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Xbox 360



Gameplay : 6.5
Graphics : 7.0
Realism / Physics : 8.0
Lasting Appeal : 7.0
Vehicle List : 8.0
Overall Rating:
Available Platforms: Xbox 360,Ps3,PC

PROS:Career mode interesting, lots of in game car mods, great selection of racing circuits, Helmet cam view is interesting

CONS:Gets hung and career save files get corrupted, Horrible AI opponents, Driving with steering wheel does not feel realistic, Graphics can improve, Car physics below par , No offline split-screen multiplayer on consoles

CONCLUSION:NFS Shift Series is very important in bringing mass market sims like GT and Forza to the PC world but Shift 2 Unleashed falls short on many departments , if you own Shift 1 – then just be happy with that as Shift 2 does not have much new to offer.

2009 saw the release of Need for Speed SHIFT, which got a huge welcome from sim racers all across the world. Shift was not perfect but still was a great attempt to bring mass market racing simulation to a cross platform title. So very naturally when Shift 2 Unleashed was announced in 2010 ready for a 2011 Q1 release – sim racers across the planet were very excited. To act as a topping EA and Slightly Mad Studios started talking very highly about their future release even going up to the extent of mocking Gran Turismo and Forza calling them mere encyclopedia of cars. Shift 2 claimed to be ultra realistic, and with the inclusion of SIMBIN guys and super cool trailers and Exclusive Porsche license – everything looked right at place. Then Shift 2 Unleashed was released. Honestly nothing much had changed from the Original NFS Shift, though original Shift felt good, the new Shift 2 Unleashed felt dated and buggy with no considerable improvements at all. Shift 2 Unleashed has some nice career mode events which can be manufacturer oriented or car class oriented, and have selections of tracks and races that keep you engaged, but as you progress down the career, though the racing events gets more interesting, you never know when you system will hang and your career save files will be corrupted and you will end up losing all the cars that you had unlocked so far. Its so disappointing that even after patches and upgrades such bugs still exist in Shift 2, also when it comes from such reputed gaming house as Electronic Arts.

When discussing the realism aspect of Shift 2, it disappoints big time yet again, the cars feel feather light and they fly over high speed bumps (as if they were dirt bikes), handling with the controller feels like arcade and Shift 2 does not behave well with any of the steering wheels we tested it with (Fanatec, Logitech and Mad Catz) , it is only the keyboard that shift 2 is more at home with. The AI opponents don’t feel like racing cars but Call of Duty opponent soldiers whose aim is not to win the race but to kill you and make your life as miserable as possible . Also the side walls on the circuits and the bodies of the AI opponent cars seems to be magnetic, as once you touch them you keep sticking on to them by some magical magnetic pull. Another thing we completely disagree with is the boost or Nitro like feature which can be used pretty frequently after upgrades on any races, hey grow up you were supposed to give us a simulation. Graphically Shift 2 Unleashed leaves a lot to be desired as well, though most of the cars are imported from NHS Shift original even the newly designed cars don’t look any better and with much lower details compared to Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 4. Tracks though look fine on the PC with high res and a nice graphics card – on the consoles they look plain previous generation.

Not to forget the nice touches though – addition of Circuits like Bathurst, Spa and HockenheimRing is always a welcome step. Also watching replays in the Helmet cam feels lively. Absence of offline split-screen multiplayer is though very disappointing. But cars like Porsche 918 Spyder and the Speedhunters DLC cars and Dodge Viper Twins Turbo Drag Racer or the Ford Mustang RTR-X add punch to the car list. GT3 and GT1 official cars are included too apart from the Ferraries but the official GT3 or GT1 season play is absent. Incorporation of the Autolog feature from NFS Hot Persuit is a welcome step which enables posting of ones best lap times across all circuits on the online NFS Shift 2 speed wall to see how you stand against all racers internationally.

To sum it up NFS Shift released in 2009 was a great attempt which Shift 2 Unleashed should have cashed on and taken the series forward, but in reality the exact opposite has happened. But this in anyway should not discourage EA so that they discontinue the series completely, SHIFT is very much required and would still be in huge demand in the sim world, just learn from the mistakes you made and work on them. With the kind of resources that EA has a request to come up with an improved Shift 3 we think would not be too much. As for Shift 2 Unleashed, we are sorry guys, better luck next time.

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