What we mean by the “driver’s experience” is that Need for Speed SHIFT features something special, yet subtle, that you’ve never experienced before in a racing game. It’s that playing Need for Speed SHIFT feels more like driving a real car than any other game in the racing simulation genre, possibly even Gran Turismo with its near photo-realistic graphics, thanks to a camera system that shifts from side to side and forward and backward based on the gravitational forces experienced while driving.
You’ve seen behind-the-wheel views in racing games before, but you’ve never experienced realistic g-forces from this perspective like in Need for Speed SHIFT, ever. When playing Need for Speed SHIFT, your head slams against the seat and the view pulls backwards when you accelerate, jerks forward when you brake, and sways from side to side in turns and corners, but not to the point of outright nausea. The tightly tuned camera feels as though it’s attached to your head at eye level and is most noticeable and best experienced from the behind-the-wheel cockpit view. This may be only a subtle trick of the camera, but trust us when we say this is a major step forward for all racing games. Don’t knock it until you’ve experienced it!
Tudor describes Need for Speed SHIFT as the “first-person shooter” of authentic racing games. Comparing SHIFT’s driver experience to games like Gears of War and Call of Duty, Tudor says the game “doesn’t focus on having 50 tracks and 1,000 cars” like Gran Turismo and Forza, “but takes first-person shooter characteristics” into account. How, exactly? Tudor points to audio and visual cues, such as heavy breathing and disorienting concussion effects, made famous in games like Gears of War. “Those are the elements we wanted to capture in SHIFT,” Tudor explains. “The game really focuses on the driver.”
Need for Speed: GAMEPRO’s SPEEDPRO (Working title)
No, EA is not actually working on a GamePro Need for Speed title, but we’ve got our own ideas for a new NFS game that fits into what we are calling the “adrenaline genre.” GamePro’s master game design for a new Need for Speed game is heavily inspired by high-adrenaline movies such as Crank and Speed that requires the player to keep their adrenaline (health) pumping by performing extreme stunts that include race shootouts, skyscraper base jumping, and random outnumbered bar fights throughout an open world. And the story is ten times better than that of Need for Speed Undercover because it’s penned by the GamePro editors.