Game Review: Need For Speed: Shift – Part II


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As you’ll recall from Part I of my NFS: Shift review, I’ve been progressing quickly through the ranks. Last time I checked in with you, I had a BMW 135i and a Porsche Cayman S as my Tier 1 and Tier 2 cars. I then went on to accumulate a few more hundred grand and bought myself a Tier 3 car. Between an R8, a GT-R, a Murcielago, a Z06, and a 911 GT2 (among others), it was a touch choice. Did I want outright power? Did I want the confidence of AWD? Did I want the best bang for the buck? Did I want the coolest car, regardless of gameplay? Or did I want the car that would get me to my Tier 4 dream car, the Zonda F, the fastest?

I ended up going for an Audi R8, painted in purple, with BBS rims. Sidenote: all the rims in the game are free of charge, so I decided to put BBS rims on all my cars, just for some consistency. In stock form, the R8 was relatively inexpensive for a Tier 3, but it was underpowered against the competition as a result. To the upgrade shop we go. I added about $40,000 worth of tires, suspension, brakes, and drivetrain upgrades and I was good to go. There’s really something to be said for the strength of AWD in racing games, and NFS: Shift is no exception. The R8 pummelled the field, even after I removed the braking assist and increased the difficulty of the AI. In fact, the R8 was so good, that I quickly unlocked some otherworldly Invitational and Car Battle events.

You want to pit your Bugatti Veyron against 15 other Veyrons on the Nurburgring? No problem.

You want to take your Porsche Carrera GT for a spin against 15 other Carrera GTs at Spa? Give ‘er.

You want to go head-to-head with a Ford GT in your Viper SRT10 at Road America? Let’s see what you’ve got.

How about a Zonda R (drool) against a Veyron?

Or a Murcielago against a Koenigsegg CCX?

It’s all there for you. The great thing about this game is that you’re provided all these cars to race and you scarcely have to earn them. You sure as hell don’t have to pay $800,000 for one. The accessibility that Shift gives the players is both its greatest strength and weakness. It’s at once intoxicating to get behind the wheel of such a stunning collection of hardware so early in the game, but it’s almost too easy to drive them and the player’s ability isn’t really ready for cars with that much power and grip. Cars like the Carrera GT, CCX, and Zonda F are particularly unwieldily, but the Zonda R is every bit the revelation by dreams prognosticated.

Needless to say, after a few more hours plugging away, I’d unlocked the Tier 4 category of cars and had $1,117,000 lying around. Just the right amount for a $1,100,000 Pagani Zonda F. Now I’ve but a measly $17,000 but a perfect garage. A metallic pink BMW 135i, a metallic teal Porsche Cayman S, a metallic purple Audi R8, and a metallic orange Pagani Zonda R. All on BBS rims and all mine.

With my garage complete, the game needs to provide me with other goals to keep me entertained. My generation isn’t exactly known for its patience, after all. I’ve only completed 17 of the 50 drivers skill levels, I only have about 200 out of 500 stars, and I suppose I could do some more modding…

But I just realized there wasn’t a single Ferrari in the game. Non gradico quello.

Overall: 7.5/10. A fun game that could use more cars and a slightly more difficult career mode.