This game promises loads of adrenaline-packed action enhanced by impeccable graphics.

Need for Speed: SHIFT is a first-person driving game. Feel the power of a McLaren F1 from inside the cockpit with the new in-car perspective that IGN (a popular website) says makes the driving experience “so close to the real thing.”

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Need for Speed: Shift's most immediately remarkable feat is easy to pick: the driver-based view. While the cars and courses are only reasonably pretty, the effort that EA put into using camera tricks and visual effects to duplicate the driver's perspective pays off spectacularly. It makes the biggest impact in the cockpit view, but even in third-person, the depth-of-field effects narrow your focus in a tunnel-like way.

Combined with the visual and tactile bumps and the mini-blackouts after collisions, the game spins a web of immersion that's pretty dazzling. You really have to see it to understand why it's the next step beyond the cockpit view that PGR3 pioneered.

Hit another car or a wall at high speed and you'll be knocked around and disoriented by the Dynamic Crash Effect system. SHIFT has 72 photo-real high-performance cars and 19 beautifully rendered tracks you can race in more than 50 different ways, including Laguna Seca and Willow Springs.

Shift is hugely entertaining, but remember that it's not about the silly fun like its Need for Speed predecessors. It's about the nail-biting intensity and challenge of hanging on to your car at high speed, and as long as that's how you like your racing, you'll disappear into this game.

Final verdict:Outstanding driver's view. Deep, addictive career mode with lots of variety and options. Sharp multiplayer racing counts toward single-player career.

NATARAJAN RAMAMURTHY, Final Year EEE, MNM Jain Engineering College

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