Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed (Xbox 360)

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Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed (Xbox 360)

Genre: Racing/Driving - Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)

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73% positive

3 reviews from the community

Review of "Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed (Xbox 360)"

published 15/06/2011 | MrBrightside1987
Member since : 06/08/2010
Reviews : 189
Members who trust : 128
About me :
Make today count because we ain't getting it back!
Pro Lots of different race types and a fair amount of cars and tracks, plus multiplayer is good!
Cons Not enough gameplay in the game and some of the handling of the cars is terrible!
Value for Money
Difficulty & Complexity

"Shift Into Top Gear To Be Unleashed!"

Graphics can be seen in this pic!

Graphics can be seen in this pic!


Shift 2 Unleashed is the 17th title in the Need For Speed gaming franchise that has been developed by Slightly Mad Studios and has been published by Electronic Arts. Shift 2 Unleashed is a racing game that is available for the PC, PS3 and the Xbox 360 console. Shift 2 Unleashed in my opinion is one of the weaker games from the Need For Speed franchise. Its the first Need For Speed game I have played that looks like a weaker version of Forza or the Gran Turismo games. Previous games in the franchise have featured a really good story as well as some brilliant gameplay but Shift 2 doesn't offer a great story to the game. In Shift 2 your character is never seen but a world champion racer helps you to master the ways of real racing. Shift 2 Unleashed is a game that aims to give the gamer a proper feel of how racing games should be and what they entail. It gives the full feel effect of driving. Shift 2 Unleashed pits the gamer starting from the lowest of ranks of the world tour with the weakest cars on offer and as you progress your aim is to become the best with the help of a former world racing champion. The Need For Speed games have always been about street racing in my eyes and I feel with all these types they have gone way off track with the franchise.

The gameplay isn't all that bad if i'm honest but it is slightly different in some aspects to other Need For Speed games and one of the main things that have changed is the handling of the cars and the feel they give when your driving them. In previous games you could easily thrash round every corner without braking but Shift 2 requires a whole lot of braking and good timing as well. There are different difficulty settings for your driving experience but to be fair it doesn't alter the handling of the cars and that is what the real problem is. There are a total of 145 cars from 37 different manufacturers and most of the cars handle differently but they still feel awkward and make the game a little disappointing. The game also features 36 different tracks. There are also several different race types in the game including normal racing, drift racing, hot lap, eliminator and many more.

Shift 2 Unleashed also features a couple of new and exciting things. One of them is the ability to use a new camera angle in the game known as the in-game helmet cam which gives the gamer the feel and look as if they are actually in the car driving themselves. Also for the first time you can experience night racing like real drivers experience it. The game does feature a new handling model and this is where I was disappointed. You can also tune your cars like you did on the previous Need For Speed games but on this one it doesn't seem as effective and there aren't as many upgrades available. Impress rivals by finishing on the podium, compete in special events for money and even enter the FIA GT1 World Championship.

Unlock cars as you play through the game. Most of the cars can be edited to suit your style of play ranging from the insides of the car to the visuals of the car. Add vinyls and your own unique logos for online play or even career play. Nitrous is still a big part of the game but the game doesn't start with nitro and it only becomes available as you get further in the game. You can buy cars and sell your own unique ones. Also in the game you have a driver level and the more XP (experience points) you earn the higher level you will become. Higher levels mean better cars will be unlocked. Autolog is a new feature that puts all the information you need into one. Autolog also recommends certain events to challenge as well as other features to enhance your racing career

When connected to Xbox Live and playing the game you get the chance of having a personal online pass. The online pass is to give the gamer access to all the online features and bonus content that is available. It also keeps all your records. If you've played a previous Electronic Arts game then the chances are that you've already got an online pass and will know all about it. Enter the code to receive you updates and upgrades for the game. Overall there is quite a lot in terms of gameplay features for the game and most of the gameplay handles really well except for the cars. Its like most racing games, race against a set number of cars, win the race to progress and earn money and maybe even unlock new content as you go along.


QUICK - Quick mode is another name for exhibition race. In this mode you can race against friends or compete against friends in a series of events that include drift races and elimination races. This game mode is very limited and doesn't last a very long time. However it is fun especially with friends.

CAREER - Career mode is the main mode in the game and it features the gamer taking on numerous challenges and races from the lowest ranks working all the way up to the very top. Start off with easy races with the much weaker cars and as you progress you earn money to buy better cars for the newer races and events. Overall this is the main mode and its not a bad one. The only downside is this mode isn't a massive one.

GARAGE - Garage is where all you cars are kept and they all can be viewed from this mode. You can also add bits to your car here with new visuals and also tuning your car is found here. You can also take a photo of your car and upload it to the web.

CAR LOT - Car Lot is where all your unlockable cars and other cars you currently own can be viewed. You can also buy new cars from here that can be used in all game modes available.

XBOX LIVE - Xbox Live game modes are much better and more fun for gamers. You need to have your Xbox 360 connected to Xbox Live via your internet connection and you will also need a gold membership. Play a quick match which automatically sticks you in someones game that is about to start. Browse games ready to start and join them. Customize and create your own matches to race against friends or other online gamers. There is also a game mode called Driver Duel Championship which features online gamers competing against each other on certain tracks.

EXTRAS - In the extras mode you can find numerous things such as game credits, online pass and even movies taken from the game. If you've played the previous Need For Speed games you can get bonus features from Electronic Arts!

The graphics to the game are very good and are one of the best points about the game. All of the cars in the game are really well detailed to every point and they all look how they do in real life. Also the design of the tracks and the layout of them are really brilliant and most of them are identical to how they look in real life. The scenery in the game is also very interesting. In the day its beautiful but at night its really hard to see anything but its still top notch stuff. I was very pleased overall in terms of graphics. The sound effects to the game are equally impressive. All the cars are kitted up to sound exactly how they should. Also big time crashes sound amazing and almost life like. All these sound effects make the game stand out that little bit more. Also the music to the game is brilliant it features tracks from well known bands and its definitely the type of music that I call racing music. It features my favourite band 30 Seconds To Mars, it also features music from Rise Against, Biffy Clyro, Jimmy Eat World and The Bravery. Overall I was very pleased with both aspects to the game.

The games difficulty varies like most games do. In this one your difficulty is automatically picked for you but if your not happy you can change it. At the beginning of career mode your given a test race which is 2 laps. There are 3 target times and which ever you finish the race in will be your difficulty level. Also different race types are different in terms of difficulty. By far the most challenging is the drift races. Its hard to master at first and takes real patience. Xbox Live gameplay difficulty varies and all depends on the skill of the other players. The handling of the cars can be difficult if your on a much harder setting but that all depends on the skill of you. Also the game length wise is very poor and withing 12 hours I had fully completed the game. Its a huge disappointment that games like this are cut really short.

The game features a total of 48 achievements and most of them are really simple to acquire. Most of the achievements require you to do certain events in career mode and also quite a lot of achievements are acquired through online play. Most of the achievements are just time consuming but are really simple to get.
  • Lots of variety in the cars and they all look and sound stunning.
  • Some brilliant graphics and sound effects come into play in this game.
  • The game features some brilliant music tracks from some top quality bands.
  • Some good multiplayer options and online modes available in the game.
  • Lots of unlockables to find.
  • The game is a little repetitive but it is racing and it does get really annoying in places.
  • The game can be very tricky in places and drift races need time to master.
  • The main career mode isn't long enough.
  • The price is a little expensive.
  • There are better racing games available out there and they're cheaper.

Shift 2 Unleashed is an okay game overall but there are much better racing games available on the Xbox 360. I would definitely say this game in the Need For Speed franchise is one of the weaker ones. Games such as Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo or even Project Gotham Racing all feature more cars and tracks and look equally as good as this and all the cars handle perfect in those games. The game manual is really weak for this type of game and it only offers a small amount of information, it does have a lot of support though.

I would recommend this game because its not that bad a racing game but I just think if it came in a different case I would never guess its a Need For Speed game. Its still a fun game to play even though there is better. I bought the game from my local ASDA when it was first released because they had the game on offer for £25 and the game is available on Amazon for £19.99 brand new or around the £18 mark for a used copy. I do think within time it will drop more in price because its still a fairly new game.

The game has an age rating of 3+ which is great. The game overall didn't impress me a whole lot and I wasn't very happy about the fact they went from street racing to this but thankfully Need For Speed The Run will be back on the streets and is looking better than all of the Need For Speed games. Shift 2 Unleashed is quite a bit away from perfection but it does contain some good bits. I would give the game a 6/10!

Review also on dooyoo under the username: simon020187!

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Comments on this review

  • Coloneljohn published 29/06/2011
    Excellent review.John
  • KathEv published 28/06/2011
    Excellent review!
  • Jake_Speed published 25/06/2011
    E from me
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Product Information : Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed (Xbox 360)

Manufacturer's product description

Genre: Racing/Driving - Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)

Product Details

Long Name: Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed, Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed Limited Edition

Platform: Xbox 360

Genre: Racing/Driving

Publisher: Electronic Arts (EA)


Listed on Ciao since: 20/01/2011