For the racing fanatics, here is one game you might want to try – Shift 2: Unleashed And in this review, we bring Electronic Art's latest racing title for a spin down the racing track. and see how it fares. More after the jump.
The screeching of tyres on the track is no stranger to any racing game and games involving vehicles of such genre. The fundamentals of winning is simple: get down the racing track and win.
Electronic Art's Need for Speed franchise has been around for more than 15 years and with Shift 2: Unleashed, this is the 17th installment in the series, developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by EA.
The game is a direct sequel to the original Shift launched back in 2009 and puts the basics in perspective by adding a rewarding experience system for everything you do in the game, online or not. Together with game's economy which you earn by getting several achievements or winning a place, you are able to give your car some lovely cosmetics and engine customizations. The sequel offers more than 140 vehicles from 37 manufacturers, a huge boost from the original's 60+ cars.
As easy as it may look but the game be a tough nut to crack as extra experience are earned by fulfiling the right requirements or sticking to the green racing line marker on the track. All these actions fill up the experience gauge which unlocks other tracks, customizations and advancing of the story.
Driving your vehicle is not just breeze but it can be rather a 'terrifying' experience. Shift 2 Unleashed takes a step further to get close with racing simulation genre, an attempt to place itself with the likes of other simulation titles such as Gran Turismo 5 or Forza Motorsport. So think twice before cranking up the speeds to the maximum and trying to achieve some impossible drifting at a sharp corner.
To make this realism on a higher notch, Shift 2: Unleashed adds a helmet cam view that puts the player in the driving seat. As suggested by the name, you will see the the dynamic view as what a real driver would and feel its effects: A blurring view of the sides as speed hits insanity levels or nasty bumps and gray-outs with shedding doors, broken glass and bonnets after a nasty crash. It is a nifty addition but gives an immersive experience on the overall gameplay.
Being preferential towards arcade racers, Shift 2 took me a while to get used to its driving mechanics. Regardless of what car I choose, I will just crash and find myself in the last place but there are intriguing factors in the game which keeps me going for a reason.
Shift 2 Unleashed Noteworthy Features
Social at its best
Autolog, a social feature that began in Hot Pursuit returns as the core of the game, putting together your friends and those glorifying statstics in a leaderboard-like system. More often than not, you will be racing your friends and compare fastest times and stats with one other.
This is where the main bulk of the game lies – Career mode. In the single-player campaign, your Shift 2 racing career begins with a quick test on the track using a Nissan GT-R. Don't be fooled as the results of the race will determine your skill level and the recommended enhancements such as anti-lock brakes, traction assistance and a racing guide line.
All of this is to prepare you for the open seasons to the grand FIA GT1 series finale. A different range of events await from standard races and time attacks, to eliminations and drift challenges. With approximately 40 tracks, the game should satisfy an average racer looking for terrain differences.
For easy crashers like me, I will enjoy the total destruction of my vehicle. Damage is not visual-only and by changing an option, damage to your vehicle affects the car performance; even an engine blowout with tyres rolling onto the tracks.
Forget about other camera angles, go for the driver seat view and experience the way the game is meant to be played.