on harder modes inexperienced drivers will have no chance at negotiating the power of something like the BMW M3 GT2. When you first play the game you can run a track that will determine your skill level and setup the game in a mode that is appropriate for you. Later to can customize this based on your driving abilities. It will also tailor track choices based on things like how aggressive of a driver you are. I can tell you that as someone who is not that great at driving games (aside from Burnout) I did rather poorly at the harder levels and people just as good as myself were bored at the easiest level, so some customization will be important.

I can’t say much about controls yet–we only tested with the Xbox 360 controller and didn’t get to customize the game much. I mainly drove with the BMW M3 and it felt large and heavy, which might have been my settings or the fact that I’m more used to Burnout Paradise than I am to a sim-style racing game.

It’s not at all clear which racing game will be the pick this season and with three awesome looking ones on the way there is a good change than an exceptional game is going to be overshadowed. The early release date and multi-platform approach is making it look like Need for Speed: Shift won’t be that game, but I’ll have to do more testing determine how I feel about it.

Need for Speed: Shift Features:

True Driver’s Experience – A variety of visual cues delivers the true driver’s experience including a three-dimensional HUD that mimics driver head movement, inertia and G-forces. The depth of field also adjusts based on the speed of the car; so when the car is traveling at high speeds the perspective will shift to the distance putting the car/cockpit out of focus.

Driver Profile – What kind of driver are you? Driver profile tracks the player’s evolution as a race driver from event to event. This system is made up of a driver’s personality on the track, their success rate and any profile points and badges accrued all of which work together to create a tailor-made career and game play experience. Driver profile is pervasive throughout all modes: career and online.

Dynamic Crash Effect – When the player hits a static object or opponent car, the player will feel like they are ‘taking damage’. A combination of visual and audio effects will leave the player disorientated and briefly disrupt the race.

Total Customization – Need for Speed SHIFT features a comprehensive customization option that lets the player tailor every aspect of the cars performance and styling. Go under the hood to upgrade and tune your vehicle to increase its performance. The visual customization system allows players to personalize both the exterior and trick out the interior to reflect their individual style and preferences.

Photo Real Cars and Tracks – Nearly 70 licensed cars are available including the Pagani Zonda F, Audi RS4, and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. There is also over 15 real-world locations like Willow Springs and Laguna Seca as well as fictional circuits like downtown London and


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