If I was to walk in on someone playing this game, I would never have guessed it was a 'Need for Speed' title. They've taken a totally different approach with this latest release, and it works extremely well in my opinion. The graphics are astonishing, the car handling is more realistic, and the overall look and feel of the game is far more attractive.
The different range of events are still there, but obviously the style of these events are more professional, rather than the usual street events you'd find on previous NFS's. From your average straight circuit races, to Eliminator, Time Attack, Hot Lap, the classic Drift races, and more!
Car customization features have been cut down somewhat, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier, and not to mention quicker, when giving your car a new look. However, all the upgrades you'll ever need are available. Same goes for the main visuals, like paint, rims, and vinyls etc.
The only slight downside I've come across so far, is that because you earn bucket loads of cash so easily, you can pretty much buy the best car in each tier almost immediatly. But saying that, it doesn't always mean the "best" car will be to your taste, and so you may choose to take a slightly different route and fine tune your cars to the way you like them.
I can definitely see myself playing this game over and over again, and I've not even played it online yet! So, if you're a fan of the original NFS's, but like me, was hugely disappointed with the last few releases, then you'll certainly be impressed with this game. Shift is no doubt a big step in the right direction to bringing the 'Need for Speed' name back to the top!