PS3 Previews: SHIFT 2: Unleashed Preview

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SHIFT 2: Unleashed Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q2 2011

Publisher:

EA

Developer:

Slightly Mad Studios

Number Of Players:

1-12

Genre:

Racing

Need for Speed: SHIFT wasn’t perfectly simulated but it still felt great; sitting there in the cockpit of a car, attempting to learn the subtleties of both the track and the vehicle, and watching a race unfold with rapt fascination. Really, that in-cockpit view is exactly what driving fans require and despite a few small hitches here and there, the game proved itself to both critics and racing aficionados. Now, with SHIFT 2: Unleashed in the works, we look to developer Slightly Mad Studios to take the next step. Remember, while certain NFS entries like the recent Hot Pursuit are for the arcade-loving gamers, the new SHIFT series is designed to cater to the simulated fans and hence, it competes with the likes of Gran Turismo and Forza. Furthermore, EA has been vocal in their confidence of the upcoming sequel; in fact, recent comments make us think Unleashed will be very, very special…

The game in question won’t be about a ton of cars and a huge number of varying events and flashiness; it’s more about the experience itself. It’s about getting behind the wheel and feeling what racers feel; it’s about focusing on the invigorating terror of hitting an unknown track at ridiculous speeds. It’s almost surprising how involving SHIFT could be, and EA and DICE are promising an even more intense and immersive experience for the second quarter of 2011. Featuring an all-new rendering engine and a serious graphics overhaul, the sequel should look significantly better than the original installment. Furthermore, although we can guarantee it won’t control much like Hot Pursuit, the Autolog in the latter title will be included in Unleashed. This nod to social gaming allows friends to compete against one another as they push forward in the career campaign.

The team will also work to implement even more realism in regards to the in-cockpit driving. For instance, the crashes will be even more authentic this time around, as you will see more damage in other vehicles on the track, and the special effects should be clear and in-your-face…or rather, through the windshield and in your face. On top of which, we’ll get a new helmet camera, which should be a helpful driving aid: it will automatically look into a corner as you approach, which is of course how real drivers behave. The improved physics engine will reflect collisions and vehicle reactions more realistically, which will certainly enhance the experience. However, while the dynamic style of that helmet cam can’t be denied, we are a little concerned about its functionality. Might it sort of get in the way…? Or will it really improve our visibility and assist with the turn?

While we have our reservations, we have faith in the designers; we’re almost certain it will work correctly. It’s just something with which we’ll have to become more familiar. The inclusion of the Autolog should bring in even more driving fans, too, as the profile, gallery, wall, and friends list are a super huge part of the Hot Pursuit gameplay. If you visit the game’s official site, you’ll find they’ve provided us with some highlights: it boasts “insanely detailed real-world cars, drivers and tracks,” the ability to “choose the path that fits your own personal racing style” in Career mode, and “almost limitless options for customization from engine to body, suspension and much more.” For the most part, SHIFT 2: Unleashed appears to be a bigger and better incarnation, and that’s exactly what we want in a sequel. Keep those wheels handy for this one next year!

12/2/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (48 posts)

Killa Tequilla
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 9:47:19 PM
Reply

So it's the same developers as Hot Pursuit?

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Temjin001
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 9:59:48 PM

That's a 100% no.

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NoOneSpecial
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 10:07:41 PM

Haha. That's funny

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BikerSaint
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 10:45:23 PM


"Slightly Mad Studios"

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___________
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:20:49 AM

yes it is, because criterion have always been slightly mad!
not that thats a bad thing.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 10:19:48 PM
Reply

What's with all the racing games? Are they the new FPS?

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daus26
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 12:57:55 AM

There's that many? Only racing games that come to mind for me are NFS, Midnight Club, Test Drive, and Gran Turismo. NFS and EA has had a bunch this gen, but there are only a couple of Test Drive, and only one Midnight Club and Gran Turismo.

Wait... there are also Blur and another one similar to it...Also a lot from Codemasters.

I guess you're right lol. I guess I only pay attention to a few.

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___________
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:21:45 AM

more like whats with all the RPGs!
we dont get that many racing games, and fewer racing games like this as in track games.

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Underdog15
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 8:55:43 AM

I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt earlier stating you must have forgotten your sarcasm tags.

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DUNDEAL79
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 10:24:06 PM
Reply

Autolog is addictive as hell in Hot Pursuit.Anyone wants to challenge
some of my times bring it.psn DUNDEAL

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CH1N00K
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 11:24:05 AM

I agree with you. Autolog is a nice addition to the racing system. One thing that I thought would be neat to add would be the "ghost" run. While you're racing against you buddy to beat their time, if there was a shadow of their line as well to let you know how you're doing. Even a section time comparison would be neat to see. Let's you know how far ahead or behind you are after each section to let you know whether to pick up the pace or just relax...

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DUNDEAL79
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 6:47:22 PM

thats a great idea,maybe suggest at the nfs fourms.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 10:46:22 PM
Reply

I want to Shift 2

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TheCrazyMerc
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 10:48:01 PM
Reply

Damn, probably gonna get this liked Shift. Hope they made a lot of improvements. Maybe Shift+Underground=Awesome?

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eLLeJuss
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 11:32:09 PM
Reply

Sorry but i'm too busy to leave my cave to get this game. Still playin GT5.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 11:42:21 PM

Caves are good.

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gangan19
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 3:10:18 AM

I had a cave once! but now i live on the second floor :(

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Qubex
Thursday, December 02, 2010 @ 11:35:02 PM
Reply

Maybe Polyphony can learn something about how to polish a game properly before release... The Highlander / Jawknee... oh those shadows... those shadows and that terrible smoke effect :)

Only kidding... but you get what I mean right guys!

I am sure Shift 2 will be at another level this time around... I have Shift 1 and like it a lot.

I will still get GT5 + patches in about 6 months from now, and will also get Shift 2.

But for now, looking at MAG, KZ3 and INFAMOUS 2. GoW III will also come later when a little cheaper.... that will lead nicely into UNCHARTED 3 for next years holiday season...

For budgetary reasons I have to mix day 1 purchases (full price), with cut price titles I will get later for the collection. This brings down the overall average price, pre title, to something more reasonable, around the $25 to $35 mark across the board... which is what I feel games should be priced at generally.

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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daus26
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:13:25 AM

I think Kaz at one point admittedly said that he may have went overboard with his ambitious plans for GT5. By ambitious, he means getting things in the game that is better suited for next gen. From the looks of things, they are really pushing the Ps3.

Cause of this, I think GT5 is actually something that isn't done yet, and something that was pressured to release when it did. Even if they had extra time, I'm not even sure if the PS3 can handle whatever Kaz has up in his mind.

My wish in the future is that PD will have a much bigger team and have even proper third party help from Sony. Problem is their headquarters is based in Japan only. This will only make things better, like better shadows and smoke around the car!

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Jawknee
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:28:01 AM

"but you get what I mean right guys!"

Actually no. Many games have crappy shadows and particle effects. Seems a little silly to me to hold out on a game as good as GT5 just because of some pixelated shadows. The gameplay is superb.

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gangan19
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 3:12:15 AM

GT5 is perfect your crazy, i hate shift

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Axe99
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 4:51:41 AM

GT5 on release still has a few rough edges, but it's still the best sim-style racing game yet released by some margin. NFS:Shift (the original, clearly I have no idea how the sequel will stack up) is so far below GT5 in when it comes to sim-racing class that quantifying it would just make Shift feel bad ;).

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maxpontiac
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 9:15:42 AM

GT5 is polished. It does more then any racing game before it. Sure, it's not perfect, but when it comes to driving, it's unparalleled.

Looking at NFS Shift, the designers should have spent more time polishing the driving instead of the the effects like breathing.

My point? You can't let one (or a few) issue detract from the entire game.

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 11:25:17 AM

In 6 months?!? You gotta be kidding me. The game is great and god of war 3 has been in the 30 range for a couple of months now! Stop finding faults in games when they don't deserve them and play them for yourself instead of reading this and that!

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Pandacastro
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 11:50:58 AM

@Qubex
Why dont you just rent GT5?

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Highlander
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 12:10:10 PM

Qubex, there are only two aspects of GT5 that could in any way be described as lacking polish. The first is the blending of particle effects (smoke/spray/dust)/shadows and the car. the second is the basic online environment.

Not enough attention was paid to creating a full online experience - but the seeds are there. So it can be polished.

The visual effects are a little more troubling because this is the thing that Polyphony has always been known for. I think that they hurt themselves by stating it would be 1080p and making it 1080p. That additional resolution requires additional processing time. If you use more of your CPU/SPU/GPU budget to hit a specific resolution, you have less of that budget for particle effects and blending. Throwing damage and weather into the game didn't help reduce the pressure on the processing budget, or memory constraints. I think this forced compromises that I'm sure they didn't want to make.

This *might* be fixed by some additional polish post-launch. By tightening the efficiency in other elements of the game, and improving their particle effects and lighting code they may be able to resolve some of these issues, or make the better. I hope that PD and Sony see this as a priority, there are some very clever people at Sony and in the Sony first party development community that may be able to help PD optimize some things.

But, yeah, the flaws are there for all to see. However, when you consider the breadth and depth of the game and put the shadows and clouds into that perspective, they are small parts of a larger whole. You can critique the game and make mention of these things, but they are hardly sticks to beat the game with. They're just not that significant.

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Jawknee
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:21:07 PM

Qubex, I am starting to get the impression that you're not much of a gamer. Don't mean it as a knock, just seems you find reasons NOT to buy games instead of reasons too buy games. Sometimes your reasoning is a tad ridiculous.

EDIT: Also, some games are only worth $25 or $30 dollars but if you're not willing to splurge on something as deserving as GT5 or God of War III and spend the full $60 bucks, your just a cheap skate in my opinion. These games are well worth the full price of admission and these developers and Sony deserve every penny.

Last edited by Jawknee on 12/3/2010 1:27:08 PM

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IonHawk
Monday, December 06, 2010 @ 9:20:38 PM

Yeah, I don't think Sony or the developers get any less money if someone decides to buy the game on sale or using coupons or whatever. As far as I know, the retailers pay the publishers the same amount whether they sold the game for $60 or $20. The difference would go out of the retailers' cut.
I personally haven't paid full price on any game in the last 2 years. This just enables me to buy more games and hence spread the love around. I'm proud to be a CAG.

Last edited by IonHawk on 12/6/2010 9:26:03 PM

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daus26
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:01:29 AM
Reply

It's looking good. That helmet view might actually be the new, ultimate way to experience cockpit view this gen...if done right. As you say Ben, there might be times where we might want to look elsewhere, and the game forces you to look at something else.

In any case, it looks like this will be another game to step it up and do real-time, dynamic night racing. It's about that time headlights mean something.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:04:06 AM
Reply

Sounds fantastic, and GT5 has opened my eyes to just how much fun a simulation racer can be. This will undoubtedly offer something much different, but still. Will keep an eye on this one.
Peace.

P.S. So, is this called Need for Speed: Shift 2: Unleashed, or are they dropping the NFS moniker to make this, ultimately, a whole new franchise?

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daus26
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:15:18 AM

Probably not. The new NFS logo is evident in every situation where the game is present.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 2:57:55 AM

Ah, of course. It's just that I've never heard it referred to as NFS: Shift 2.

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Highlander
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 12:11:37 PM

Hey Lawless, did you get the user background music to work in your races yet?

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Lawless SXE
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 4:40:07 PM

I already had them working, it was that I wanted to be able to select any track to play at any time that I desired, and that just doesn't happen.

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___________
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:25:14 AM
Reply

really looking forward to this, really enjoyed shift.
its got a much more varied gameplay than GT5, im really getting bored of it because all the races are the same.
NFS shift had drag races, drifting, circuit, had so many different types of racing to keep you from getting bored.
GT5 only has one type of racing, start at the start line and drive around a set number of laps.
no differing drive style like drifting, sprints, drag races ect ect.
i really liked the collision effects in NFS shift too, they actually made you feel like you hit a solid wall at 200KMs, unlike GT5 which feels like you ran into a wall made of foam!
really cool how when you crash the screen goes all blury and you can hear the drivers deep breaths.

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G8GTdriver
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 8:50:30 AM

Shifts controls just aren't solid enough. There was NO consistency to any car or race IMO, atleast not enough to be a Sim. Maybe it was just me but I don't get the same feeling from GT5. The drifting was the worst, the car wouldn't react the same way in back to back tries. I remember setting up cars to drift in older GT games, could lock in drifts all day long once you get it set up.
Don't get me wrong I had fun and I played still until Hot pursuit and GT 5 came out and I'll go back to it, so I guess they accomplished their goal.

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Highlander
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 12:29:57 PM

Ah, Anonymous Cowherd, my friend. What is it about you that always makes us want to flame you? Oh, that's right it's the wild inconsistency in your thoughts. You've talked in the past about how much you've spent on your signature edition of GT5, your steering wheel, and on, and on, and on,... You've made it sound like you're harcdore into GT style racing. And then this;

"really looking forward to this, really enjoyed shift. its got a much more varied gameplay than GT5, im really getting bored of it because all the races are the same.
NFS shift had drag races, drifting, circuit, had so many different types of racing to keep you from getting bored.
GT5 only has one type of racing, start at the start line and drive around a set number of laps."

But, this is exactly what GT has always been about. It was this way in GT1, GT2, GT3,. GT4, GT5 Prologue and GT-PSP. You race laps on different courses. You race FF, FR, MR or AWD cars, you can race rally style, or oval style. You can race road races, F1 races, touring car races, stock car races. this is the way GT has always been. So, after committing so much to the game, you are basically saying you don't like it, and it's boring because it is exactly what it was expected to be and exactly what GT has always been? Really? I mean, really?

You continued along the same lines with this;

"no differing drive style like drifting, sprints, drag races ect ect."

Sure about that? Take a high powered FR car around any of the short circuits and you will drift. There are sprints - various point to point races and time trials. Drag racing? Seriously? It's not a drag racing game.

Then finally you continued with this;

"i really liked the collision effects in NFS shift too, they actually made you feel like you hit a solid wall at 200KMs, unlike GT5 which feels like you ran into a wall made of foam!
really cool how when you crash the screen goes all blury and you can hear the drivers deep breaths."

What!? Exactly what on earth did you expect from GT5? It's not an arcade racer. I just don't get you at all on this. GT5 isn't about crashing, it isn't about hearing the driver recover from an impact. That's just *not* what GT has ever been about, ever.

I don't believe that you have the signature edition, or the wheel that you purport to have. I really don't. No one would spend that kind of money on any game sight unseen. A big fan of Gran Turismo games might, but then they wouldn't expect Gran Turismo to play like a Need for speed game. You on the other hand do.

Is it any wonder that people flame you so? I don't believe a word you say any more.

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Jawknee
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:23:48 PM

Just more evidence he doesn't really play games Highalnder. LOL! He just likes to troll on gaming website's about games he doesn't own or knows nothing about. He is a walking contradiction.

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___________
Saturday, December 04, 2010 @ 8:23:53 AM

im not going to bother, as usual will go in one ear and out the other.
but i will ask this.
since when does finding something boring mean you dont like it?
i found the first few hours of heavy rain boring, does it mean i dont like that?
O,n Jawknee hypocrite much?

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Banky A
Sunday, December 05, 2010 @ 2:43:34 PM

...

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BikerSaint
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:36:37 AM
Reply

Did you NOT see the Nascar & go-karts in there too?

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Axe99
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 4:54:10 AM
Reply

I enjoyed Shift, but the AI was sooo arcade it wasn't funny - only really started enjoying the game when I realised that unlike other sim-style racers, you played this one by knocking other players off the road, and avoiding getting knocked off yourself. Racing realistically was a recipe for trouble and no mistake!

Solid game it was, sim style racer it bloody well as not. AI was closer to Burnout than GT5. Think a lot of the issues people have with GT5s AI is because a significantly sized group of gamers think Shift's is realistic. Any real race, raced like Shift's AI do, would have half the cars written off and the other half disqualified before one lap was out.

Will be interested to see if Shift 2 is really a sim-style racer, or another arcade racer with sim-style physics.

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JackC8
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 7:49:15 AM
Reply

I've already got this pre-ordered. I LOVED Shift, spent about 200 hours with it and platinumed it. The new one is going to have twice as many tracks (and the first one hat a LOT of tracks), twice as many cars, more realistic physics, and a whole new graphics engine. My head may literally explode from the excitement :)

I'm a bit concerned about the new helmet cam as well. Hopefully we'll have the option of turning it off if we don't like it. The original had more than its share of technical bugs as well, but I'm confident they'll fix that up. Hopefully.

My greatest joy in Shift came from starting at the back of the pack, working my way forward car-by-car, setting up overtakes, out-braking my opponent into a corner, cutting inside, then closing the gap to the next car. Ahhhh...sure will be nice to get back to a game with current-gen AI so I'll be able to experience that thrill again.

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swapnilgyani
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 8:43:40 AM
Reply

I'm not sure I'm ready for this just yet. I'm going to be playing GT5 for a long, looooooooooooooong time to come, so that fills up my simulation needs. Once NFS: HP gets a little cheaper, its going to be my next driving game.

Between those two games, I'll have all my virtual driving needs covered.

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Highlander
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 12:32:28 PM

NFS HP is a good game. It's no racing simulator, but it's a good racing game. It actually provides a useful contrast between what GT5 is and what a good looking arcade racer is. Although the setting for the game is a conglomeration of environments from California, Criterion makes them look very real, yet at the same time, very unreal.

It's very different from GT5, and that's not a bad thing.

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Jawknee
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 1:22:00 PM

GT5 is one of those games I'll probably be playing well into the next generation. That is if they don't release GT6 before then.

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Hezzron
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 11:15:24 AM
Reply

I picked up the first Shift for $9.99 at Amazon on Black Friday. I'm looking forward to getting it. I enjoyed the demo way back when.

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THEVERDIN
Friday, December 03, 2010 @ 7:33:17 PM
Reply

@Jawknee, I don't think you have to worry about GT6 for awhile. If it takes as long as GT5 you'll have anew system to play it on. Drive on

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