Product Type: Electronic Arts PS3 games
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A must buy if you love racing games
Shift 2 - Unleashed (PS3)
Member Name: TRGTspecialist
Shift 2 - Unleashed (PS3)
Advantages: Plenty of content, well designed career mode, beautiful graphics
Disadvantages: Floaty handling, poor collision detection
The second Need For Speed title made by Slightly Mad Studios, Shift 2 seeks to improve upon the already impressive foundation introduced in Shift 1 - and it duly delivers. As an overall package, Shift 2 works beautifully - everything comes together so well, and it's a lot of fun as a result.
Shift 2's content is easily its strongest point - there is about 150 cars, which, in comparison to Forza and Gran Turismo is low, but then again, only the most desirable cars are in this game, all of them speed machines that you'll really want to drive. The track list is very, very impressive - over 35 tracks, most of which have multiple layouts, with real world classics such as Road America, Bathurst, the Nordschliefe, Spa Franco-champs.............the list goes on and on. This is all put into a lengthy career mode, where you rise from racing small hatchbacks to becoming a GT1 champion. There is a lot of freedom in the career - earning XP allows you to increase your driver level, which allows you to enter higher league races - and you earn XP very quickly in this game, so you're able to very quickly rise up through the ranks, and choose the events you want to compete in.
Visually and aurally, the game is fantastic. This game captures the sense of speed in motorsport better than any other racing game I've played. At times it can be absolutely terrifying - take the (somewhat exaggerated) motion blur, the bone-shattering sound, the new helmet cam (which constantly shakes and moves about, looking to apexes like a real racing driver), and night racing, put them all together, and you have an experience like no other.
There is only two real complaints I have with Shift 2 - first, the handling of the cars takes some getting used to. It's quite floaty, but nervous at the same time - it's not bad by any means, but it is very tricky at first. Once you do get used to it though, it doesn't detract from the fun at all. The second complaint is the collision detection, which is far too sensitive. The AI are quite aggressive in this game, which means banging wheels with them can be common - but even slight contact can send your car flying off into the nearest barrier. This can be very frustrating after a while.
Apart from those two issues though, I have to say I love this game, and if you're a sucker for speed, I fully recommend it.
Summary: A brilliant racing game that is right up there with the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo.
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