Reviews and Problems with Need For Speed Shift 2 Unleashed
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Shift 2 Unleashed Xbox 360 review
21 May 2011
Excerpt: The cracked tarmac and moodily lit collisions of the title sequence emphasise one thing – this sequel to Need for Speed: SHIFT moves even further into racing territory and away from the series’ roots. Promising innovations including the Helmet Cam and bringing the Autolog feature from last year’s Hot Pursuit , is this worth putting on a flameproof suit and strapping yourself into a racing seat for?
Summary: Parents need to know that Shift 2: Unleashed is a straightforward racing simulation from the Need for Speed series of games. The game's first-person perspective delivers a very authentic experience, right down to jarring crashes that look quite violent. However, causing wrecks doesn't go unpunished, as it often costs players the victory.
Excerpt: I’ve made no secret in our community about my concern for this game as it approached its release date. While the first Shift game introduced an intriguing new helmet cam that attempted to capture the visceral experience of being in a race car, the game’s handling was crap. Ultimately, a very nice looking game with a neat take on perspective was dragged down by this. Fast forward eighteen months and here we are with Shift 2 Unleashed.
Excerpt: My advice? Don't bother with any of the exterior cameras when playing Shift 2: Unleashed. Just don't. Play it as you'd drive a real car; perched behind the windscreen, head dancing to the contours of the track. Be the driver, not the car. Because in terms of making you believe that you're sat there in the driver's seat, fingers curled around the steering wheel as the car screams around a track at 150mph, Shift 2 has no equal.
Conclusion: The improvements made since the first Shift game are obvious, with some tweaks made in the AI and a more interesting Career mode this time around. There's also the well-implemented Autolog feature that keeps track of your best lap times and compares those to other players online. Mind you, with these commendable adjustments to the previous game, Slightly Mad Studios still didn't quite push this one into the big league category where we find racers as Forza Motorsport 3.
Pros: Shift 2 can be a decent experience for gamers who are looking for a combo of realistic and arcade style racing, the game challenges you to make an effort with each race and rewards you for making proper maneuvers on the track;
Cons: A few wierd visual bugs, handling feels wobbly and almost erratic when driving some of the more powerful cars, oh and I'd sooner play NFS: Hot Pursuit (yes, I know they are meant to be different racing experiences), because, damn, it's more fun and it has cop chases.
Excerpt: The second installment in the Shift franchise again tries to position itself as the Switzerland of racing games. Neither a hardcore simulation nor a full-blown casual experience, Shift 2: Unleashed is designed to appeal to the spectrum-spanning fan bases of both Gran Turismo and Burnout .
Conclusion: This game is what racing fans have always wanted out of Forza and Gran Turismo . As great as both titles are, they are – for the most part – driving simulators. Shift 2 on the other hand is, without a doubt, a racing simulator, delivering the thrill and excitement of going 120 miles an hour at Nurburgring to the average Joe. From this point forward I will find it impossible to critique a racing game without comparing it to Shift 2 in some way.
Pros: Incredible track effects and damage model, tight mechanics, the Helmet Cam should be the new standard.
Cons: Only 145 cars, no split-screen, no free play, minor graphics issues.
Conclusion: Much like the original SHIFT, SHIFT 2: Unleashed does a great job of being that hardcore sim that's not too hardcore for the more casual, arcade racer to get into. It's a perfect bridge between something like NFS: Hot Pursuit and Forza.