Just imagine it: a car begins to reach 200mph, and in the camera view of the cockpit, the screen sways from the momentum of the car as it turns sharply around a corner. It zooms in as the car breaks abruptly, lunging the driver forward, and zooms out as the driver presses the gas pedal, pushing him back into the seat. Now a threatening turn approaches with the high-speed adrenaline clouding the driver's judgment. The screen shakes violently as the car flips over, slams into nearby barrels in front of a concrete wall, which then changes what was a pristine race into a steel scrap box and leaving the driver completely breathless!
Well, that’s what it felt like to play Shift 2: Unleashed at a recent Electronic Arts showcase. You’ll find the game, continuing from its predecessor, is an intense ride that emphasises an authentic viewpoint from the cockpit of a race car. It was stressed that the main goal of the Shift series is to deliver a unique racing simulation by largely imitating what actual race car drivers experience from a first person perspective. And the developers know their competition as well - quality over quantity couldn’t be more fitting for Shift 2. The developers are offering an estimate of over 100 cars instead of 1000 cars like in Gran Turismo 5. Their preference is to focus on each genuine race car to offer players a realistic experience rather than put forward a hefty garage of race cars.
Apart from the fact that cars fall apart in the game, the tracks become eventually unstable also, due to the wear and tear of racers abusing them. Sometimes parts of cars fall from crashing into walls, or other players, and remain on the track for the rest of the race. That’s right: you’ve read it correctly! Car parts won’t disappear and they become hazards for any race car in their path. In fact, the picture-perfect racetrack slowly becomes a canvas for debris and tyre marks. Dirt kicks up from all the ground, splashing onto the windshield, and cruel streaks of black scratch lines coming from accidentally being side-swiped spoil a car’s once kick-ass paintjob!
Players can also set to race in a couple of time changes such as dusk and night. The glare of the sun seeps through the car’s front window, partially blinding the driver, but soon fades away as soon as the player drives in the opposite direction. During night time, however, the situation is different and soon changes: the sole source of light comes from the car’s headlights that have a stunning effect during turns, and obstacles in the dark.
The autolog system found in Hot Pursuit you’ll find in Shift 2. This allows players to compete with friend’s online, complete challenges, and share stats and images that have been gained throughout playing time. There might be new racetracks, and cars, and even a system which boosts competitive online play, but the game’s main focus is to provide players with an accurate description of what it feels like sat in the drivers’ seat of a race car.
Find out if Shift 2 succeeds in its goal in our review, when the game releases next year.
OpenWheeler is a cheap racing game cockpit that every single car driving maniac should possess at home. Rejoice with your driving games immensely!
OpenWheeler is suitable for all Xbox/PlayStation car driving game enthusiasts - a dedicated racing seat simulator.
The extra sliding racing mechanism offered by OpenWheeler’s foldable seat allows you to move back and forth until you find your best driving position. The rail slider is standard equipment included at no extra cost, unlike other racing simulator seats.
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