The Need for Speed games are traditionally known for their arcade-style thrills and accessible gameplay.
Recognising this, while also identifying the demand for realistic simulation driving games such as Gran Turismo, F1 and Forza, EA has broken its Shift series away from the Need for Speed name.
Much like the first game, Shift 2 Unleashed takes the pick-up-and-play gameplay from the Need for Speed series – which boasts sales of over 100m units worldwide – and adds a host of new additions to transform it into a simulation driving game.
These include night races, more performance cars than any Need for Speed game before it and a new graphics engine.
“Players will be able to customise and race a wide variety of the world’s best known, high-performance vehicles through iconic and challenging tracks on their quest to become the FIA GT1 World Champion,” EA product manager Alice Brandvik tells MCV.
“Shift 2 Unleashed is very much aimed at simulation racing fans while still representing the core Need for Speed values.”
Shifting up a gear
Following on from 2009’s Need for Speed: Shift, which received a Metacritic score of 83, Shift 2 promises plenty of new features.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit’s Autolog system has been brought to Shift 2, allowing players to track their friends’ career progress, lap times and achievements. Even the high scores of professional race drivers Team Need for Speed are displayed for gamers to beat.
A revised ‘Helmet Cam’ lets users experience the action from the bumpy driver’s seat, adding to the sense of speed. This is on top of a huge roster of cars (see ‘Driving to Retail), all adding to Shift 2’s petrolhead appeal.