Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 90
    NFS series is back where we want it to be. Perfect graphics, enhanced driving model and the view from the cockpit are the features you will Shift 2 piously worship. [Issue#203]
  2. Apr 23, 2011
    90
    Great sim thrills with EA's trademark slick presentation. [May 2011, p.94]
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    90
    Shift 2 is technically very impressive, but like Hot Pursuit, it's the social features surrounding the game that define it as an experience. If you're a serious fan of the genre, know that Shift 2 does several things better than anything else on the market right now, which makes it an essential purchase.
  4. Mar 29, 2011
    88
    Shift 2: Unleashed builds upon the firm base of the previous game and offers more features and better features. More tracks, vehicles and multiplayer options thanks to the inclusion of the social system Autolog, and also better physics and simulation, which have improved the right way. It is not a perfect simulation experience, but will please most gamers.
  5. Mar 29, 2011
    88
    While lacking the ultimate sense for sober realism and clinical perfection that propelled Forza 3 and Gran Turismo 5 to the racing-genres pole-positions, Shift 2 Unleashed scores with its fast presentation and brilliant helmet-cam that boast of speed and adrenaline. Despite the sloppy and cumbersome menus and some problems in terms of balancing and over-aggressive AI, Shift 2 Unleashed closes the gap on these two masterpieces due to its intensive and enthralling performance on the track.
  6. May 1, 2011
    85
    Introducing the new helmet camera, which shows the player how it feels to sit in a real racing car, a new standard has been set.
  7. Apr 18, 2011
    85
    Shift 2 defines the franchise in a way that the first one didn't. Although the cars can feel like they swivel on a center axis, the racing is pretty good, and the overall experience gets a boost from the graphics and the erratic nature of the AI racers. It doesn't blow by the competition, but by improving its lap times, Shift 2 is on its way. [May 2011, p.85]
  8. Apr 9, 2011
    85
    Shift 2 Unleashed is a great racing game, with some nice touches like the helmet cam or the presence of rubber on the tracks. But its frantic gameplay makes the Elite game mode the only one that's truly playable and realistic. Overall, the AI is excellent, and that's nice. Recommended for all the racing fans out there.
  9. Mar 29, 2011
    85
    A violent and immersive racer that recreates the driving experience like no other game on the market. In doing so it builds well on the first Shift's foundations, benefitting from Slightly Mad Studios' more refined touch and the inclusion of Autolog, but its handling is still too loose and its steps forward too small for it to truly beat Gran Turismo and Forza – although it does enough to ensure that it's pulled ever closer.
  10. Mar 29, 2011
    85
    Shift 2 is independent, competitive and strong as never before. It delivers a deep, thrilling and authentic driving experience. And its PC leadership is unquestionable. [Apr 2011, p.79]
  11. Apr 4, 2011
    84
    The game experience is too intense, it really feels like sitting in a real racing car. Due to the high difficulty Shift 2 should be avoided by beginners or casual racers. Everybody else can enjoy a huge and diverse racing game.
  12. Mar 30, 2011
    84
    A rewarding experience. Sure, it doesn't have 1,000 cars made up of more polygons than the moon or a vinyl editor Michelangelo would have deemed 'adequate,' but it's still a complete package.
  13. Mar 29, 2011
    84
    Due to its awesome cars, nice graphics, realistic handling and amazing atmosphere (night racing + in-car-view rocks!), Shift2 is a perfect pick for every Gearhead and car enthusiast out there. If you consider yourself a mere "NFS-Fan" though, you're still better off with the "other" NFS: Hot Pursuit.
  14. May 11, 2011
    83
    Overall, Shift 2 Unleashed is a fantastic driving game that should satisfy fans on either side of the arcade/simulation spectrum. The game may not be as sheer fun as Hot Pursuit was only six months ago, but could easily occupy a cherished spot on your shelf right next to it.
  15. Apr 26, 2011
    83
    Shift 2: Unleashed on pc is the same version as the console game. A long career and a lot of cars provide remarkable hours of play. There is only one big problem: the graphics engine is heavy and very pretentious and requires high-level hardware.
  16. Apr 20, 2011
    83
    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?
  17. Apr 21, 2011
    82
    A hybrid sim/arcade racer that challenges and entertains, despite controls that must be tweaked into submissions. [June 2011, p.68]
  18. Mar 29, 2011
    81
    Shift 2 is again a solid iteration to continue building a simulation saga for Electronic Arts. Unleashed tries to accomplish as many goals as its first entry but doesn't quite manage to fully achieve them all.
  19. Mar 29, 2011
    81
    Shift 2's sheer weight of stuff – from mud-ring circuits in a VW Golf to Bugatti duels at the Nurburgring – gives it a deep bag of appeal. There's an array of fiddly details for car geeks to poke at, and a range of control-difficulty settings that allow you to tailor races to your ability. The only downside to such a complete package is that it demands so many hours of acclimatisation before the cars start to make sense.
  20. Apr 11, 2011
    80
    Just don't expect many things you haven't seen before.
  21. Apr 5, 2011
    80
    SHIFT 2 isn't quite to the level of the big boys yet, but it's still very much worth your time.
  22. Apr 28, 2011
    78
    Shift 2 is Need for Speed: Shift with some welcome upgrades and old issues. The overall experience is not as fresh and intense second time around, but multiplayer races are a blast if you play with friends.
  23. 77
    In the end, it's a decent game, but with a pretty steep learning curve, one that only true fans and yoga practitioners can handle on the long term.
  24. Jun 9, 2011
    70
    As PC's only alternative to GT5, Shift 2 is satisfactory at best. But true racing enthusiasts will need to go elsewhere to really satisfy their...need for speed. [July 2011, p.74]
User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 220 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 77
  2. Negative: 34 out of 77
  1. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. @Neons
    Dude youre seriously mistaken there.
    All the features or bad things you talking about are ADJUSTABLE.
    Lol
    Maybe read the manual for the game or maybe you should stop playing games the way they are :D

    To the game !
    SHIFT 2 is a masterpiece.
    Working physics (handling,RWD,FWD,AWD, working suspension, car reacts to every action you do, the new inside helmet view is awesome) , overall the game is a huge achievement!
    Well it has some flaws too , some cars missing the "arm wheel" movement sometimes, flickering textures,shadows...
    These are all just small bugs compared to an overall great game !
    Good job SlightlyMA :D
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    10
    Its not the game that you want, that does NOT matter u **** **** its the game that it actually IS! and what is this game? The best racing simulator ever. Graphics,sound,gameplay everything is just outstanding. and hot pursuit & shift r very different, one's an ARCADE game and another is a SIMULATOR keep that in mind **** Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2011
    0
    UNBELIEVABLE INPUT LAG. Believe it or not, people, this is a driving game with broken driving. Don't buy this game, until EA fixes the incredible input lag. You can easily find videos of this on youtube. What were the game "journalists" doing? Which incompetent journalism school dropouts wrote these "professional" reviews and gave this turkey an 85? Full Review »