Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 86 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shift 2 Unleashed combines violence and excitement in this racing experience.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. It's official: Gran Turismo 5 is on notice. Like V8 Supercars 3 [Pro Race Driver 3] wooed us from GT4 back in the halcyon days of PS2, SHIFT 2 Unleashed is currently busy courting us with its incredible sense of speed, well-rounded garage, long list of tracks and impressive attention to detail... Forget what you think you know about where Need for Speed games stand in the racing sim landscape because the crew at Slightly Mad Studios has just taken a bulldozer to it. [May 2011 p.72]
  2. Mar 29, 2011
    For those who have passion for cars and especially speed, Shift 2: Unleashed is an obligatory choice.
  3. Apr 5, 2011
    One of the best racing games this year. The game has an extreme good feeling of speed, it feels realistic and to complete the campaign will take weeks. Need for Speed: SHIFT was a good game, but this is a lot better because Slightly Mad Studios did listen to the feedback of the community.
  4. May 11, 2011
    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.
  5. May 18, 2011
    At its best, Shift 2 is one of the most intense and rewarding racing games around. There's some flaws (like the entire drifting part), but the overall package is really solid and fun.
  6. 80
    Shift 2 is one of the very few driving games where we'd actually prefer to boot-up its predecessor rather than this new iteration. It's still a thoroughly decent and innovative racer but fans of the original may be justifiably disappointed by the many missed opportunities here.
  7. Mar 31, 2011
    There's certainly nothing game-breakingly bad about Shift 2, and generally it is a polished, high quality, nice looking product. But it does fail to provide a more engaging alternative to the admittedly quite clinical driving experiences offered by the Forza Motorsport or Gran Turismo series. Underneath its fancy aesthetic effects Shift 2 is also rather on the dry side, with no especially compelling reason to pick it up if you already have one of the aforementioned console racing giants in your collection.

See all 52 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 14 out of 33
  1. Mar 29, 2011
    This is why i'm sick of these aggregate sites. First and foremost, is the numerical score associated with a game. Then there is the reason behind the score. Why dock a point from Shift 2's score because it's not GT5 or Forza? Because it's violent and nerveracking, and not what real racing enthusiasts will enjoy. Really? I'm a racing fan and think this game is the best mix of sim and arcade racing EVER! It takes all the boring **** from Forza and GT5 and throws it away. Then they add a ferocity and an edge, let's not forget the best **** view in a racing game, and one that will be copied by everybody from here on out. Things thatve never been done before, BUT! gotta knock it! Gotta control the situation and make buyers balk. This game may not look like GT5 and Forza, but it's close. It's got 3rd party graphics. But, Gameplay! EWWW weeeee! Most fun i've ever had with a racing game. Customization, paint, drifting, etc....It's all here, oh yeah, awsome crashes, nighttime races on any track. You will see why graphical compromises we're made. Just a real fun, exhilerating experience. Go racers GO!!!!! Expand
  2. Apr 14, 2011
    Personally, being a racing fan and loving any games of this sort I've only noticed two major problems with shift 2. One being the ridiculous AI. The competition feels more like the movie "deathrace" than anything else. As soon as you turn into a corner you have some kamikaze psycho slamming your car off the road. Besides paint is near impossible. You so much as brush up against any car at any speed and your car flies off the road like you were picked up like a tornado and the AI car drives away like nothing happened. The steering seems a bit clumsy also. Ya spend more time correcting the oversteer than anything else. It's way too sensitive. Other than that the game would be fantastic. The helmet cam option is awesome(can't wait to try to drift in that mode....hope it doesn't give you that lost feeling like in shift 1). Well I too hope they correct these issues. They seem like they're heading in the right direction but this needs a bit of tweaking. So If you guys are listening WE NEED A PATCH! Expand
  3. May 5, 2011
    shift 2 is a very good racing game clean graphics very smart AI they react to your presence on the race track it is the most realistic racing game in history the all new helmet game is awesome your drivers head turns to go around the corner fantastic display of speed very good engine sounds this game was made for 7.1 surround sound Gran Turismo 5 your time is up plus it has the awesome auto log Expand
  4. Apr 8, 2011
    After a few laps you start blaming yourself for not doing as good as you did with the 1st Shift game... and then you start realizing that it's the game.. It's very touchy...and unpredictable. The physics are broken. And the Aggressive A.I.!! OMFG THE AGGRESSIVE A.I. If the community doesn't complain enough to patch this game, it'll be unplayable...worse than the first one was before the patches. What a let down. I really enjoyed the first one after they fixed it. I should explain why the AI is so bad.. You could be minding your own business, NOT being aggressive at all.. going about 20mph around an corner... and bam!!! You're car literally flips over 3 times by an AI controlled car behind you out of nowhere.. during the final lap of the race... You go from 1st place to LAST place and the race is over.. if that's your idea of fun, then play this game. Expand
  5. Feb 14, 2012
    Lots of resources spent on presentation, twists and bells and the core game play is broken. There is no way you can play this game on Hard Difficulty not even with a high quality steering wheel. There is a very pronounced input lag that make driving impossible. Of course if you play on easy mode and with all assist set to high you can have fun if you are into that type of thing but racing games are all about beating track times and you cannot do this when you have no audio or visual clue for when your car starts to loose grip. I cannot believe how most of the reviewers came up with these high scores. I suppose they storm through the game on easiest difficulty. This just show how little trust one should put into game reviews. Expand
  6. Apr 2, 2011
    1st off, im 18 and own forza3 and gran-turismo5, and shift 2. i registered to this review site just for this game. i just want to say, dont let them lie to you, this is no driving simulator. i pride myself on driving skill, and have driven fast for real (in one of the actual cars i used in game too XD) and this is more of a "boat" simulator. the handling is all wrong, and youl find yourself struggling to simply drive in a straight line at times. drifting is robbed too of course. its the same arcade style its always been. 2nd. tuning upgrades- tuning is extremely unrealistic, too. the values you use to tune dont represent anything in real life (i.e. springs:- 1- 2 - or 3, dampening: - 1 2 3 4 ect.) and upgrades, are well, kinda the same as NFS has always done.. but no individual tire width or things like that. so its not realistic, nearly in anyway.. 3rd. painting a car with vinyls like in forza is imposable. it took me an hour to do simple stripes for a charger, and the stripes arnt perfectly even at that. but enough bad, i dont want to ramble. some good, 1st. its pretty, and night driving, and the helmet cam are great, i dare say, perfect?. 2nd. NOS! i love that incorporated into it, i wish forza had it, its an amazing feature. and it doesnt replenish magically during a race either. i like that alot. (forza you paying attention? get NOS!) and thats about all worth mentioning to mind. i give it a 3 out of 10, and i really dont recommend buying it. i wish i hadn't. EA 'hyped' it up soo much, and its (im not exaggerating) mostly, a big LIE. im finding that out about alot of new games. rent them first, proceed carefully. Expand
  7. Feb 28, 2014
    Well, to me Need for speed Shift II is one of the worst racing games. Yes it's that bad !
    At the beginning I was thinking, maybe it will get
    better .... but it didn't.
    Now after the 5th race I just give it up, I just don't like it and I will not play the game anymore.
    I'm a BIG racing game die hard, but this is a game for the blacklist.

See all 33 User Reviews