EA Mobile has released the second iPhone game in the Need for Speed series: Need for Speed Shift.
You may remember that we took a look at Need for Speed Undercover not too long ago and found it was a fun, arcadelike take on racing with a decent number of fully customizable vehicles. Shift is an evolution of that game but with more realistic racing physics in place of the hokey storyline. Also new to Shift are customizable racing views. Users can now select between chase-cam, hood-cam, bumper-cam, and cockpit views. The cockpit view is unique to the vehicle you're driving, but unfortunately there are no working gauges. The cockpit view is also the only view that features damage modeling in the form of a windshield that gets more messed up the as you hit things.
On your first outing with Shift, you'll be treated to a quick tutorial that teaches you how to drive with an iPhone. Shift pretty much plays like Undercover, but with a few key differences. Its steering is still controlled by tilting. The vehicles still auto-accelerate and brake when the screen is tapped. However, the race-breaker, slow-motion feature is gone and the controls are supposedly more realistic. In practice, this means that you can no longer win races without touching the brakes and that the transmission is now manual, which can be frustrating for novice users who just want to drive.
Fortunately, there are driver aids that can be activated that automatically brake and shift for you and assist steering that make your ham-fisted inputs smoother and more accurate. Users who want an easy to play, arcade-style racer can turn on the driving aids and win a few medals on the bus ride to work; and users who want more of a racing-sim experience can set all systems to manual for more control over the game. Driving aids or not, drifting is maddeningly difficult this time around. I prefer the drifting mechanics of Undercover.… Read more