Firstly, I would like to make the comment that I downloaded this game for free from the Playstation Network Store (accessed via the Playstation 3 console) & I really wasn't expecting too much from this title. Shortly after beginning the game I began to change my mind.
Shift 2 knows what you want from a racing title so doesn't try too hard as far as story goes. It's the generic new driver working his way through the ranks up to the ultimate racing challenge in the FIA GT1 racing tourament. You get there by winning races in a total of 16 classes while each progression in the story is narrated by someone who is obviously important in the FIA Racing world but unless you are an avid fan of the sport you won't really recognise.
The unique system in Shift 2 Unleashed is allowing the player to do some test laps on the Suzuka Race Track while monitoring your overall driving ability. After this is completed automatic adjustments are made to improve the players chances of succeeding. The driving itself is simple enough, with the L2 controlling the break and R2 the accellerator. Settings are fully adjustable to suit any skill level.
The game comprises of 140 fully licensed cars all with different accessories and parts to fully customise each car to the player. Since release more cars have been available from the Playstation Network. All the makes you would expect are here, from the basic Golf to the high spec Bentley Continental.
Again Shift 2 doesn't rewrite the rule book as far as tracks are concerned. If you are a regular gamer and enjoy racing titles then you know what to expect. From the wonderful Brands Hatch to the legendary straights of the Monza GP, the emphasis here is on real tracks, real environments and giving people what they know.
This is game is very pretty to look at, although nothing in this department really sets it apart. The cars look great on the track, the scenery of the tracks look reasonable but you can never really get a great view due to the speed your travelling at.
Since playing I have been converted into a fan, this is far more of a "pick up & play" game than some rivals such as Gran Turismo which require time and effort to master. If you want some fun then this is a decent racing game that will keep you entertained. However, If you are looking for a real driving simulator then I recommend you check out Forza or the Gran Turismo series