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Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed (PS3)
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- Next Level of Immersion-Experience visceral first-person racing like never before. The all-new helmet cam recreates realistic driver head movements that deliver an unparalleled sensation of speed: lean and tilt into the apex of corners, feel the impact of every scrape, bump, and crash, experience true in-cockpit vibrations, and more.
- Customize for Show or Customize to Win!-Unleash your creativity to turn some of the world's most elite high-performance vehicles into fire-breathing weapons. Customize the engine, the body, the suspension, and much, much more, then put your ultimate racing machine to the test in any mode. Whether your goal is to race a 1000-horsepower Econobox or a tricked-out GTR, you have nearly limitless options to reign supreme on the track where every second counts.
- True Realistic Racing-SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED redefines the racing simulator genre by bringing the atmosphere of race day to life. From authentic car and crash physics to terrifying night racing to the battle-scarred look and feel of both cars and tracks, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED leaves no detail behind in delivering the most authentic racing game experience yet. Featuring the FIA GT1 World Championship and GT3 European Championship plus real-world drivers, tracks, and cars, this is truly tomorrow's sim for today's adrenaline-fueled racer.
- Amazing Career Depth and Variety-Earn unlocks and participate in multiple racing disciplines on the way to becoming the FIA GT1 World Champion. Featuring everything from new Endurance races to muscle and retro cars, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED gives you the flexibility to choose the path that fits your individual racing style. Fight for position, dominate opponents, and annihilate track times every time out-the battle doesn't end at the finish line, it extends throughout your entire racing career.
- Change the Game with Autolog-Autolog is a revolutionary system that connects friends and changes the gameplay experience by allowing you to share virtually every aspect of your racing career. Compare Driver Profiles and career status, share and comment on pictures and videos, send challenges, and pull news feeds directly from NFS.com and Speehunters.com. Autolog recommendations amp up the social competition of real-world racing by delivering challenges based on friend activity, creating a dynamic, competitive, fun new way to play both online and offline.
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- Platform: PlayStation 3
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
Platform: PlayStation 3
Feel what the Driver's Battle is actually like in an unparalleled racing experience that captures the physicality and brutality of being behind the wheel going 200mph.
The critically acclaimed SHIFT franchise returns to the track with SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED. The most immersive racing experience to date brings the True Driver’s Experience to life with all the intensity and exhilaration of being behind the wheel and competing in the Driver’s Battle. From the all-new helmet cam to night racing to frighteningly real physics and crashes, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED delivers all the violence and excitement of race day in a groundbreaking authentic racing experience.
For centuries the wind has been viewed as nature’s paradox with its ability to be both gentle and powerful. The newly-unveiled Pagani Huayra, named after the Andean God of Wind, reflects this dichotomy and will be available exclusively in SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED and Need for Speed in 2011, the latest entry to the critically acclaimed Need for Speed simulation series.
The team at Slightly Mad Studios has perfectly recreated the form and function of this year’s most notable new supercar. From its elegant body shape to its commanding 700 HP engine, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is the first videogame where players will feel the white knuckle intensity of racing the Pagani Huayra at speeds of over 230 mph. SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is this year’s most authentic racing game which races onto retail shelves on 1st April.
"For the past seven years, the designing of the Huayra has been a labor of love and I’m ecstatic to be working with the entire Need for Speed team to help share our creation with the world," said Horacio Pagani, founder of Pagani Automobili S.p.A. "I' amazed by how accurately they have been able to capture the look and, most importantly, the feel of the Huayra. SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED will give enthusiasts all over the world the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Huayra."
SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED takes the innovative rivalry-generating Autolog technology pioneered by Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and connects friends, and competitors, together in head-to-head races and player statistic match-ups to add new layers of depth and detail to the intricate customization and tuning of the simulation series. Players can take the revolutionary true driver’s experience to the next gear with an all-new rendering engine and graphics overhaul, innovative helmet camera, night racing, and authentic degradation of cars and environments.
Developed by the award-winning Slightly Mad Studios, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED will be available on the Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and PC.
Fun though arcade-style racing games are, true petrol-heads crave a level of realism that delivers a much truer evocation of the adrenaline-generating rush of real-life motor racing. So they should be happy to discover that Shift 2 Unleashed provides exactly that. It’s essentially a racing sim, with a physics engine that represents the state of the art (although that doesn’t mean it excludes those born without the sheer talent of a Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button, as driver assists are on hand until you develop the bravery to crank it up to the Elite difficulty level). But whereas most racing sims adopt a clinical look and feel, Shift 2 Unleashed ratchets up the atmospherics to a heart-pounding level.
Not only does it communicate an incredible sensation of speed, using clever visual tricks like motion-blur, but it has a full damage engine, turning your every indiscretion into a dinged or crumpled body panel. And then there’s the innovative Helmet Cam, the most true-to-life representation of the view a real racing driver enjoys in the cockpit – which cleverly apes drivers’ sight-lines by, for example, homing in on the apex as you approach a corner. Not to mention proper night-driving – a first for a videogame – with rigorously modelled headlights cutting through the darkness. It’s safe to assume that non-virtual drivers booked in for their first 24-hour races will be using it to find out just what to expect on a real-life night-time stint.
A number of things instantly strike you when you first play Shift 2 Unleashed. Chief among them being the realistic feel, which complements the looks – you get a great sense of gradient-changes on the tracks, the controls feel fantastically responsive, and cars are launched into the air if you clatter kerbs, just like their real-life counterparts would be. Of course, Shift 2 Unleashed features most of the finest tracks on the planet – Australia’s legendary Bathurst is new, along with Shanghai, among old favourites like the Nordschleife and Brands Hatch – and a mouth-watering selection of machinery, including the yet-to-be-driven Pagani Huayra. You can indulge your FIA GT fantasies, too, as Shift 2 Unleashed incorporates the premier endurance racing formula’s official licence – unsurprisingly, given that a Need For Speed team competes in its GT3 class.
It becomes most obvious that Shift 2 Unleashed operates under the Need For Speed umbrella when you play it online. That’s because it includes the mighty Autolog, as seen in Hot Pursuit – which has been significantly upgraded since Hot Pursuit. This time around, it has a Facebook-style Wall, and as before, it lets you compete against your friends’ best times, even when they (or you) aren’t online. Shift 2 Unleashed’s Autolog implementation dynamically tracks the career progress and personal best times of you and your friends (so it’s always bang up to date), and makes it much easier to share and compare snapshots and videos of your best moves, crashes and so forth. Plus, of course, it lets you set up your own customised online races and challenges.
If you reckon you’re truly serious about motor-racing, then you’ll find that Shift 2 Unleashed is just what you’ve been seeking. It’s a proper petrol-head’s dream.
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So, first thing first, the controls. If you've played the original Shift, I'm quite disappointed to say not much has changed here. Driving can be incredibly twitchy at times, even when you're just holding the throttle and going in a straight line - there are times when you'll start to wobble all over the place. Perhaps this is what happens when you're in a Maclaren F1 going full pelt, but in a VW Golf that isn't going so fast, it can be confusing as to why you've started to lose control down a straight. The racing isn't as smooth as Hot Pursuit and it isn't as realistic as GT5, in fact it feels like it's trying to be a simulation but with added 'wow, that was cool!' over-exaggerated reactions to things. An example of this is the collisions between other racers - while GT5 received criticism for it's unrealistic damage and gentle collisions, Shift 2 seems to go the other way. Crashes can be epic (which of course they can be in real life if you're going 150mph), however if you're just taking a corner at around 30mph and clip the side of another car, I really wouldn't expect to flip over and roll about a couple of times, as has happened. Generally it isn't too bad, but definitely for me a touch over the top, I've had other incidents where a car has tried to overtake me, I've gone to block and he's clipped me, sending both of us into impossible spins that seems to last for ages, certainly long enough for the rest of the field to take over, leaving me facing the wrong way with a blurry screen. It's not amazingly bad to control, however it does feel that often your back end will spin out and you're not sure why, as if what has happened wasn't in your control.
In a similar fashion to the original Shift, you have your career mode which lets you take part in a few events and, as you level up, opens up other events for you to try. You level up by gaining XP which you do by winning races, as well as completing objectives while you race (for example sticking to the race line, getting perfect starts and mastering corners). While nowhere near as in depth as the GT5 career mode, there is a lot on offer here, with plenty of challenges to keep you busy and lots of cash and car prizes to keep you racing.
One of the big selling points of Shift 2 is the new 'Helmet Cam' viewpoint. It's essentially an attempt at creating what is feels like to drive a car through natty on screen effects (for example when you go faster, things start to blur, or if you crash the screen becomes monochrome and goes even blurrier). Also, your helmet cam looks towards corners as you approach them, giving the effect that it really is your head looking around your car. However, the main problem with this is simply that it's much easier to get better times with the standard cockpit view or the bumper view. While there is Trophy for winning an online race with helmet cam, once you've tried it a few times I can't help but feel the majority would switch to a normal view to help their times. While choice is important, it seems strange for Shift 2 to make a fuss about the helmet cam when the majority will choose not to use it, again a case of 'wow this looks cool!' but in practice perhaps a little redundant. If helmet cam was the ONLY choice, it would perhaps make Shift 2 a more unique racer, though of course everyone has their favourite way of racing. Times are important in this game, as Shift 2 uses the very same Autolog system first introduced in the fantastic NFS Hot Pursuit. If you don't know anything about Autolog, basically it's a form of social networking in game - you set a time, and you can message your friends all about it. A friend beats your time, and the game will tell you and provide you with a quick link straight into that race. You can see who has beaten you in what race and even how many times someone has attempted to beat you in a particular race. Autolog is great and really adds to the competitive nature of racing games.
The drifting from the original Shift is back and it's pretty much the same, which is to say it isn't all that amazing. The twitchy controls are amplified here, the slightest press of the R2 button or gentle movement of the analogue stick often sends you careering out of control. Again, this is where Shift 2 seems confused between striking that balance between simulation and arcade, the drifting is difficult and requires learning, yet in the early tutorials even if you just spin about, Vaughn Gittin Jr will just tell you you've done a great job and have really mastered the art of drift. For me, when other games have done drifting either in an arcade or simulation sense so well, I find it confusing that there's been no improvement in Shift 2s drifting since the original release.
Talking of Vaughn Gittin Jr, he's an American racing driver who presents the game to you. It's all real-life footage, not a computer generated representation of him, and he'll talk you through you career through these cut scenes as well as commenting on what you do in race. Now, it's not that he's bad, he's even fairly likeable, but it's all very...dated, I guess. There's lots of 'radical dude, you really hit that one!' and 'Yeah, come on, we won, awooga!' Okay, he never says awooga, but you catch my drift so to speak as it were. For me it doesn't really suit well if the game wants to be taken seriously, it starts to get into NFS Underground cheesy (which was AWFUL) and often I just want to race. It may well be there are people who love this OTT style of presentation, it's just not for me.
All in all, Shift 2 is entertaining, however it isn't fantastic in my view. It really does feel like it doesn't know it's own identity, stuck in limbo between sim and arcade racer. For every simulation quality (like the nice touches of corner mastering) there's an underlying arcade feel, except you can't quite let loose with it because if you go to fast and so much as trade paint with another driver you'll do a couple of flips. On the face of it, the game is great - plenty of cars to drive, lots of customisation options and tons of events to enter. However, much like the first Shift, for me the controls just aren't up to scratch. Hot Pursuit I loved straight away, GT5 was a slow burner but the more you put in the more you get out. Shift 2 doesn't seem to know where it wants to be, not serious enough to be a sim and not fun enough to be an arcade racer.
I have had this game for 3 weeks now, since the PSN has been down I have played on the Single Player quite a bit and I really do not have any negative comments about this game in respect of the handling.
I agree it is not as "realistic" as GT5, but it is certainly more fun; the physics model is one that takes a bit of getting used to, but when I picked up GT5 soon after its release I found for the first few hours I was not too good at keeping the car on the road. I would say it takes a few hours to get used to the physics...
I also need to pick up on the many reviews that stress the car does not go in a straight line at any noticable speed. I found this to be untrue. I have purchased a Zonda and a Nissan GTR and both went in a straight line at breakneck speeds without losing control... its when applying steering at these speeds without compensating on the gas is where the flips and the accidents happen. My recommendation to the players who are experiencing this is to slow down!
The steering is ultra sensitive, but again I have adapted my driving style to accomodate this and I am getting great lap times with minimal effort to keep the cars on the tracks.
I do feel quite strongly about this issue as I nearly did not purchase this game as I thought it was going to be unplayable. Please believe me, it is not the case.
I have played hundreds of racing games in my years, and this is by no means one that is unplayable, or ignores the physics layed down by other predesessors.
I am 68% into the career mode and I have not found the desire or need to mess around with any of the settings. I really am struggling to figure out why so many reviewers have slated this game and branded it almost unplayable... a mystery.
As for the immersion; the graphics are very polished, especially the night drives. The racing types are quite predictable (race/eliminator/time attack/endurance)but still fun. I must also comment on the drifting aspect of the game; I was expecting this part to be unplayable and very frustrating... I also found this to be untrue. I found the drifting section very easy to achieve the target points, so again I feel the comments about this part of the game to be unfounded.
I would heartily recommend this racer. It will not change the future of racing games, nor will it be remembered in the same light as the GT series, or Forza, or even Ridge Racer or Test Drive. But it is a polished fun racer that may lack the realism of GT5, but it screams fun when hurtling around those corners, barely gripping on to the tarmac with only one headlight functioning and 10 podium hungry drivers just behind you waiting to crash and burn.
The physics of the car's are not so extrem realistic as in GT5. The steering with the standard controller is
tricky, it's important to change the advance steering settings to get an adequate driving feeling. It takes some
time to get used to it. The graphics are very good specially the sound in the game is awesome.
It's a game that you could play from time to time, cause the savegame options are great. The game save
automatically every race even when you play a racing series. The races itself offer a lot of action. The damage
modell is good, far better than in GT5. If you crash very hard in a wall the race is mostly over. You can also
damage the car so hard, that the performance goes down. In this case shift 2 is very authentic and the action on
the track make a lot of fun.
The cpu driver are also good and most race's are exciting. The game is a mixture between arcade racing and sim. racing.
The tuning opportunities are very acceptable and easy to adjust. The quality of riding pleasure is the little
weakpoint of this game at least with the normal controller.
At the end I would say that shift 2 is a good racing game with compressed action on the track and a challenging
career mode. Not more and not less.
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