Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

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a game by Slightly Mad Studios
Platform: XBox 360
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 4 votes
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See also: Racing Games, Need For Speed Series
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed
Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

Developed by Slightly Mad Studios, Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed is a realistic simulation that offers players the chance to drive some of the world’s most powerful cars. Unlike some of its predecessors, Shift 2 focuses on realism over arcade action, delivering a very professional experience for players looking for a realistic driving sim.

Although it has always been considered an arcade racer, Need for Speed proves that it can still offer a great experience for the more serious driving fans. The competitive gameplay and outstanding physics engine are just some of this impressive game’s strong suits. Let’s look at what this departure from the classic Need for Speed formula offers.

Redefined realism

Shift 2 Unleashed changes things a bit from past Need for Speed titles. Games like Need for Speed: Most Wanted focused on arcade action and flashy races: Shift 2 is the complete opposite of this. The game invites players to play in the first-person mode, creating an immersive experience that feels very close to the real thing. Each car’s cockpit is beautifully detailed, allowing gamers to fully immerse themselves in Shift 2’s driving action. All in all, the game features over 120 licensed cars, each of them as photorealistic as possible. While some players might miss the old days of Need for Speed Underground 2’s customization, the impressive car models of Shift 2 are also great eye candy.

Autolog and tuning

The Autolog system makes a comeback in Shift 2 Unleashed. This menu lets players engage in multiplayer challenges and set up a driver profile. As a social network of sorts, Autolog lets players all over the world share their statistics and vehicle specs. It also features some social competitions and friend suggestions, making Shift 2 feel like a true racing MMO.

While there might not be as much visual customization available, players will be able to tune their car’s specs to their liking. From the engine to the suspension, and everything in between, you can truly customize your car to be able to tackle any challenge.

An evolution of the NFS formula

The first Need for Speed Shift (released in 2009) tried to redefine the racing experience that players have come to expect from the NFS franchise. Shift 2 takes this gameplay and refines it further, delivering an immersive and rich racing simulation. However, some players might not like this new Need for Speed as much. Long gone are the police chases and bombastic crashes that made some of the most popular NFS games resonate with players. It’s safe to say that Shift 2 feels more like a spin-off of the main NFS series, and that might certainly alienate some long-time fans of the franchise.

That said, Shift 2 still doesn’t feel like a fully realistic driving sim. Some of the game’s physics still feel more like an arcade racer, and the opponent’s AI can sometimes make some questionable decisions. Slightly Mad Studios are great when it comes to developing racing simulators, and this is no exception.

8

Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed offers a unique take on the classic Need for Speed formula, with some solid simulation controls and outstanding visuals. Some vestiges of the classic NFS arcade driving can still be found, and the AI can sometimes be a nuisance, but these problems aren’t enough to lower this enjoyable racing sim’s score.

Pros:

  • Impressive visuals and detailed cockpits
  • Gorgeous real-world locations to race in
  • Solid controls and realistic physics

Cons:

  • Some performance issues in the PC version
  • AI can be erratic

Download Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

XBox 360 Screenshots

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