I won’t call myself a hardcore gamer, but I do have both Need For Speed Shift and Gran Turismo 5. I’ve also got a wheel and pedal set, and spent a few hours driving the two games back to back last Saturday. The result? The cars in Gran Turismo 5 feel more “natural” (in other words, less forgiving) and the background rendering is much better. The original Need For Speed Shift tries a bit too hard to simulate a the inside of a real race car, complete with shaking scenery, overly loud sound effects and even blurred details to simulate speed. I’ve driven a lot of different cars at speed, and don’t recall a single one that gave me blurred vision behind the wheel. That’s not to say that Need For Speed Shift isn’t entertaining, because it certainly is. It’s just not as in-depth and as nicely finished as GT5, but a new version of NFS is about to change that. Video below.
Need For Speed: Shift 2 is set to hit store shelves next Tuesday. The sequel promises improved graphics, better physics and online competition that’s meant to target fans of the Gran Turismo series. Neither game matches the feel (or thrill) of driving a real car on a real track, but let’s face it: gaming is a whole lot more affordable than racing, even if you go nuts and pop for a dedicated driving simulator. Whether or not the Shift sequel beats Gran Turismo 5 at its own game has yet to be seen, but I’ll let you know as soon as I get a chance to “drive” a copy.