Shift 2: Unleashed Image
Metascore
84

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

User Score
6.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 286 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shift 2 Unleashed combines violence and excitement in this racing experience.
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Shift 2 Unleashed: Need for Speed Pagani Huayra Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    May 22, 2011
    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
    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.
  3. Game Informer
    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]
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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.
  7. PC PowerPlay
    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]

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 88
  2. Negative: 41 out of 88
  1. Mar 30, 2011
    10
    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.
    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
    Expand
  2. Mar 15, 2017
    10
    the best part is how who voted less than 9 points, really not know what they want, or what is doing here or what the game is, or how the lifethe best part is how who voted less than 9 points, really not know what they want, or what is doing here or what the game is, or how the life works.

    this game still rocks, people said that is not a sim, but is a sim for sure, if we config it, the physics are really identical to Assetto Corsa, i really don't know and not know how somebody think this game is not realistic, way more than gt series and forza.

    awesome soundtrack, awesome options, awesome visual, awesome optimization, is light and more beauty than major games, best game ever made sold by EA, 6 years already passed and this game still looks better than most modern games today, and ya... i'm a racer, and yes this game is realistic.

    well... some problems exist, not all cars was reviewed, but is more like a luxury had some weaker cars, when the focus in game is the sport cars and hypercars.

    who attacked this game, give strange reasons, and say things without connection, people need to stop hating titles and look with more realism
    Expand
  3. Apr 27, 2011
    8
    its a good game with few flaws. the requierements are a bit too high (altough i can play it on max in fullhd with anti aliasing on high, theits a good game with few flaws. the requierements are a bit too high (altough i can play it on max in fullhd with anti aliasing on high, the game requires an good pc to be played with 30fps+) i will say that this game is in between of an arcade racer and a simulation. its not as static as gt5, but its also not as arcade as grid. it a good experience thats worth looking onto (check this game out if you haven't already. its not a racing game for everyone, but you may like it Expand
  4. 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
    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.
    Expand
  5. May 7, 2014
    4
    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 thisThis 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. Jun 2, 2011
    2
    I noticed some reviews claiming that this was very similar to Shift 1. There is some truth to this as some of the basic bits such as the carI noticed some reviews claiming that this was very similar to Shift 1. There is some truth to this as some of the basic bits such as the car tuning and visual customizer for the cars is basically the same. Sadly, everything goes downhill from here. Let's start with the fact that this is atrocious console port. It has a calibration screen for TV's and when you click on "controls" you are greeted with a picture of a Xbox360 controller. The menus are very difficult to navigate due to the transfer from controller to keyboard and the mouse integration is pretty sad. The graphics also seem to have taken a hit by the port-hammer as they have actually manged to look worse than Shift 1. I set my settings to the highest they can go and headed for the car garage to look at the new vehicle additions. Upon seeing the cars, I immediately went back the graphics options to see if there was a mistake. Nope. It's just that ugly. I figured the cars would look better on the track like in Shift 1 but I had to change the game to windowed mode because Shift 1 and 2 do not have color/brightness/gamma control settings and this is the only way to fix it. Upon being told to restart the game, I came to the realization that the intro videos are NOT skippable. This became annoying extremely quickly. Anyway, enough of this, let's get on to the actual meat of the game. They have kept the zoom-around-the-car-thingy at the start of every race from Shift 1 but this time the female sign-holders are basically completely nude. You also have to view this everytime you restart the race, which you will do A LOT since the cars handle like elongated buses. Shift 1 was infamous for it's shoddy handling but this takes things in a completely new direction. The cars handle so bad that I could not complete any race without hitting the barrier when going around every single corner. (And for the record, I beat Shift 1's career mode using the same control setup). While acelerating the controls were very twitchy and when I got to a corner the wheels on the car turned but the car itself just kept going straight and into a wall. Is there some DLC I missed that includes steering? This is a pretty big problem considering the game is about racing and driving cars around corners. I have seen city buses take corners faster and more ferociously than a Lotus Elise can in this game. I'm basically repeating what has been said in the other reviews. The cars are essentially undrivable. In conclusion, you're better off saving your money for something else or just go play Shift 1 again because this is vastly inferior. Expand
  7. May 17, 2013
    0
    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 inThis 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.
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See all 88 User Reviews