Yesterday’s item on German PC Games Magazine‘s quite negative impression of Need for Speed Shift has once again started a heated discussion about wheter or not the newest Need for Speed title will be appealing to sim racers.
Contrary to the negative impressions, two very promising videos have surfaced, showing the game’s pro-mode without driving aids. One shows the Maserati MC12 at Laguna Seca, the other a race on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
Furthermore, VirtualR reader mikem has recenlty been able to try the Playstation 3 version of Shift and shared his experience with everyone in the comments area. Since many people may have overlooked that, you can find his report (you might have to click “Read More” to see it).
“Like I’ve mentioned in one of the previous news on this game that I recently had the chance to spend sometime with the game. Since it was an event setup by Sony Canada, it was only the PS3 version but EA did have a wheel setup (G25) alongside the DS3 controller setups. Since the event was held a nightclub where I work (the place at one time was Sony Playdium), I had ample time to try the game out when the crew was setting up the event that morning. I probably spent just a little over an hour mostly at Nordschleife with a few cars I’m familiar with in real life and through other games.
Brands Hatch and two tracks based on London and Tokyo street were availlable besides the Nordschleife (which btw, can be setup to simulate either Morning, Noon or Evening hour). There were a few cars but the one that i drove were the Audi R8, Nissan R35 GTR (both AWD), Lotus Elise 111R and the BMW M3 GT2 (my first time in that car).
No, SHIFT is not an all out attempt at simulation. Although the only PC based sim that I spend a lot of time with is GTR2 but it’s pretty obvious from the onset that braking for example is what you would expect from Gran Tursimo or Forza. You still need to know the proper braking point and because I driven Nordschleife countless time, I had no problem with braking on that track and had no trouble familiarizing myself with the game’s physics There’s no particular idioscyncrasies that I had to adjust to; anyone familiar with either GTR2 or even GT5 prologue or Forza 2 will probably feel very much at home with SHIFT’s physics and handling. The track (Nordschleife) is pretty much what you’d find in GTR Evo and easily surpass GT4 as the best version on console (or at least until GT5 comes out)
Although the preception of speed in the game feels so much faster than GTR2 and even faster than Gran Turismo and Forza, the times I clocked (with various cars) at Nordschleife were quite realistic and much slower than my times in GT4. With the Audi R8- 8:10 (with TC and SC) and high 7:50s without assists. A bit faster with the R35 GTR- 7:50s (didn’t try without assist). The only other game where i had chance to drive these two cars is GT5 Prologue and I would have to say that while you can easily discern the difference in the handling between these cars in SHIFT, it’s not as apparent as Prologue. But between the AWD cars and the RWD Elise and the M3, the adjustment required to handle these cars is very much what you would expect in a good sim ie. AWD is much easier but RWD is much more exciting and involving.
I have to disagree with PC games comment on the graphic. With PS3 version, it was pretty sharp, and while there’s aliasing, it’s what you would commonly see on a console games. While it’s certainly not GT5 Prologue, it’s better than both GRID and Forza 2. The steering with the G25 : the FFB is quite powerful and easily surpass GT5 Prologue when it comes to sheer power. As to the effect: like I said, you can easily feel the difference between drivetrains and so is the weight of the cars. The weight transfer when cornering and braking are just as apparent. The only problem I have is that if you were to use the cockpit view, while there’s no (perceptible) delay between your input and that on the screen, the degree of rotation on the actual wheel doesn’t quite translate onto what you get on the screen. Also, it has to be noted that I did send most of my time in TT mode so I can’t comment on the AI behaviour or the rest of the game.”