Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 210 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shift 2 Unleashed combines violence and excitement in this racing experience.
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. Mar 29, 2011
    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.
  3. Apr 18, 2011
    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]
  4. Mar 29, 2011
    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.
  5. Apr 20, 2011
    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?
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    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.
  7. Jun 9, 2011
    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]

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 74
  2. Negative: 33 out of 74
  1. Mar 30, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. @Neons
    Dude youre seriously mistaken there.
    All the features or bad things you talking about are ADJUSTABLE.
    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
  2. Apr 2, 2011
    O jogo está ótimo, belos gráficos, e jogabilidade excelente, ...diferente do GT5 que mais parece carrinho de bate bate.
    O menu desse jogo é diferente de tudo que você já viu, é impressionante, os carros e seu interior, as modificações que você pode fazer estão detalhadas e simples, você não precisa ser um mecânico pra se dar bem no jogo. rs, esse jogo me lembrou o bom NFS Pro.
  3. Dec 3, 2011
    I'm a big racing fan but it has to impress me. I got a PS3 just to get Gran Turismo 5. Needless to say I was unimpressed by the graphics, game play and lack of being remotely realistic. Shift 2 isn't completely realistic but the graphics are stunning, the game play fun for hours on end and the realism borderline enough to keep me playing often. The engines sound legit and powerful, the braking noise blows me away and the tires on the pavement don't have that dull boring noise that Gran Turismo has been well known for. This game is the first since Race Driver GRID to just make my jaw drop. I also really love the damage realism. Although even if your entire front end is gone you will still see headlights. They should fix that. If they had more car selection I'd score it a 10. I also like that every car can be viewed from the inside and they are all detailed to the actual car. Gran Turismo 5 can't even do that. Expand
  4. Vic
    Dec 9, 2011
    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! Expand
  5. May 7, 2014
    This game had a lot of potential but something must have gone wrong somewhere because the end product is all but unplayable. I've played this game on both Xbox 360 and PC and it really felt like the game was made more for consoles. The cars are practically uncontrollable on PC. Because on PC you only have keyboards, you're either turning the car as hard as possible, or not at all. It seems like no one tried to make the physics more compatible for keyboards. This game is really only playable with a steering wheel and is barely usable with a gamepad. Steering wheels even have massive problems, and only with a few physics mods do they work properly. If you create a racing simulator that doesn't work with a racing wheel, then there's something seriously wrong with your game. The menus are also terrible and seemingly made for gamepads. To confirm selections you have to press right shift, or F, or to cycle menus you have to use J and K. What's up with all of these obscure buttons that are awkward to press? Is there something wrong with the arrow keys? They could have also made it a little more mouse accessible. The controls for gamepads don't even show up in the UI. The game always has a little bar somewhere in the menu interface saying "press this button on the keyboard to do this!" but when you plug in a gamepad, it doesn't change to something more like "press this button on the GAMEPAD to do this!". The game always assumes that the player is using a keyboard, which means that you have to do trial and error when you plug in a gamepad. Everything about the game seems way too difficult. The AI NEVER skid in EVERY corner like the player does, and the game expects you to hit every corner dead on the apex yet you can't because the cars all oversteer terribly and skid when you try to turn in to a corner. Frankly the physics are the biggest gripe. The drag mode in the Speed Hunters/Legends DLC is also terrible. The controls are completely different than the stock game (who the hell uses the right thumbstick to shift?!?) and the drag mode controls are NOT changeable. Not to mention that the fastest car in the drag mode is a FWD scion which only accelerates so fast because the game creators made it so there's a constant force pushing the front of the car down really hard (sort of like really high downforce, but even when standing still), which makes the best DRAG car one of the best handling GRIP cars. All in all, the game wasn't very well thought out at all. It was a pretty bad port over to PC. The only upsides are that the graphics are decent, and the car customization is better than most of the later Need for Speed games. The night driving mode is a breath of fresh air but it doesn't really matter if you can't control the car in the daytime either. It was a lot better on consoles. I hear that the developers of Shift 2, Slightly Mad Studios, are creating the game Project CARS, which looks a LOT like Shift 2, and also looks a LOT better. Hopefully it will be what the Need For Speed Shift Series wasn't. Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2011
    I cannot understand why they let the PC controls be so terrible. The cars are terribly uncontrollable in this game with a keyboard. I just can't understand why it seems they didn't put any effort towards making the game work well with a keyboard. Also, my mother ****ing 86 civic handles better than these stupid ****ing cars so don't try and tell me it's because it's a "simulator." Also the menus are pretty bad, and there's not enough drifting. Go play grid. Expand
  7. May 17, 2013
    This game is unplayable. Not only does your mouse suddenly become as accurate as Michael J. Fox during a seizure and about as useless as a in a helicopter fight, but navigating the menus is like trying to wrestle a bear, and once you find out where you want to be you suddenly have to figure out the magical jig to be able to do what you want in the first place pressing 'F' to rebind a key, pressing the right shift to accept changes (the left one doesn't do anything), etc. the only way to use the menus comfortably is to reconfigure your hands.

    And that's not even the worst part. The first time you go to race you have to listen to some annoying dumbass talk for half an hour while watching some god-awful video (most of which is in bullet-time for some retarded reason) that makes you want to pick your eyes out with a fondu fork the only way I even got through it was to turn my speakers off and go make myself a bowl of icecream. And all this could have been forgiven if the racing was even good. The input lag is so terrible that I had grown a beard by the time the game figured out I wanted to turn around the first corner, and the car feels like I'm driving around a brick with a windshield.

    All in all, quite possibly the worst game I have ever had the misfortune to install on my computer.

See all 74 User Reviews