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Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 92 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shift 2 Unleashed combines violence and excitement in this racing experience.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
  1. Apr 13, 2011
    100
    Shift 2 is not quite a full-realism simulator, but it's not exactly an arcade game either. The Xbox controller makes precise control difficult at best, but configuration settings and driving aids can help tame the unruly driving quirks. The evolutionary Helmet Cam provides a nice boost of realism.
  2. Mar 31, 2011
    90
    Despite not being another "Real Driving Simulator", Shift 2: Unleashed is one of the best driving experiences of this generation.
  3. Apr 11, 2011
    87
    Though it still can't be considered as a full-fledged racing sim, it is a great game to play.
  4. 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?
  5. Apr 18, 2011
    80
    Shift 2 Unleashed is a solid racing game. It may not be on the same high level as a Gran Turismo or Forza, but it's sure getting close. If you enjoyed the last game or are looking for a new simulation racer to get into Shift 2 Unleashed is a good one to check out.
  6. Mar 29, 2011
    80
    Shift 2 Unleashed is a double-faced game. Besides good visuals, an incredible helmet view, realistic handling and a revamped career, we also find terrible A.I. in different ways so unfair, stupid and unpredictable, that it turns a race into a destruction derby.
  7. Mar 31, 2011
    60
    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 70 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. Apr 4, 2011
    10
    I nearly didn't buy this because shift 1 had the worst handling of any driving game i've ever played. This however has GREAT handling, exciting races, a good difficulty curve and wonderful cars. The single player game reminds me of PGR2 (which in my eyes is the best racing game ever). you do a series of events with different cars at different tracks from around the world. Normal races, elimination, hot-lap, drifting are all here and the variety is great. If you are thinking of buying this but didn't quite like shift 1 then my advice is give it a try. I'm glad i did! Expand
  2. Apr 4, 2011
    10
    ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2011
    9
    The main concern about this game is that it takes a lot of tweaking to get it working properly. I have never played it with a controller so I cannot comment about how it drives with one, but with a wheel one has to do many adjustments to get it to feel correct. Because of this I would not recommend this game to someone who wants to just pick it up and go. If you have patience and are looking for a solid simulator using a wheel, then I would highly recommend this game.

    There are a few problems I see that people keep complaining about in this game. 1) It is too hard. One must understand that the Shift series is a simulation based racing game, not arcade like most NFS games.

    2) Cars are impossible to drive or they don't feel like they should. This is a problem most people are complaining about. The main underlying cause of this is the car setup. For some strange reason the stock set up of every car has the spring rates at 0 and the tire pressure at 50 or so. Due to this, it makes all the cars feel like they are boats. With this floppy set up it makes the car very unstable and uncontrollable in a corner or a slide. To fix this problem one must tune the tire pressure down to around 30 and purchase a suspension that can adjust spring stiffness and adjust it to at least 3 for normal cars and higher for race cars. Every car has to be fixed in this way, which can be annoying to some. After they are fixed you will find that Shift 2 has extremely good physics and car dynamics.

    There are many internal settings for the wheel that can be adjusted, this makes Shift 2 more dynamic and customizable if you know how to adjust these settings properly. I found that the easiest way to adjust the wheel is to set it up so that it drives and turns properly with a normal car, which will have the highest degree of turn. After that, one must go to tune setup for every car to adjust the steering sensitivity for that particular car. The higher one tunes the sensitivity on a car, the less one has to turn the wheel to make that particular car turn. By doing this one can adjust race cars to turn with less degree of movement in the wheel than normal cars, without having to readjust the wheel every time you change cars.

    In conclusion there is a very good game hiding inside Shift 2 but it takes some adjustments and digging to find. If you have to patience to work out the problems then it is a fun and solid racing game.
    Expand
  4. Jun 28, 2012
    7
    Shift 2 is a bit of a mixed bag really. On the one hand you get the most engaging and realistic driving experience through helmet cam and Elite handling mode, which is aided by the ability to have manual with clutch and you can now fully change controls instead of being stuck with one default layout. Shift 2 improves on the first game by adding to that sheer awesomeness of speed when in interior view, and without a doubt no game comes closer to making driving feel more real. All these people saying how it's no Forza are clearly using assists. I play all my racers with no assits and manual where possible, and this game is fairly realistic- more so than Forza in my opinion. But aside from that, the improvements on Shift 1 are merely in presantation than in real substance. It's the same game but without the stars system and different menus. Car choice is pretty generic, and gameplay and tracks are same as the first Shift- but you get an even bigger choice of tracks. All that's been added is night-time racing really. Corner mastering has been greatly improved, and customisation in terms of visuals and both upgrades & tuning has been deepened to Forza standard. The reason I can't rate this game highly is not just the lack of additions from Shift, but because there are some things it has got wrong. Sure, the lighting effects are outstanding for any racing game, but the textures on the vehicles are extremely low-res and grainy; however this may be due to the Xbox 360's highly outdated hardware. Drifting, whilst difficult to master relative to other games (Forza 3's is so much easier with all assists off than this), there is no satisfaction or fun to be had. Which is dissapointing, given that Need For Speed should be good at this. Even on the dedicated Underground 2-style drifting tracks it's not fun even if you get very high scores. Time attack and Hot Laps are the best part of this game though because you can drive without the stupidly annoying AI. Shift 1 had very bad and frustrating AI, but in Shift 2 it's even worse- espeically if you just want a pure driving experience with just you, the car and the track. Even on easiest difficulty the AI are ruthlessly aggressive and give you a very hard time, by bashing you off or due to rubberbanding effect. If you can beat Easy AI you can certainly do Medium. If the entire game was hot laps and time trials it would be amongst the greatest track driving games, but unfortuantely the buggy AI which is completely done wrong ruins the experience. One minute you're enjoying driving round a track getting lap times, the next you're constantly restarting because if you make the slightest bit of contact with AI cars you will flip if going over 120mph or so. If you want enjoyable, intense and above all VARIED racing which is more fun, less frustrating, more consistent and a more diverse game try DiRT 3. From what I can see, that game beats this on all fronts, including the intense engagement between car and driver- player and controller. If you can overcome the difficult AI, which is possible but takes time getting used to, then you will enjoy this game far more. But only IF. Ideally this problem shouldn't exist though. Expand
  5. Apr 19, 2011
    6
    You have to be great at all the racing games to play Shift 2. I am fairly decent at racing. Not comparing this to Forza 3 really but I own at Forza 3 (very simple racing game in my opinion). Shift 2 is very hard. I got through the first 7 or so races fine (using the new helmet view camera). Handling is very difficult with the helmet cam but not as difficult if you use different camera angles which is weird to me at least, I'd expect the same from all. Anyway, after those 7 races, BOOM! Not going to lie, I gave up. I spent like 3 hours on the same race track 2 days in a row. I could barely get past the second turn. I have fiddled with the settings and that has helped but not enough. Expand
  6. Apr 14, 2012
    5
    I personally believe Shift 2 has the good underpinnings of a game that could be developed with more cars and a bigger distinction between Easy, Medium and Hard, resulting in a more professional AI (less aggressive) I also think that it could expand its different racing modes, maybe to incorporate some rally-cross type races, like the better races from the DiRT series. The step away from the world of Most Wanted and Underground shows EA is moving away from its roots, and although I never played The Run, Hot Pursuit was enough of a bore to convince me not to buy The Run. The reason EA stepped away from the street-racing in the late 00's was probably because the market was flooded with street-racers (Midnight Club, Burnout etc), but now there's no modern, 2011+ game that has 100's of cars from all over the world. Expand
  7. Apr 6, 2011
    1
    The same game as the last 5 NFS games. I'm so glad I didn't buy this one, hot pursuit or shift. I will just play most wanted again.

See all 31 User Reviews