I like a good racing game, but I've never really been one for "serious" racers. Give me a kart racer or the fast-and-loose Burnout Paradise any day. However, the more I see of the upcoming Need For Speed Shift for the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, the more intrigued I am. The old urban street trappings of previous entries in the franchise such as Need For Speed Carbon are long gone and replaced with realistic takes on racing around enclosed tracks. Check out these concept renderings of the Nissan GT-R SpecV racer. Does that look like something you'd find on the run from the police while competing for street cred? I don't think so.
I think what's impressing me the most about the new Need For Speed is how Electronic Arts basically has admitted that the urban street racing settings of past games had become ridiculously stale. They've rebuilt the franchise from the ground up which is something most publishers would be afraid to do. If nothing else, they're taking a chance with this one, and that's the kind of behavior that should be rewarded in this era of yearly revisions to the same basic ongoing game model.