Climbing the Career Ladder
Upon playing this game for the first time, you will be greeted with the kind of welcome unique to the NFS series. That is, you are put behind the steering wheel of one of the best cars in the game. When you’ve grown used with the car, a bitter reality suddenly strikes: the car is merely being lent over to you to serve as a “teaser”. Your real, first car is a fairly ordinary vehicle that falls within the most basic category in the game. To get better rides, you have to earn credits by winning race events, leveling up, and finishing certain challenges.
How realistic is the NFS Shift 2? The level of simulated realism in this game is determined by the way you drive. If you could follow the imaginary race line and adjust speed accordingly upon entering corners without visual guidance, you will be given the realism settings suitable for experienced gamers. On the other hand, if the game detects that you are a beginner, it will help you in the race by providing assistances like Steering Assist, Brake Assist, and full support for the anti-skidding feature.
You can also adjust the realism settings manually. Experienced racing gamers would usually like to use appropriate input devices (steering wheel, pedals) and turn off the assistance features such as TCH and ABS.
Now, if you turn off all the beginner-friendly features, NFS Shift 2 will behave like an actual race simulation game, complete with a high degree of realism! Nearly all car-driving aspects are nicely incorporated in this game. You will have to do careful measurements before turning the steering wheel, step on the clutch pedal before changing gear, even the amount of pressure on the gas pedal determines how fast your car will roll. Damage simulation is realistic too. Severe collisions could wreck your car, flip it over, or mutilate its parts. Aside from that, the game also provides an equally realistic first-person view point, from which the steadiness of your sight will be affected by the vehicle’s vibration, gravity force, and the condition of the road you are driving on. Very interesting!
The realistic simulation comes with its own consequences though. If you’re used to playing race games using your PC’s keyboard, you’ll immediately run into trouble because the game is quite sensitive in its steering action, keyboard buttons simply do not provide enough pressure levels that allow for precise control. A tap on one of the arrow keys will potentially send your car too far off in that corresponding direction. The use of additional control device(s) is, therefore, highly recommended. For example, you can use products from Logitech (G25, G27, Driving Force, and Momo Force), Thrust Master (RGT, Ferrari GT, and Ferrari F430), and Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo.