Need For Speed: SHIFT

Before Gran Turismo, we were running from the cops, speeding through the mountains roads in Diablo’s, Ferrari 512’s, Chevrolet Corvette’s, Acura NSX’s, Toyota Supra’s, and Mazda RX-7’s. That was the original Need For Speed. Now over a decade later we see the latest of many in the Need For Speed series – SHIFT. Tommy Milner, an upcoming American Le Mans racing star, was brought on board, to help promote the most hyped up EA racing title to date. If you’ve been anywhere near a television in the past month you’ve likely seen commercials for the game. And now it’s here.

Last night I returned from a week long trip from Road Atlanta and downloaded the SHIFT demo on xbox 360. Let’s get right down to it. The graphics are amazing. The sounds effects are pretty good. The tracks look great. The menu interface isn’t bad, either. So what’s the problem? Smooth steering input from the controller is next to impossible. If you go to make a quick steering adjustment and tap the joystick to the left, you’ll notice the car reacts as if you’ve yanked the wheel to full lock left. So now you’re like OH SHIT and counter steer the other direction only to find you’re now in a severe oversteer situation. Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been playing racing games for nearly two decades. Need For Speed SHIFT is clearly setup for use with a steering wheel. So if you find yourself fed up with the controls of the game after a few laps, give the wheel a try. Go. Play.

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