Review by WonderCaliban
"Best racer on the 360, but not quite perfect yet."
The original NFS:Shift was a pretty surprising game. I was expecting very little (the recent NFS games at that point were playable but average) What I found was a good racing game which had some good ideas, looked good and was fun to play. It had realistic racing, was accessible like GRiD, but not as dry as Forza, which whilst technically great, can be quite dull. However, it was fairly obvious that it wasn't a complete package and you couldn't help but feel that with a bit more effort it could have been better than GRiD, but wasn't quite there.
So it was with great excitement that I played Shift 2, it improves on the original, whilst keeping alot of the features that made the first one great. It has most of the same tracks and adds a few more. You race in a range of events in real cars of different classes. It also introduces night driving which adds a whole new experience. One of the best features of the first returns, each corner on every track needs to be taken correctly after which it is 'mastered'. The game encourages you to master all corners on every track, which in turn improves the way you race. The campaign mode will also take some time to work through and with a good selection of tracks and different car classes to race them on it won't get repetitive.
However, this has the curse of the EA sports title, in that there are some minor changes and a couple of new features, but they haven't changed and improved on as much as they should have for a sequel. Whilst an improvement, it still hasn't quite reached its potential yet and a further sequel will need further tweaking to perfect it. The corner mastery, whilst one of the best features seems to award corners alot easier in this one meaning you no longer have to do it perfectly, just fairly well. The amount of badges has been reduced form the first one and the driver experience level has been reduced from 50 levels to just 20. After each event you earn EXP but you can find that you've reached the highest level fairly quickly. Whilst in the previous game getting to level 50 took time and effort.
Overall a great racing game, and in my opinion as good, but not better than GRiD. Hopefully Shift 3 will be one step better.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/08/11
Game Release: Shift 2: Unleashed (Limited Edition) (US, 03/29/11)
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