Tripping The Drift

Don’t you just hate it when you watch professional sports? The sportsmen and women make their chosen profession look so easy that you just think “I could do that, no problem”. What we sometimes forget is the days, months and years of hard work that these people have put in to be the best at what they do. So when I was flown out to Weston Executive Airport on the outskirts of Dublin by the kind people at Electronic Arts, to try my hand at drifting, I was in for a massive shock.

Like most people my only experience of drifting has been watching the utterly horrendous film Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (I was in a hotel in America with nothing to do, please let me off). For those who don’t know what drifting is please see the very handy Wikipedia definition:

“Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corner apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors.”

Make Sense? Didn’t think so.

Here is that definition again but this time in easy to understand English: it is sliding about on tarmac in a beast of a car, trying not to crash and kill yourself… Usually with somebody alongside you.

Drifting is a big part of Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed and what better way to test out how it plays in the game by doing it for real? I’m really only going to focus on a couple of new aspects of Shift 2 Unleashed check out Dom’s awesome Preview and Interview with the games developers for a comprehensive rundown on the full least of features. One of the intriguing features I had heard about in Shift 2 was the addition of the helmet cam where you race through the eyes of the driver, the head turns when coming up to a corner, the camera bobbles about when you go over gravel and it shakes about when you go crashing into a tyre wall (which I was doing a lot of). I wanted to get out on the track in real life and then see if what I had learnt there could be implemented in the game…

Head over to to check out the rest of the article…


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