Eurogamer writes: "Need for Speed has been having an identity crisis. EA's premier racing series - a guaranteed Christmas number one not so long ago - ought to be successful enough to feel confident in itself. It had the girls, it had the cred in a crude, streetwise way, it had the sales. But it wanted more. Like a Hollywood pretty-boy going paranoid, exhausted by a punishing schedule and a ruthlessly commercial agenda, Need For Speed craved respect.
After a wobbly couple of years in which open-world racing and police chases were thrown away and then hastily reinstated in ProStreet and Undercover (improving matters neither time), uncertainty has tipped over into full-blown schizophrenia. This year, Need for Speed is heading in three different directions at once: a free-to-play PC game for the Asian bubble-tea crowd (World Online), the old-school arcade thrills of Nitro on Nintendo, and SHIFT, a po-faced tilt at the gritty world of simulation motor racing. In other words, the burnt-out matinee idol is taking some time to tour the world, write a children's book and do some off-broadway theatre..."