Need for Speed Shift is one of those games that’s easy to get addicted to, especially if you start playing it on a console like the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. However, the downside to enjoying a game so much is that it builds ridiculously high expectations for the game to live up to. Suppose Electronic Arts decides to make a version for the iPad, how much of a letdown would it be if the graphics and the gameplay were significantly altered and you end up playing with boxed cars racing in straight line race tracks? Fortunately, none of that happened when EA did release an iPad version of Shift, and contrary to our fears, the game has certainly exceeded our expectations.
Among the new features you’ll find in the iPad version include eight new cars, a couple of additional tracks, and even a more personable style of play that, we’re not ashamed to say, is borderline addicting.
Just the way we like it.
Details after the jump.
The fear with a game like this – having a version at a higher-spec system – is that the graphics wouldn’t be as good as the version you play on the 360 or the PS3. To EA’s credit, the graphics for the iPad version of NFS Shift are about as stunning as it gets given the circumstances. The cars look great, the environment and the racing scenes are also impressive, and even the interior of the cars have been meticulously detailed. It’s not going to be as graphically pleasing as the Xbox and PS3 versions, but for the iPad, NFS Shift’s graphics are mighty impressive.
The controls for the game in the iPad are similar to the iPhone version in that you’re going to need to tilt your iPad and imagine that you’re holding a steering wheel. The great thing about this game is that the cars are very responsive to your every move, which is a good thing because your performance on the game will rely greatly on how you good your iPad handling and maneuverability is. While we do suggest that you begin the game with the easiest difficulty level, we’re only recommending it so you can get a good feel for the game. Don’t spend too much time on it because it gets to be a little easy and challenges are slim pickings. As soon as you get a handle on how the controls work, step right up and go for Pro because that’s where the fun and excitement happens.
You race in a series of events spread across four cities in different continents. Each city has its own set of challenges – straight races, elimination showdowns, drift contests, and a few more others – where you can put your skills to good use and be judged depending on how precise and aggressive you are in the race. Of course, the name of the game is still to win, but these two aspects – precision and aggression – will eventually shape your racing personality.
If you want your racer to level up faster, you’re going to have to master the art of making perfect turns and sticking to the racing lines to strengthen your precision skills while overtaking and defending your place will earn you brownie points for aggression. Earn as many points as you can on both fronts and you’ll level up faster, making you even more formidable in the upcoming races.
A little pricey - $14.99 - given the platform - iPad - but once you spend a few hours playing it, it won’t take you long to realize that it was worth every penny.
A combination of realism, dynamic racing, and overall awesomeness, Need for Speed Shift for the iPad is a definite must-buy.
What Do Others Think?
TouchGen’s Take: "It looks and sounds incredible and has a ton of game life with all the different race modes and multiplayer. If you are looking for a racing game, I would definitely recommend checking out Shift, because there is a ton of game play for the money."