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Shift 2: Unleashed

Shift 2: Unleashed

Shift 2: Unleashed

Shift 2: Unleashed is a racing video game, and part of the Need for Speed series. It was developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Electronic Arts. Shift 2: Unleashed was released worldwide during March and April 2011, although it has yet to be released in Japan. Shift 2: Unleashed for the PlayStation 3 has been made available as a free download during the month of April, 2012 to PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Shift 2: Unleashed is the direct sequel to the 2009 video game Need for Speed: Shift and expands on the gameplay and features introduced with the original. Shift 2: Unleashed features over 145 cars from more than 37 manufacturers and over 36 different tracks, which players can compete in several types of races. Players can also compete online. The game also features three new main additions: an in-helmet camera, night-time racing and the Autolog feature introduced with Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.

Shift 2: Unleashed Gameplay

Shift 2: Unleashed career mode is called "entertaining and interactive". Shift 2 claims to redefine the racing simulator genre by delivering authentic and true-to-life dynamic crash physics, intricately detailed real-world cars, drivers and tracks. During their careers, virtual racers partake in a variety of motorsports ó like drifting, muscle car racing, retro car racing, Endurance races and circuit competition (i.e. FIA GT3 European Championship) ó to hone their driving skills in hopes of becoming the FIA GT1 world champion.

In the career mode, Vaughn Gittin, a Formula D Champion guides the player through his career, customizing the car, Autolog, teaching the player how to drift, so the player would head on to the FIA GT3 and the Works series. Then, he begins to move on to the FIA GT1 Championship

As well as an in-car camera view, Shift 2 includes a 'helmet-camera' in which the player's viewpoint is from their driver. The helmet cam moves with the head of the driver, being drawn from side to side as the car takes corners and jerking forward when the player crashes. As the car comes up to higher speeds, the edges of the screen will become blurred to simulate the tunnel-vision effect that drivers suffer when racing. Shift 2's night racing also appears to be more advanced, with headlights dimming or turning off completely if damaged, further narrowing the player's view.

The Autolog system is now 'Need for Speed DNA'. The system appears in Shift 2 in a more-or-less identical design to the original, but will include extra features that will not only provide track times for unique events, but also segregate data based on quick race tracks, race types and automotive disciplines. This essentially means that Autolog will be more than just a system that simply displays your friendís times regardless of how, or when, they set them during their career.

Shift 2 features more than 140 licensed vehicles available for racing and tuning, a smaller number compared with racing sims such as Forza Motorsport 4. However, executive producer Marcus Nilsson said the studio wanted to concentrate on having only the must-have speedsters. There are also 40 real-world locations including Bathurst, Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka as well as fictional circuits like downtown London and Shanghai.

Lead designer Andy Tutor confirmed that Shift 2 would not feature split-screen, saying, "Thereís so much going on in the game, for example weíve added if youíre drafting a guy now youíll get all the little bits of crap from his car, all the gravel and rubber hit the car and they can hit your windscreen and things like that. It takes a lot of development time but itís very authentic and thatís the experience we want. Unfortunately that means things like split-screen arenít possible."

Shift 2: Unleashed was met with positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 83.08% and 84/100, the Xbox 360 version 81.91% and 82/100 the PlayStation 3 version 80.40% and 81/100.

GameTrailers rated the game an 8.9/10, saying how it "Refines the strengths of the first game and extends their value indefinitely through the competitive environment of autolog. There aren't any breakthrough new features here, but this is a racer that will constantly push you to improve and make you sweat under the pressure."

It gained an 8/10 rating from Eurogamer, stating: "As an update to the previous SHIFT title, Unleashed is a significant draft forward. While the driving itself retains the boisterous character of its predecessor, there's been a considerable tightening of focus in the experience system, which makes every race feel meaningful whether you win or lose."

It gained a 7.5/10 rating from GameSpot, stating how "Shift 2 may not offer full-on simulation features, but it boasts roller-coaster thrills and a deep sense of immersion in the hectic world of racing."

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