User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 229 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 69 out of 229

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  1. Vic
    Dec 9, 2011
    5
    The only thing that kills this game is driving mechanics, they are just horrible, the cars are absolutely uncontrollable, it's almost impossible to beat this game even on easy difficulty! I dropped this game half way through cause I just couldn't struggle with this anymore!
  2. Nov 15, 2011
    7
    at first i was down on this game , its real easy starting out upgrade you car you blow you competition away . Challenge comes from you vs the speed and the speed keeps you on the edge the whole time .. its not much of an improvement over shift 1 more cars and more tracks . still limited customization . grfxs is just more bloom then shift 1 the car models are grate tracks lookat first i was down on this game , its real easy starting out upgrade you car you blow you competition away . Challenge comes from you vs the speed and the speed keeps you on the edge the whole time .. its not much of an improvement over shift 1 more cars and more tracks . still limited customization . grfxs is just more bloom then shift 1 the car models are grate tracks look ok performance is not grate but not terrible dips to 28fps for me at night at the start of the race but picks it back up the game looks so ugly with no aa so you gota maxx the aa at the end of the day if you want a intense racing game pick it up Expand
  3. Nov 22, 2012
    7
    After getting used with driving in this game you get to like it. It isn't easy, but if you spend the time it gets rewarding.

    I scored it 7 due to limited tuning options. There is a lot in there, but not as far as I would like to see. Any tuning you do is not that obvious unless you spend a lot of time for EVERY circuit and EVERY car.... A bit boring.

    And the game should have more cars.
  4. Apr 21, 2011
    7
    Ok first out, the car handling is attrociously poor compared to just about every other game on the market (except maybe the equally terrible Test Drive 2 Unleashed), I've been a big fan of driving games over the decades but even with a dedicated steering wheel this game has very flakey handling. Ok so what about the rest of the game? well the graphics are above average, theres a decent setOk first out, the car handling is attrociously poor compared to just about every other game on the market (except maybe the equally terrible Test Drive 2 Unleashed), I've been a big fan of driving games over the decades but even with a dedicated steering wheel this game has very flakey handling. Ok so what about the rest of the game? well the graphics are above average, theres a decent set of cars and modding options, and it's probably the best of the NFS titles thus far.... but seriously it's not a patch on GRID or DIRT2 and with DIRT3 due next month.... I'd save your pennies for that. Expand
  5. May 6, 2011
    7
    I was surprised by the dismal user score for this game. I was never a fan of NFS series in general and this game on launch day was definitely incomplete it is definitely better than 5.8 and much better than Hot Pursuit, which was a joke.
    I regret buying it at launch. It appears it is always better to wait for a couple of patches to land before giving this a shot unless you know where to go
    I was surprised by the dismal user score for this game. I was never a fan of NFS series in general and this game on launch day was definitely incomplete it is definitely better than 5.8 and much better than Hot Pursuit, which was a joke.
    I regret buying it at launch. It appears it is always better to wait for a couple of patches to land before giving this a shot unless you know where to go for mods/tweaks (nogripracing) to make handling decent and your wheel work as it should. At first I was very disappointed but once I had a couple of mods up and running that fixed car handing issues and sorted out driving wheel annoyances the game was fun to play. Not as fun as I hoped it would be though and I wish I didnâ
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  6. Apr 25, 2011
    5
    Pretty much what WillKIll said. Tried to sell itself as more sim than arcade but ends up being neither...good driving isn't rewarded but neither is arcade style. Also some serious issues with stuttering on this system that weren't present in Shift 1.
  7. Apr 6, 2011
    6
    Shift 2! The game were everything is serious. Commercials glide you through tire smoke and ashes, drivers use clever words to talk about racing dramatically, and this game promises to bring the driver experience to you. The camera shakes with car movement, the dash rattles, and it's like driving a race car, except one thing - the physics are arcade like. Cars drift easily like it's RidgeShift 2! The game were everything is serious. Commercials glide you through tire smoke and ashes, drivers use clever words to talk about racing dramatically, and this game promises to bring the driver experience to you. The camera shakes with car movement, the dash rattles, and it's like driving a race car, except one thing - the physics are arcade like. Cars drift easily like it's Ridge Racer. This wasn't a mistake either. The devs wanted a "fun" way to drive. But then why did they say it was going to be a lot more realistic? They tried to appeal to the sim audience with cool videos, but then throw out physics.

    If you go in and play after getting past that, it's entertaining, but unfulfilling. There's a good car selection and the game feels like a baby GT5. The game added new voiceovers for this game. No more monotonous Englishman, now there's some unknown drift racing guy telling you to win. I like the change, but Shift 2 lacks the engagement other games like Dirt 2 have. The menus are dull, but a step up from Shift 1.

    Final thoughts are don't get this if you want to really race (I played this with a wheel), get it if you want an arcade game with realistic cars.
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  8. Nov 1, 2011
    5
    This game is very hard to rate.

    As a simulator, a asume that it should be really good, but as a casual game it's terrible.

    Aweful gameplay if compared with other NFS versions, but thats problaby something about the real simulator features.


    Well, guess that thats not what I was spectating to see in a race game.
  9. Nov 13, 2011
    5
    Very disappointed by this one.

    The first Shift I liked. This one too until they prevented Steam users from playing with DVD/Origin version when tehy brought DLC update. Both netcodes are different and there is a huge bug with cars tumbling all over when mixing players from each version. Adding to that that there is a bug in Autolog and sometimes some friends you have in your list makes
    Very disappointed by this one.

    The first Shift I liked. This one too until they prevented Steam users from playing with DVD/Origin version when tehy brought DLC update.
    Both netcodes are different and there is a huge bug with cars tumbling all over when mixing players from each version.
    Adding to that that there is a bug in Autolog and sometimes some friends you have in your list makes the game crash when you display the autolog page.

    So basically it's an offline game. Career mode only. If you consider it that way, then it's good.
    The number of cars is decent and relevant, they all have their driving specifics. Tuning is interesting.
    I recommend to play with a wheel. It's not a perfect sim as the tyres are really too much forgiving but it's fun and graphically really enjoyable.
    It's not really well optimised so you need a good CPU/GPU to play, but overall it is good once well tuned.
    Beware low-end PCs, you will suffer controller lag. Ensure you can sustain the 60FPS.
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  10. Apr 5, 2014
    5
    Using the keyboard to play, game not updated to the latest version on Shift 2.

    Shift 2 has used too much CPU processing powers on steering assist or what ever other kind of assists that has been added new to this release. I think it also makes the game more buggy and unstable due to that. Really hope it can release a patch to allow user to lower the steering assist to LOW than either on
    Using the keyboard to play, game not updated to the latest version on Shift 2.

    Shift 2 has used too much CPU processing powers on steering assist or what ever other kind of assists that has been added new to this release. I think it also makes the game more buggy and unstable due to that. Really hope it can release a patch to allow user to lower the steering assist to LOW than either on or off.

    Sometimes the car did turn like it's on a pole in the center. Some car models "auto" spin-turn on a tight U turn like it has you blindfolded for a second, then next thing you know you have already "crossed the river" and you don't know what has just happened!

    NFS Shift 2. Here is a setup to race on AutoPolis Lakeside race track:
    ((Gameplay option)):
    Difficulty: Medium _ H.M: novice _ steering assist: yes _ B.A: no _ Anti-Lock Brakes: yes _ T.C: high _ S.C: yes _ damage: visual only _ best line: no _ HUD: Full (mirror off) _ S.O.P.N: off _ D.U: Metric

    ((Gameplay, ADJUST CONTROL)):
    (from top to bottom): 50, 0, 73, 0, 64, 0, 28, 0, 50, 64, 64

    ((Garage, Car tunning, advanced)):
    (from top to bottom, 1st column): 43, 57, 55, 15
    (from top to bottom, 2nd column): 22, 15, 24, 24, 20, 20
    (from top to bottom, 3rd column): 4, 5
    (from top to bottom, 4th column): locked, locked, 0, 10
    (from top to bottom, 5th column): 24, 24
    (from top to bottom, 6th column): 2, 2, 1, 1, 7, 7
    (from top to bottom, 7th column): 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2
    (from top to bottom, 8th column): 2, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2
    4 laps, 3 opponents, dusk or day. Race car to drive: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. Use helmet view to race. Not hard to win the 2nd place.

    .NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.
    .NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.

    NFS Shift 1. Here's a setups to race on AutoPolis GP race track:
    mode: RACE _ Laps: 3 _ car class: same class _ opponents: 6 _ Time: midday _ track: AutoPolis GP _ Race car to drive: 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (with maximum upgrade)

    ((Gameplay, ADJUST CONTROL)): SDZ:0 _ ADZ:15 _ BDZ:0 _ CDZ:50 _ SS:90 _AS:25 _ BS:38 _ CS:50 _ SSS:28 _ IS:off _ CYA:Normal

    ((Gameplay, DRIVING)):
    AI Difficulty: medium _ HM: Normal _ Steering Assist: low _ Brake Asistance: off _ Anti-lock Brake: on _ Traction Cntrol: off _ Stability Control: off _ D.E: full _ A.C: on _ Gear: automatic

    ((Garage, Car tunning)):
    Downforce: 100 _ Gearing: 85 _ Steering Lock: 60 _ Balance: 40
    Balance is 60 if the game not patched to v1.02, as the meter is mirrored between v1.01 and 1.02.
    Sometimes it's rather hard to win the 1st place.

    .NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.
    .NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.NFS.

    NFS Shift 1. Here's a setups to race on AutoPolis Lakeside race track:
    mode: RACE _ Laps: between 5 to 8 _ car class: same class _ opponents: 5 _ Time: midday or dusk _ track: AutoPolis Lakeside _ Race car to drive: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (with maximum upgrade)

    ((Gameplay, ADJUST CONTROL)): SDZ:0 _ ADZ:0 _ BDZ:0 _ CDZ:50 _ SS:70 _AS:60 _ BS:25 _ CS:50 _ SSS:75 _ IS:off _ CYA:Normal

    ((Gameplay, DRIVING)):
    AI Difficulty: hard _ HM: Normal _ Steering Assist: low _ Brake Asistance: off _ Anti-lock Brake: on _ Traction Control: high _ Stability Control: on _ D.E: full _ A.C: on _ Gear: automatic
    ((Garage, Car tunning)): ((Garage, Car tunning, advanced)): (from top to bottom, 1st column): 30, 35.94, 40 (from top to bottom, 2nd column): 30, 1.5, -0.10, 0.10 (from top to bottom, 3rd column): 399.73, 239.84, 366.41, 266.48 (from top to bottom, 4th column): locked, locked, 60, 20 (from top to bottom, 5th column): 6.35, 3.50, 2.21, 1.71 (from top to bottom, 6th column): 15, 15, 1, 4 Sometimes it's rather hard to win the 1st place.
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  11. Sep 27, 2014
    6
    I don't know why some people wants to compare this game with GRID, it's like comparing apple and orange. This game is not getting better scores than GRID because it's not that popular or the sort of people who enjoys this genre is not greater than GRID's.

    This game takes more experienced and advanced gamers to play. I play with both keyboard and a PlayMax gamepad on this game well, but
    I don't know why some people wants to compare this game with GRID, it's like comparing apple and orange. This game is not getting better scores than GRID because it's not that popular or the sort of people who enjoys this genre is not greater than GRID's.

    This game takes more experienced and advanced gamers to play. I play with both keyboard and a PlayMax gamepad on this game well, but some cars are not enjoyable to play with and are rather unrealistic in handling, or almost undriveable cars.

    Other than the game's difficulty level, there is also XP points that you gain after finishing each races, in the end the AI cars upgraded their cars as well, that ended up ruling you out from playing the same old race track out of your reach in CAREER mode unless you'v e made enough money to upgrade your current race car or to buy a new and better performance car. Still you can play the same old race track in the Quick race mode, but I think that leaves you with 2 levels of classes of opponents to race against with - either too easy or rather too hard to win the first place in the race.

    There are demon bugs, once seen an AI car coming back in a suicidal head on crash to my race car (like it just spawn into the race track with crusing speed), an AI driver is stand tall in the convertible, arms out stretched and holding onto the windshield's top metal frame, it crashed into my car before the game crashed out onto the desktop. So is that happening because I can catch up with the AI cars that's been banned to race against my current out-graded car? I can overtake few of those more superior XP level cars with my lower XP level car that's all!

    They wanted me to get a better car to race against those better XP cars in CAREER mode. But I can overtake the same classed XP cars in QUICK race mode with the same current car, it's confusing!

    The new POV driving behind wheel is pretty nutty, unless you get used to it. It's like bobbing in FPS games, but it's acutally swaying your head's POV back and forth, combo with tilted slightly sideway view in some cases (in worst cases it makes you feel like you're in a speedboat that in a car, on the sea), not normal if compare to other games, it's new simulation all right! But can cause more dizziness and discomforted heads.
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  12. Apr 5, 2014
    5
    Handling assist is either on or off. Compare to Shift 1, this game's handling assist is always at HIGH, there is no LOW. The steering is all arcade like (auto) than "manual" (I use a keyboard to play), and so the car is also floaty, swirling more out of the way when going around a bend. Seem to has less traction when compared to Shift 1.

    Handling assist at HIGH has smoothen the
    Handling assist is either on or off. Compare to Shift 1, this game's handling assist is always at HIGH, there is no LOW. The steering is all arcade like (auto) than "manual" (I use a keyboard to play), and so the car is also floaty, swirling more out of the way when going around a bend. Seem to has less traction when compared to Shift 1.

    Handling assist at HIGH has smoothen the steering, but it counter steers back in some cases that make me feel it's not fire at will, so it offer less in simluation and less excitement. I plays it fine all the same with handling assist at LOW in Shift 1, so really dislikes it when it's set to HIGH, it makes it feel more like on-rail arcade game.

    With those same named race tracks from Shift 1, Shift 2's track/road has flatten even more sideway. The hills/slopes are not that inclinded/steep as before.

    There is no adjustment for brightness in-game. So if the car you've chosen for the race has sun tinted glass, then the vision is too dark, worst is when the VGA card's feature couldn't make changes to the in-game brightness, or can barely makes any changes to them. Well, it works in Shift 1, can't see how it failed on SHift 2.

    Graphic is now more photo realistic compared to Shift 1, color is no longer vivid. More textures details such as on the race track's surface.

    Some car models' AI skill is buggy, better not to choose identical cars as opponents, as they makes the same mistakes on a U turn over and over again. Better choose Same Class as opponents.

    Here is a setups to race on AutoPolis (Lakeside) race track:
    ((Gameplay option)):
    Difficulty: Medium _ H.M: novice _ steering assist: yes _ B.A: no _ Anti-Lock Brakes: yes _ T.C: high _ S.C: yes _ damage: visual only _ best line: no _ HUD: Full (mirror off) _ S.O.P.N: off _ D.U: Metric

    ((Gameplay, ADJUST CONTROL)):
    (from top to bottom): 50, 0, 64, 0, 62, 0, 25, 0, 50, 75, 68

    ((Garage, Car tunning, advanced)):
    (from top to bottom, 1st column): 45, 55, 26, 8
    (from top to bottom, 2nd column): 22, 13, 20, 20, 20, 20
    (from top to bottom, 3rd column): 6, 7
    (from top to bottom, 4th column): 8, 8, 2
    (from top to bottom, 5th column): 24, 24
    (from top to bottom, 6th column): 1, 1, 2, 2, 18, 12
    (from top to bottom, 7th column): 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 5, 5
    (from top to bottom, 8th column): 5, 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 3

    4 laps, 3 opponents, dusk or day. Race car to drive: Aston Martin DB9 Coupe. Use helmet view to race. Not hard to win the 1st place.

    Control keys remap:
    Z = Look back _ X = nitros _ C = handbrake _ V = brake _ Spacbar = change race view _ Arrow Up = Accelerate _ Left/Right arrow keys = steering left right _ arrow down = reset car _ A = press A to increase steering speed if about to do a 45 degree turn _ S = press S to increase level 2 steering speed if about to do a 90 degree turn _ D = press D to increase level 3 steering speed if about to do a 180 degree U turn _ F = press F to increase level 4 steering speed if about to do a 360 spin off (dropped the hammer) burntout on a very tight narrow track _ G = gear up _ B = gear down _ backspace = transformer the car into Autobot _ Left Shift = change HUD display or switch to iron sight view _ right mouse mouse (hold it down) = sprint _ Left Ctrl = change ammo type _ Left Alt = bring up Crysis power suite HUD
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  13. May 7, 2013
    6
    Although there are better racing games to get for your money, this game is still good. I bought it for 5 bucks on a Steam sale and I feel like i got a good deal. The biggest problem is its horrendous key board controls. Do not buy this game unless you won a racing wheel. I got lucky on this one as i was already planning on getting one. So if you have a console and want this game, buy it on that.
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. 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]
  2. 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]
  3. 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.