Need for Speed Shifts into gear Sept. 22

First installment in EA's trifurcated racing franchise hits the road on Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, and PC later this year.

EA Black Box's Need for Speed Undercover didn't exactly cruise into the winner's circle upon its release for all currently relevant platforms in November, given that it received at its best moderately positive reviews on the Xbox 360 and PC. To get the series back on track, EA said in January that it would be overhauling its approach with the title, busting the series into three products: a traditional Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, and PC installment; a Wii/DS edition; and a PC-only, free-to-play online game.

Today, EA announced that the first of those Need for Speed breakout projects, Shift, will arrive for the Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, and PC on September 22 in North America, preceded by the European rollout on September 17. Eschewing the campy aesthetic of Undercover, Shift will focus more on the experience of driving, oriented around first-person, in-cockpit perspective racing.

According to EA, Shift features more vehicles than any other installment in the Need for Speed franchise, explicitly calling out the Pagani Zonda F, Porsche 911 GT2, and Lotus Elise as drivable rides. The racer will also feature a number of real-world tracks, including the UK's Brands Hatch course.

Need for Speed Shift for consoles and the PC is in development at Slightly Mad Studios, in collaboration with EA's recently downsized Black Box studio. Although it may be Slightly Mad's debut effort, the studio consists of developers and designers who have experience on GT Legends and GTR2. NFS Shift on the PSP is being crafted at EA's Bright Light Studios.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

63 comments
gerhardtscriven
gerhardtscriven

sheesh, what a sub title... Shift Hope it will not lose the "f" after the reviews come out.

lucascastro
lucascastro

Shift will be a great game!! But forget about the older series...

Kris024
Kris024

This game looks better than Pro Street but it doesn't seem like Need For Speed. It looks more like GRID or Gran Turismo or Forza. Either way it doesn't look like Need For Speed. A Pagani does sound good though.

alnolte
alnolte

All i have to say for you nfs developers is,good luck.Try to do something good like the old ones(most wanted,underground 2)and please,make us forget about pro sreet and undercover ok?That's my opinion,thanks.See you...

speedfreak48t5p
speedfreak48t5p

This could be good. Most Wanted and Carbon were Great but the series has gone downhill since. I mean what went wrong with undercover! That game really sucked. I am encouraged that it's a different developer this time though.

jammercool812
jammercool812

We all get on here and post many of the same comments and such. However, it takes someone who cares more about people and the game. Then, takes good surveys into perspective and produces something great. With these newer games, we all witness how EA has pretty much turned to the "almighty buck" and selling out rather than keeping up with quality. I know it may be a bit more "old school", but many of you agree with me. Need for Speed 2: Underground was amazing for its generation. Also, I would have to go with NFS: Most Wanted as the best NFS game released by EA on the new generation consoles. Even if your opinions differ, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Most still say that one of the first couple of games released with a NFS title is the best. It is obvious that the newer games being released have better graphics, cars, and upgrades. Along with the realistic performance characteristics of gameplay; initially, EA's goal is to draw gamers further into the game. That makes perfect sense. The first person view in SHIFT is phenominal. They should just filter and decide on what "new" characteristics to add instead of just going with all new for a new game. The title of the game stays the same, it is the subtitle that changes. More people would rather have the old style NFS games. For instance, I know Need For Speed as "the" racing game that I could smack a wall and continue the race with an accumulated boost of Nitrous and skilled driving to win. And, to be able to top your car off as the fastest car in the game trying to hit untouchable top speeds. Now, that does sound a bit unrealistic, but there are other games that EA could release for the "newer style" of racing gameplay with, just with a title not tieing it to NFS. On the other hand, since EA wants all the money in existence, it would make more sense for them to throw those characteristic quickly into its gameplay. It is clear that EA demonstrates it's "sell out" attitude with these new quick released games. The company is the WORLD's LEADING INDEPENDENT DEVELOPER AND INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCER. In order for them to clinch this title for the next decade, or longer, there will need to be change for the gamers; otherwise, it will leave a window for opportunity allowing those other companies to take a stand and become a threat. Change is a good thing, but too much change could be drastic. My personal opinion consists of the release of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. There is much more these games are capable of, and some producers take advantage by releasing top of the line games. Only a fraction of those capabilitles are enabled in these "quick ready", or "Christmas", games.

itsdacheese
itsdacheese

I think EA should bring back MotorCityOnline... the tracks were awsume , the driving was great and the online chat was the best.. Above all the tracks were so much fun to drive ...I havent had as good of a time racing since then and I have finished every NFS made to date...

hotrider12
hotrider12

Mcgnnis1 Posted Mar 24, 2009 12:42 am GMT I think that EA is making a mistake in dividing NFS in three different branches in order to appease everyone. They should hold a big survey and ask gamers what do they want in the next NFS game mcgnnis1... EA do have a survey on their site 98% of the posting I've read most of the guys whining about how they want customlization,how the road should look, anything but gameplay

hotrider12
hotrider12

poseidion Posted Mar 23, 2009 11:05 pm GMT i totally agree with quickchord. i've been reserving all NFS hoping that it will be better and it hasn't. i'm definitely NOT buying this one no matter what. I want the Underground and Hot Pursuit 2 developers and I agree with you poseidion I want underground and hotpursuit2 developers back. but will try SHIFT

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Judging by my very appreciated thumbs down, I am the only one who thinks so. Funny that since whenever I speak to real people they all agree.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

god! another one!? EA sure know how to milk a franchise dont they? Whatever happened to originality? Thank god for companies like VALVe and Ubisoft.......

Hedfix
Hedfix

Sounds boring, more cop chases please - it's what the series does best.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

There is something very unsatisfying about buying a game that has been released on every other platform.

firehawk998
firehawk998

Lets see something here to compete with racing simulations like FORZA and GRAN TURISMO a game needs years in development for that to happen. It cannot be rushed like with in a year. When I heard of SHIFT I was skeptical but some part of me was excited that if EA takes time making this then it will be good, but now after reading this all I can say is that it feels like the game is being rushed for a Christmas Cash In. In order to beat GT and FORZA in thier own game EA needs nothing else except for a miracle.

starfoxmcleoud
starfoxmcleoud

I agree with icepick. Let's just hope the final product is as good as the trailer.

d_e_e_p
d_e_e_p

hope it would be great.................

Deathscyth-Hell
Deathscyth-Hell

I'm actually most excited for the third NFS (the "open world" "free to play one") Also, i actually liked Undercover, the story sucked but i think everything else was the best NFS had ever done.

REA24409
REA24409

Wow, really... they are making another one. These games have gone down hill ever since NFS:Most Wanted. They are milking the series and it will never be as good as it used to be, it's done, stop making these games it's getting annoying. People these days...

icepickiii
icepickiii

after watching the vid on xbox live. I am impressed. In game looks very realistic. Dont know bout damage to cars, but wow concerning those crashes.

simonsworld
simonsworld

coming out in time for christmas? like we didnt know ;p

238GameAddict
238GameAddict

I was new to NFS beginning with Most Wanted. I thoroughly enjoyed that game. I looked forward to the next one. Unfortunately, It hasn't been as good since. What's going on over there?

aurora_born_93
aurora_born_93

Ok there are several things that come to mind when you think about an NFS game. To me, it mostly has to do with how long the d*mn thing been in development, because most of EA's recent racing games (or just about their games in general) seem to me to be a bit too rushed just to make a deadline. The rest mostly have to do with the cars, which (thank god) have been upgraded, and stuff like that. In the case of this game i am more than likely going to have to compare it to Gran Turismo 5 which has been in development for years and has 900 cars, all of which have been tuned to life-like performance, and tons of tracks. EA is going to have to compete against that and if their game sucks, every racing game fan with a brain is going to wait a couple more months to get a true racing sensation. But, then again, neither game has come out yet so i guess we are just who have to wait for the results and see how this plays out.

Mcgnnis1
Mcgnnis1

I think that EA is making a mistake in dividing NFS in three different branches in order to appease everyone. They should hold a big survey and ask gamers what do they want in the next NFS game. First and importantly, EA should stop making a racing sim, we already have too many of them. I don't get it that why can't they just give the reins of NFS to criterion...i mean haven't they made one the best driving game of this generation...come on EA another NFS Hot Pursuit 2 would be enough to make an awesome NFs game.

SPD_WeBmAsTaH
SPD_WeBmAsTaH

NFS Underground was the best out of them all. After Most Wanted it turned into crap. Carbon was okay. I'm sorry, PC only free-to-play? That's a big load of crap. Nobody will dish out the cash to play NFS online especially with how bad they've been doing with the games lately.

alosborne
alosborne

Also, what the heck EA!!!? Why don't see that people like running from the cops? Getting pinkslips off of people was cool. No you've turned it into a GT series. Not to dis Grid because it's a great game but I DO NOT want NFS to turn into that kind of series.

Anayalator408
Anayalator408

Im still gettin it, i've been a veteran of NFS since the original came out, which is almost my entire life, n i don't plan on stopping now, no matter what people say about it.

alosborne
alosborne

Most wanted is the best. EA needs to slow down and make a better game. How can EA seriously think that they can make three nfs games at once that will be, like quickchord said,"better than the last". Midnight Club LA rox. Maybe this one will be better. "sigh"

EnderSR388
EnderSR388

Honestly, I'm looking forward to Shift. I'm glad the NFS open world is going away. MC:LA being the current king of open world illegal street racing and does it much better. I liked ProStreets progression, closed circuits and handling, but hated the menu system. Completely confusing and very tacky. The handling in ProStreet and even Undercover are actually pretty good when played with a racing wheel. Force feedback works pretty well with both titles. Which I'm sure most people wouldn't know since they used standard controllers. It is a crime to play racing games without a wheel. Race Pro demands it. Standard controllers just don't do them any justice and I think is the main culprit for low review scores. I'm sure a reviewer isn't going to ask the audience to spend an additional $99 to play a $59 game.

poseidion
poseidion

i totally agree with quickchord. i've been reserving all NFS hoping that it will be better and it hasn't. i'm definitely NOT buying this one no matter what. I want the Underground and Hot Pursuit 2 developers

quickchord
quickchord

No, no, no, no! Every NFS that's come out since MW has been declared "better than the last". I'm fed up with EA's monstrous lies trying to get people all geared up for a disappointment.

mattcake
mattcake

As much as I love Most Wanted, I have to admit the latest installment of Midnight Club was a vast improvement on the earlier games and has now sadly got my focus more than NFS. I still want my NFS, but can they provide it? Lots of work to do... new gfx engine for one.

RUFF1807
RUFF1807

omg they need to just stop..nfs iz DEAD u cant bring it bac! they need to just give up..

firedrakes
firedrakes

same here underground 2 and most wanted(not gameplay) but the body mods and such

slipknot61174
slipknot61174

Hmmm... another installment of the rapidly aging (and dying) NFS series... after the farces that were Undercover and ProStreet, I think I'll pass. EA? Consider this my Dear John letter, I've graduated to Midnight Club LA. Much agreed, Viral-venom: the only way I'm coming back to NFS is if EA hands the reins to Criterion. Period.

Infinite_Access
Infinite_Access

needs to go back to street racing.. underground 2 was awesome witht the insame amount of customizations to the cars.

SonicBalla
SonicBalla

Thats pretty far =[ Btw....Why do people underrate Carbon? It was like Underground

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

yikes. I think the last decent NFS game was Underground. If this new one is more like Gran Turismo, count me out. That's what Gran Turismo is for.

maverick_76
maverick_76

Burnout paradise was awesome, they need to make this game more like Most wanted, that was my favorite NFS game ever.

maverick_76
maverick_76

So far the screen shots look promising. Maybe this can pry my hands off Gran Turismo.

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

Gosh, another one, *sighs*.....i seriously hope this new version is up and above the many previous installments that many would agree could've been considered old recycling of the same content just with a couple minor differences. Perhaps EA should consider taking the saga back to it's epic roots when it was a really cool racing game or simply hand the project development over to a team that can make a fun racing experience like say phsss, i dunno....Criterion!! Only Underground (the 1st one) and Most Wanted seemed like really good ones over the past couple years as all the others were sorta with mixed reactions!!

coaltango
coaltango

i dont get it EA has the best racing game of all time which is the burnout series.y make a game a grade lower than burnout & launch a jerkass title like nfs.

hotrider12
hotrider12

I wish there was a way to personally e-mail EA / it seems to me they dont give-a-dang or not reading our posting?... I would love a old school NFS on ps3 (n4s 2.. ,nfs high stakes,..nfs 3 hotpursuit, nfs porsche unleased,...nfs,v-rally,..nfs road & track. those 6 games would be very welcome on ps3

duffmanth
duffmanth

Well hopefully these guys can return NFS to its former glory?!

Darkon_X
Darkon_X

They should remove the "F" out of "SHIFT" and just call it NFS: Sh.... well, you get the idea.

IS-F
IS-F

The NFS franchise is going from bad to worse. My personal fav was and still is Most Wanted

metalkid9
metalkid9

we just want a nice racing game like underground series man, what doesn't EA understand? I dunno why they bother making another one if its gonna be trash. I really have hopes for them but they definitely screwed up the last couple of nfs games. lets just pray that they bring it back or they should just find a new developing company