Shift 2: Unleashed kicks sand in the face of Gran Turismo

   30/11/2010 at 08:13       Phil May       0 COMMENTS.
Source - Joystiq
 - Shift 2: Unleashed, EA, Slightly Mad Studios, Racing, Track

Not exactly being a big fan of track racers, I didn't bother with Need for Speed: Shift for ages - well, till it dropped in price to a too-good-to-be-true level. Picking it up, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly solid (if a little dull) game under there. Not a Need for Speed game, and certainly nowhere near as great a game as the stratospheric Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit by Criterion, but a fairly good game nonetheless.

Good enough to warrant a sequel and a breakaway from the Need for Speed branding. Shift 2: Unleashed will shift developers to Slightly Mad Studios, get an entire game engine change and graphical overhaul and plenty of other extras. Dirt seems to play some part in Shift 2 with racing not just taking part on stale old racing tracks (yay!).

What's more, Slightly Mad Studios seem to have come up with a neat solution to the old head tracking problem. Using the in-car view, the camera angle will gently arc towards the apex of a corner as you roar around it at speed. Automated head tracking? Colour us interested. EA are also claiming that it's the most realistic driver-cam perspective yet. Portions of the driver's helmet that you'd normally see are visible in game but not obtrusive. Each bump, turn and jolt the driver experiences is reflected in the camera's movement too (sounds like the Shift team have been talking to DICE and looking at Mirror's Edge). This may sound gimmicky but it should add bucketloads to the sense of immersion.

The game has had some radical changes in the way the player is rewarded too. Classification of drivers has been dropped so you're no longer sorted into "aggro" or "passive" groupings. The Experience System is still in place though so this is where you'll start to build up your driver props and start the all important business of making money for your team to squander on ludicrously overpowered cars.

EA are promising great things of this and calling it "the game to give Gran Turismo a real run for its money". If they can make a menu system that doesn't suck, a soundtrack that isn't shit and sort the tearing out from day one, they might just do that. They might just.

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