Shift 2: Unleashed Image
Metascore
82

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

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6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 105 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: 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: 11 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34
  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,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 2, 2011
    9
    SHIFT 2 : Unleashed is for ONLY those gamers who:
    1. Love the **** View and Helmet Cam View
    2. Aren't Bent on the game being a complete
    SHIFT 2 : Unleashed is for ONLY those gamers who:
    1. Love the **** View and Helmet Cam View
    2. Aren't Bent on the game being a complete simulation or complete arcade.

    This game is a mix of both and it does so very well. THE BEST Driving Experience you can get in the market now! Might not be as obsessive and realistic as Forza 3 or Gran Turismo 5, but it delivers a very authentic driving feel that is completely out of the world. Very Interesting soundtrack mix, but it just works! The songs that play once you win a race are really good but might get repetitive. FMV sequences could've been better. Car Models are excellently modeled and car sounds are mindblowing! Great Game! overall. but it's only for a certain group of gamers. NOT SUITABLE for every gamer.
    Expand
  3. Nov 13, 2011
    8
    Once again a fun semi-sim arcade being mistaken for a sim, this is not Forza 3 or Forza 4 (which I own and love) but this one is fun and isOnce again a fun semi-sim arcade being mistaken for a sim, this is not Forza 3 or Forza 4 (which I own and love) but this one is fun and is meant for casual gaming. The drift portion of the game is pretty fun and more proof this is an arcady game. It does what it does well and handling has been improved from Shift (1) Worth it if you can pick it up for $30-$35 Expand
  4. Aug 6, 2016
    6
    Shift 2:Unleashed is EA's attempt to make Need For Speed a racing sim.It does not work out as planned unfortunately.

    The cars handle well
    Shift 2:Unleashed is EA's attempt to make Need For Speed a racing sim.It does not work out as planned unfortunately.

    The cars handle well for the most part.You can see the between a Ford Focus RS and a Renault Megane,despite these cars being similar in design and power.There is also a lot of variety in the races,ranging from road cars,to Works-converted cars,to the FIA GT1 World Championship.But the AI is SO CHEAP AND INCONSISTENT YOU WILL PROBABLY RAGE QUIT AT LEAST ONCE.

    The track list is incredible,which is always important in a race sim.The car list is pretty decent and varied too.

    Shift 2 sounds incredible.The cars do sound like well-fueled,powerful machines.The soundtrack is pretty mediocre though.

    Shift 2 looks great.The cars look like their real-life counterparts.The game's plays at 30 fps.It stays here for the most part,but occasionally hitches.

    There is also a helmet cam you can drive from in game.Use this,as it is very immersive and sucks you in.

    Also turn off the guy who talks to you mid-race,he will drive you mad.

    Overall,Shift 2 is a decent racing sim,but still can't compete with Forza.If you do pick it up,you will have some fun though.
    Expand
  5. Apr 1, 2011
    5
    I'll start off by saying this will be my last NFS game which is sad because I've played them all since the original, this will also probablyI'll start off by saying this will be my last NFS game which is sad because I've played them all since the original, this will also probably be my last EA game as the last several I've reviewed have been less than stellar. Where to begin? Graphics, they've been improved since the last Shift but still have that overall grainy jagged look that plagued the first, only to a lesser extent. Still, compared to Forza and even the uneven visuals of Gran Turismo, this is pretty shabby looking. Interiors look great however tracks still have a cartoonish look I really don't care for and lighting is so so. This game looks nowhere near as good as all the pre-release videos we were shown which is not cool. As for the audio, cars sound good but pretty much all sound the same, there's not much distinction, also there's a weird clicking noise during races which I'm sure some car-nerd will attack me over and rant about what it was and how I should have known, but I've been in a lot of cars, race cars too, and I've never heard this sound. Apparently there is only one licensed song in the whole game cause that's all I hear on loop the whole game, either that or its all a bunch of generic 30 Seconds to Mars-sounding bands, it may be them, I can't be bothered to look. As for the physics, while better than last time they are still a far cry from realistic, anyone who says different lives in Ridge City. Cars are really floaty still and body-roll is too exaggerated. Drifting in the last game was broken, and that's being generous. Here its playable but still not great. The AI in the last game was all about rubber-banding and while they don't do that her there is an equally annoying issue. Rivals are overly aggressive, even on easy they are too good. Not everybody possesses the same level of skill, if everyone did there would be no Vaughn Gitten Jr. or Chris Rado, we'd all be so good there would be no greats. That's why if a game has an easy setting it should be easy, medium should be challenging, and hard should be near impossible for all those who like punishment. It should be able to be enjoyed by those of all skill levels, not just those who have mastered sims. Also, it doesn't really matter what car you drive. Certain races say you have to have say a D car 0-499 (performance rating) so you'd expect that if you drove a car that was rated 499 and everyone else was rated below you that you'd dominate. Nope, all the opponents are ramped up to match your car so its always a level playing field, well not really when you add in the too-good AI. This renders upgrades pointless, I went the majority of the game without upgrading and then only did it because I was bored. I'm sure I didn't need to. I also purchased the unlock all cars DLC, which I soon found out was pointless after I realized how the aforementioned game mechanic worked. Also, expect to be rammed off the track and spun out, A LOT, your opponents are total jerks. The accessibility that was claimed to be packed in is also hampered by this system. To even have a fighting chance against the AI, all assists must be off because when the game is helping drive it brakes too hard, too late or too soon, accelerates too slowly and handles questionably. If you play with the assists on you will lose, A LOT. This kinda defeats the purpose of allowing you to turn them on or off in the first place. I can't imagine newcomers to the genre playing for very long when they are continually being destroyed every race. Having real racing stars in the game was a nice touch and so is being able to win their cars. Speaking of cars there are a good amount, just don't expect as many as Forza or GT5. Also on the forums a lot of fanboys are defending this game saying it isn't designed as a sim when people attack how arcade-like it is. Sorry to inform you, and its well-documented in magazines and on the web, that EA marketed this as a sim and set its sites on being in the same league as Forza and GT5 (not even close). EA really needs to drop all the false advertisement, most of us have had enough. Sell your product for what it is and stop with all the misdirection ( I'm looking at you too Dragon Age 2). This was a very promising game that looked to make good on promises and one-up its predecessor, as well as give other sims some competition. Oh well, maybe next time. Also, THIS IS A NEED FOR SPEED GAME! I don't get where everyone is saying they're moving away from the NFS brand. It says Need for Speed at the bottom of the box art, the stylized NS logo is placed beside the title Shift 2 Unleashed, not to mention it states it before the game starts where the company branding is shown, as well as all through the game. Stop trying to make this game something it isn't. This is Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed, and its just as mediocre as all the rest of the games in the series. Expand
  6. Jul 27, 2011
    5
    I don't know why, but I found the cars so hard to control. I was all over the place. I've been playing racers since the original Gran Turismo,I don't know why, but I found the cars so hard to control. I was all over the place. I've been playing racers since the original Gran Turismo, I've never encountered a game that was this frustrating. I can't recommend it to anyone. Get it used, or not at all. 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 34 User Reviews