Need for Speed: Shift - Better graphics with texture mods, LOD tweaks and HDR Rendering
With mods provided by the community the graphics of Need for Speed: Shift can be increased above the settings intended by the developers. PC Games Hardware shows you how to get high resolution textures or Full Range HDR Rendering.
Need for Speed: Shift is quite a good racing game for PC owners and since the second patch, which accelerated Radeon graphics cards, even more people got interested in the latest NFS. In the meantime the fan community is making an effort to get Shift to a new level of quality that even exceeds the goals of the developers. Especially graphics modifications are very popular - new texture skins for the vehicles, upgraded interiors or graphics highlights like enhanced HDR Rendering. PC Games Hardware presents some of the modifications available for Shift.
Shift graphics mods: Preparations
Before you can use the modifications, you need the unpacker for the Shift files. It opens the archives, which contain the files that need to be replaced. In order to make the game work with the opened files you need to extend the Shift shortcut with the parameter "-loose”:
Attention: Even on fast systems unpacking the files needs a lot of time. But without this step you can't use or modify the files.
NFS: Shift mods - More details, better textures and HDR Redering
In our tests several graphics mods were able to convince. The modder BettleatWar1988 doesn't only offer a modification for higher details on cars at a higher distance (LOD Tweak), but also a high-res texture pack for rides. Therein the default textures are resized from 1024 x 1024 pixels to 4096 x 4096. Although this needs more video memory it also improves the reflections. But if you have a graphics card with only 512 MiByte VRAM you might run into a problem. You can find the textures that you need t replace in the folder ...\NFS Shift\vehicles\textures. We recommend that you backup all files before you start modifying.
Another mod delivers enhanced HDR Rendering and better Shader effects. But in our tests we weren't able to spot immense differences.
All those changes are more or less cosmetic. If you are looking for more mods, new cars, adjustments for the race tracks or the car handling, we recommend the NFS: Shift mod thread at the 3D Center Forum (German). In our gallery you can find several more screenshots of BeetleatWar's mods.
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