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Death Race 2009

Release Date: September 22nd

The NFS series takes a turn for the hardcore with a renewed focus on what it%26rsquo;s like to be a driver, and not necessarily of a Nissan.


-65 realistically unique cars spanning the last 35 years
-In-Car view returns to NFS for the first time in nearly a decade
-50 unique layouts across 18 tracks
-First game to “True Driver’s Experience”
-Numerous mid-race, objective-based incentives


Well, the emphasis on the Driver Experience could be the game’s crown jewel. But of similar importance, I’ve been dying to see what exactly the devs had meant by the promise of mid race “milestones,” or the achievable goals beyond simply pole position. After all, most traditional racers are kind of like our Comments section: It’s all about being “first!!!” and little else. One of the greatest strides EA has taken to distance itself from ordinary racing game is eliminating the need to quit every time you clumsily plummet to last place with a brand new points-based reward system.

Points are basically put towards your overall profile XP (applicable online and off) and are broken into two categories: Precision and Aggression. The former rewards stuff like immaculately drifting around corners and emerging through course sections unscathed, while the latter encourages you to trade a little paint.

But mind where you channel that aggression, Mr. Wheeler. As boring and deceitful as most promises of driver AI get, SHIFT’s non-playable drivers have are looking to kick the tired tradition of rubberband bullshit. It’s true that AI drivers won’t swipe you off the track as if you were invisible while trying to realign themselves to a poorly designed carousel. But better still, they can develop personal vendettas against you if they perceive you to be an aggro-asshole.

Leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone… but hit them, and they’ll hit you back. Whether specific NPCs are born pricks or you simply have to teach them remains to be seen, but since the creators are referring to the dynamic system as “emotions,” one could assume that you could start out a race against the occasional enemy with a personality disorder.