Every Glory Begins with a Small Step
Your career progress is reflected by the level of your character. You earn experience points by finishing race events. Some extra points could also be earned by fulfilling certain conditions while racing, such as managing a “clean” finish, breaking the fastest lap record, and holding the first position for the period of an entire lap. You are free to race however you like, but if your car is saved from collision or damage, you will get bonus points!
As you character progresses forward, new racing events will be made available. Your final goal is winning the GT1 championship, and therefore your character’s level must be high enough before you can participate in that event. Increasing the level also gives you additional benefits such as credits rewards, unlocking new paints, vinyl, rims, and faster cars. All of which will help enhance your driving… And the appearance of your car.
Speaking of cars, you will need to upgrade your car by purchasing various upgrades. The credit can be used to improve certain aspects of your vehicle, including the engine, drive train, force induction, suspension, and nitro. Note that upgrading your car could potentially raise its classification level as well, from class D to class C, for example. This will render the corresponding car unusable in certain events. Fortunately, you can still disassemble the upgraded components to downgrade your car if necessary.
An upgraded car can be totally revamped to further increase its quality. The Works Conversion feature turns any car into a true racing car. All you have to do is upgrade the car until the conversion indicator is maxed out. Aside from giving some more sophisticated looks to your car, the change will also improve your car’s statistics. In addition, the car’s every aspect is available for fine tuning. You can customize the exterior with various paints, vinyl, and cool-looking rims! That way, you will be more confident when playing against other players through the Autolog.
The Autolog is a dedicated NFS-only online services provided by Electronic Arts to unite NFS players from all over the world. It allows you to compete in races, make new speed records, and organize racing events. Aside from that, your time records in single player mode will also be displayed on the Speed Wall in Autolog. This Speed Wall is constantly updated with scores from players who managed to break the records. So, be ready for the challenge!
The Career Mode comes with a couple of race modes you can compete in, such as Time Attack, Race, Gauntlet, Endurance, and Drift. There is also the Gauntlet Mode, in which you complete a track using certain types of car. Usually, upon winning that race, the car will be given to you. Imagine how much credits can be saved by obtaining new cars this way!
The Endurance Mode, as the name suggests, challenges your racing endurance. Prepare to spend a lot of time, foods, and drinks when playing this mode. Lastly, in the Drift Mode, you generate points by drifting your car all the way to the finish line. The Drift Mode doesn’t really fit in though, given the realistic theme of the game itself. Drifting is also difficult to do once you’ve grown used to the strictly controlled, simulation-style racing.
After exploring this game, the all-important question remains: is the game fun to play? If you’re into realistic racing simulations, then the answer is probably yes. Is it better than the first Shift? Definitely yes, way better even! In addition to the improved quality, you will also face difficult AI opponents in this game. Reducing the difficulty level does little to make it less challenging. But that shouldn’t be a problem, right? After all, racing game fans always look forward for some challenges.