Need for Speed?

Review of SHIFT 2 Unleashed for iPad
Developer: Electronics Arts Nederland B.V
Price (5/8/2011): $4.99

Author’s Rating: 7.5
This game is good for: Racing fans with plenty of time to kill


Once again the big boys of the gaming industry pops up with yet another “iPad Game of the Week” ported from the consoles (PS3, Xbox). The sheer quality of its graphics, amount of gameplay features and the technicality of its game engine is simple astonishing. Almost 2 hours in the game and I am still left fascinated in the learning process of the game.

I am not a great fan of racing games either with a console’s controller or an iPad. I am one of those purists that believe racing games should be played with a real steering wheel, gearbox and foot pedals. So it says a lot when I had a rather good first impression with Need For Speed Hot pursuit on the iPad.

Shift 2 Unleashed is the latest edition of the infamous Need For Speed series. Of course, it comes packing with everything you’ll expect of a racing game. Car lovers, will be in for a good time. The upgrade system is mind blowing, not to mention the array of cars they have. One must mention feature is the new Origin multiplayer service from EA.

Origin’s cross platform capability allows its users to be connected (like game center) between the consoles to mobiles or iPads with a single identity. You can use your EA account to login if you already have one, otherwise, signing up is a breeze. The multiplayer mode really brings the game alive as you will eventually get tired of racing computer programmed opponents.

There are 3 single player modes: Career, Quick Race Trials and Single Race. The career mode brings you for a adventure with a variety of maps (Abu dhabi, Chicago, Black forest, Tokyo, Rio and London). There are 7 different kinds of races in the Career Mode and Single Race Mode: These races ranges from a traditional multi-lap race to single lap sprints, duels, eliminators, time trials, exhibitions and drifts. After each race you can use your earnings to buy new cars or upgrade your existing car’s suspensions, tires, nitro, weight reduction, top speed and acceleration. You could also change the looks of your car by a paint job, or changing its spoiler, exhaust and wheels. The Quick Race Trials have an additional 3 events in addition to the Sprint, Drift and Time Trial events in the Career Mode and Single Race.

My strategy for the Career Mode is to only upgrade the nitro using your earnings until you reach a new “class” where you then buy the best car you can afford. Also, the Quick Race Trials are a pretty good way of earning some fast cash. I would not recommend purchasing “in-game credits” through the store until you are done with the single player career mode, unless you get really stuck. The car/upgrades you can purchase will blow any competition away, making all the single-player options a breeze. In multiplayer, however, an car that has been upgraded with in-game credits will completely outclass any other.


All in all, this is a complete racing game that would do the Need For Speed series proud. I personally prefer the more arcade-like style racers, such as Hot Pursuit, to this more complex title. But If you like racing games on the iPad or are a avid racing fan, you’ll probably love Shift 2. For gamers like me who prefer arcade style steering wheels, Shift 2 probably wouldn’t convert you, but would definitely impress you at least for a little while. The ‘wow’-factor from the graphics and few first races died out for me pretty quickly.

Till next week.

Review by Smoking Crows


1 Response to “Need for Speed?”

  1. 1 gok-kasten September 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Awesome blog, it’s just like a game for me! It’s so infomative and usefull, thanks a lot! If you post more of this great stuff, I’ll visit your blog again!

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