More Reviews
REVIEWS Astro A38 Wireless Headset Review
With the launch of the A38s, Astro has clearly shown that they can rock our eardrums off even if we aren’t sitting in our living rooms.

Destiny Review
With Bungie's leap to next-generation platforms and interstellar space closer to home, I wonder if E.T. is out there somewhere.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Skylanders Trap Team Preview
While younger gamers have flocked to the brand, more mature consumers remain reluctant to jump on board. Skylanders move forward with trappable enemies, though I doubt it’ll turn stubborn heads.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14


LATEST FEATURES Assassin's Creed Unity Interview: Ubisoft Talks Multplayer, Next-Gen Development, More
Ubisoft's first "truly" next-gen entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise takes the fight to France. Here's what you can expect.

PlayStation Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's platforms always get plenty of new digital software and we'll bring you the list each week with the rest.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

Shift 2 Unleashed Review

danielrbischoff By:
danielrbischoff
04/20/11
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Racing 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER EA 
DEVELOPER Slightly Mad Studios 
RELEASE DATE  
E10+ Contains Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Is there a racer in you?


That seemed like the central question in Shift 2 Unleashed. With a Need For Speed label acting in a completely secondary fashion, Shift 2 Unleashed is all about carving out a spot in the sim racing genre's fast lane. With Gran Turismo and Forza focused on their respective platforms, Shift 2 Unleashed can really slip through on the inside lane as a third-party racing sim and take first place. But is there a racer in me?

click to enlargeNo. Honestly, racing games aren't my cup of tea, as it is with Game Revolution's Jesse Costantino. So how do I get in that racer mindset? How can I start tracking the best racing line or tuning my vehicle to its utmost performance levels? Shift 2 Unleashed does a great job of introducing the non-racer in you to the hardcore racing sim genre. It does it with a feeling that's brazen, loud, and most importantly, fast.

At its core, Shift 2 Unleashed isn't really about the tuning, the name brands, or even the tracks themselves. Players will get the biggest amount of joy from the experience, from the meticulous interiors, and from the feel of racing each car. It's not as if you'll be able to jump behind the wheel of any single exotic car immediately and excel in real life, but you'll enjoy the time you spend in the cockpit of Shift 2's best autos.

You might argue that in-car views have already been done, like they have in GT5's premium vehicles. You'd be correct, but Shift 2 Unleashed goes further, placing the player in the driver's helmet and adding a ton of effects to make racing from the driver's perspective that much more nerve-wracking. Forza's or GT's cars feel like delicate models. Shift 2's in-the-helmet view made me feel like I was in the cockpit of a 5-year-old's Hot Wheels collection. Playtime was rough and fast.

Shift 2's nighttime races can be particularly visceral experience when raced from the in-helmet view. The game turns the helmet to the inside of corners, as you do when you make a turn in a real car, but with headlights pointed straight forward, turns can be heart-pounding experiences. Just wait to experience an in-helmet car flip.

click to enlargeShift 2 Unleashed retains the XP rewards, unlocks, and events from the original and includes Autolog. You might remember Autolog from last year's Hot Pursuit. That game constantly updates you on your friend's latest race times, take-down times, and achievements. Autolog in Shift 2 delves deeper with lap times, track times, unlocks and more. It turns out that one-upping your friends is whether your wrecking them or just racing them.

Shift 2, however, is not for everyone and not without wrong turns. It's still extremely difficult; that's partly the nature of the sim racing genre and partly an issue with difficulty tuning. You can adjust the game's controls so that more of the driving systems, like breaking in corners and accelerating out of them, are controlled by the computer, but that's no magic win button. While Shift 2 doesn't suffer from ridiculous rubber-banding, where an AI racer slingshots to the lead in the last seconds of a race, the computer opponents are a bunch of a-holes. If you get stuck behind the pack it can turn the entire race track into a choke point of three-lane racing. AI racers also tend to shove the player around too much. That wouldn't normally be a problem but XP is doled out for running a clean race as much as winning it.

Despite those shortcomings, I still can't help but think back to the in-helmet view. Who knew that having the frame of my vehicle obscure my view of the racetrack in a corner or that trading the inside lane for the clarity of my headlights during a nighttime race would bring me an enjoyment I've never found in sim racing games before? I kept going back to races despite failing at them so many times. If you're a racing novice like I am, you'll find plenty to like in Shift 2 Unleashed, but noobs and experts alike will probably enjoy this Need For Speed outing as long as it takes Turn 10 or Polyphony Digital to provide more of their respective franchises.
B+ Revolution report card
  • Captures the feel of a fast car
  • In-helmet view elevates your heartrate
  • Autolog and XP keep racers coming back
  • AI racers are dicks
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Shift 2 Unleashed
Also known as: Need For Speed Shift 2 Unleashed


More On GameRevolution