Written by Johnathan Bodily
REVIEW: Electronic Arts latest addition to the world of Racing Simulators; Need for Speed: SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED
During the SEMA show year, I was given the opportunity to check out EA’s next racing simulator “Need for Speed: SHIFT 2.” While I don’t usually cover video games, the Need for Speed line has always been one of my favorites. So of course, I jumped at the chance to have a look and get hands on with it.
So I walk into a tucked away room and found Chris Rado (Time Attack) sitting in a D-Box full motion racing seat, with Tommy Milner standing over his shoulder. Chris was having a difficult time in the simulator driving his own 1400HP Scion TC; Something to do with a pedal configuration that isn’t available because of Logitech steering wheel/pedal combo.
Those darn clutch pedals are so difficult to work with when you can’t modify them to match your car’s layout… So, after a quick presentation the marketing guys at Electronic Art’s formally introduce Tommy, Chris, and Vaughn Gitten Jr. (Formula Drift) who had been delayed due to drift demos out in the parking lot of the Las Vegas convention center. The presentation we were shown had an in-game video that was impressive.
After the presentation we get the go ahead to jump head first into SHIFT 2. The game we are told is still in Alpha, but is clean, very polished, and oh so much fun. The physics in SHIFT 2 are amazing. You hit a turn and the view rotates out the window much like it would if you were actually driving the car.
So this aspect in itself was impressive. I have in the past avoided playing a racing game or simulator and being in “cock-pit” because of the view always being so straight forward. One thing to note is you can actually rotate your head to check out the functional gauges etc…
The game has a great feel, look, and of course is a racing simulator unlike Sony’s GT5 Driving Simulator which by its own right is pretty hard core. Electronic Arts has taken the Racing Simulator to a whole new level with the SHIFT series. They are improving the Need for Speed line by leaps and bounds with each new release, and with SHIFT 2 in my opinion have taken the cake. Granted my view is based on the Alpha. However, trust me on this one I will be out on release day picking up a copy of SHIFT 2.
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