Shift 2: Unleashed - Xbox 360

Release Date:

01 April 2011

Also on:

Xbox 360 PC PS3

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


Shift 2: Unleashed is designed to re-create the experience of driving 200 miles per hour from the driver's vantage point. Also included are night-time races, wear-and-tear on both cars and tracks, and a renewed emphasis on simulation-style handling and performance. The "autolog" system lets you share your racing milestones, such as pictures and videos, with friends online. You'll also receive in-game challenges based on your friends' top performances. Customize your vehicle's engine, body, suspension, and other parts to impress rivals and outgain the competition.

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Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360


The game has a Career mode that makes use of the numerous points you’ll score playing through the game. Here, you’ll play through races of steadily increasing difficulty, requiring you to make use of the experience you gain to unlock progressively faster death machines that will let you garner even more experience. There are a lot of things to unlock, and they’re usually close enough and good enough to keep you drooling for the next one.

Gaining experience, surprisingly in a racing game, takes priority over such things as winning races, sometimes. The game awards experience on a regular basis as you race, if you do things right. Advancing past an opponent, blocking the advance of another car, staying in the lead for a whole lap, all give a player more and more experience. There’s also a green line which shows the ideal line for the course that you’re rewarded for following. Of course, when you do win races or get the best time on a time-trial race, you’ll receive a huge experience bump, too. All this experience leads to more cars and tracks, as well as further upgrades that can be unlocked.

One issue about this game is the way the cars handle. It’s not quite realistic, especially compared to more simulation-styled racing games. The handling isn’t always consistent either, with slight adjustments sometimes making the adjustment you needed, and sometimes not doing anything. That dead space in the middle isn’t always the same, and takes a lot away from the experience. Handling is probably the most important thing in any racing game, and this game’s car handling could be done better.

This probably has something to do with the viewpoint. Initially, and by default, you’re looking through the eyes of your character. While this is an interesting perspective, it actually makes the game more difficult to play. From this first-person viewpoint, it’s easy to crash and not recognize which way you’re supposed to be going. Fortunately, there are a couple of different viewpoints that you can race with, and it’ll probably improve your game to switch to the third-person view.

The saving grace in the title is the enormous number of races that must be overcome, and the playability of the RPG aspects in doing so. These races, while not strictly correct to simulation standards, are still a blast to play due to the experience points that you rack up as you race through them. While Shift 2: Unleashed might not satisfy the simulation gamer in you, it has plenty of sheer fun gameplay to make it worth your time.

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