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    Monday, 30 March 2009

    Need For Speed SHIFT Preview

    The once amazing Need For Speed series has swerved onto a very bumpy road. Disapointing last installments including the very dull, super-sterile ProStreet and a technically terrible Undercover, there's no wonder there's been talk of the company being completely shelved in 2009.
    Need For Speed is very much alive for the moment though. But for EA, another plot gimmick or the introduction of a fancy Hollywood cast won't be enough.

    Even just over the halfway point of its development stretch, SHIFT is by far the most polished Need For Speed ever made. The amount of detail on car model's track sides and lush vehicle interiors is easily comparable to the big boys of the racing genre.
    As Driving simulations go, SHIFT has one of the best physics engine's around. It also has an impressive vehicle damage system and advanced AI.
    But by far the most impressive and unique aspect of SHIFT is in it's conquest to put you, the player, behind the wheel. With the use of high-end graphical techniques, fancy camera moves and some of the most detailed vehicle interiors ever seen in a game.
    SHIFT is attempting to recreate the experiance of actually driving a racing car - and it's doing it well. Unlike the comparitively sterile cockpits of Ferrari Challenge and GRID, SHIFT creates the feeling of g-force with subtle, emotive camera moves.

    But the fun visual display becomes a truly compelling gameplay experiance when you swerve off the track and collide with an obsticle. The developer has spent a great deal of effort simulating crashes, and, as in real life, making contact with another vehicle at high speed is a viloent, head-snapping event that leaves you dazed. High speed collisions look fantastic and the resulting visual wallop encourages players to stay on the track even more.
    SHIFT is undoubtedly the most promising, spectacular looking Need For Speed to appear since Underground in 2003.

    Need For Speed SHIFT is due to be released in Late 2009.


    Does PS3 need another sim-based racer? Tell us what you think.