Shift 2: Unleashed

Spotlight

Digital FoundrySHIFT 2 Unleashed: Helmet Cam

SHIFT 2's helmet cam viewpoint explored across three circuits.

VideoShift 2 footage for Speed Hunters DLC

New pack for 17th May, priced 800 Points.

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 30

SHIFT 2, LEGO Clone Wars, Top Spin 4, Red Faction: Battlegrounds, MotoGP 10/11.

VideoEurogamer races Shift 2 for real

Bertie meets airfield meets drifting.

Key events

Free Shift 2 DLC announced for PC

Free Shift 2 DLC announced for PC

Extra cars, tracks, game modes from Origin.

Two DLC packs for Shift 2: Unleashed are up for free download on EA's Origin store from 30th June.

Speedhunters, which launched on consoles last month, adds 14 new vehicles and two new game modes (Drag and Standing Mile).

Legends, which pulled into PlayStation Network and Xbox Live in April, gives you a dozen classic cars and five new tracks to play with.

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Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 30

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3: Round 30

SHIFT 2, LEGO Clone Wars, Top Spin 4, Red Faction: Battlegrounds, MotoGP 10/11.

Welcome to the latest skirmish in the ongoing Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3 Face-Off series, Digital Foundry's continuing analysis of cross-platform development on our two favourite consoles.

As we reach our 30th anniversary, perhaps a quick refresher on what we do and how we do it is in order. For each game, our capture stations ruthlessly plunder the HDMI ports of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, extracting the video output with digital lossless precision. Gameplay clips are then amassed from the raw captures, edited and synchronised, and from there the process of choosing screenshots and creating comparison videos begins.

Gameplay is analysed via our bespoke tool (dubbed internally FPSGui) which coughs up videos measuring frame-rate and screen-tear, while comparison movies are generally slowed down to 50 per cent speeds and custom-encoded to ensure the highest picture quality using the lowest amount of bandwidth.

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SHIFT 2: Unleashed

SHIFT 2: Unleashed

Second gear.

By now, the Need For Speed brand has come to mean little more than 'EA-published video game featuring cars'. It's an umbrella term broad enough to encompass everything from the Burnout-inspired cops-and-robbers thrills of last October's Hot Pursuit to SHIFT, a simulation racer with its eye firmly on Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport's trailblazing exhaust pipes.

With Need For Speed games tearing off in all manner of creative directions, it's clear that EA's plan in recent years was not to create a cohesive brand so much as a synonym for the term "Racing Game" that is specific to the company's output. Nevertheless, while the Need For Speed name is guaranteed to sell copies, in the case of SHIFT, it may have had other, less desirable effects.

This is clearly intended by developer Slightly Mad Studios to be a Serious Racer (TM), but it is now detrimentally associated with a clutch of titles that are anything but.

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Meet BioWare, Crytek, Slightly Mad

Play Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2, Shift 2.

If you can get your bottom to London on 19th February, you can meet the stars of BioWare, Crytek and Slightly Mad studios - and play their games.

Shift 2: Unleashed

"Our opposite is Gran Turismo."

Once every 18 months or so, fate dictates that I get to sit down in a small room at EA's Guildford headquarters to talk about the latest Need for Speed game with producer Jesse Abney. He's friendly, quick-witted and throws around phrases like, "At heart, we're a phototropic species, right?" so I tend to enjoy these meetings.

Shift 2: Unleashed release date announced

Shift 2: Unleashed release date announced

Plus: first gameplay footage.

Slightly Mad Studios' simulation racer Shift 2: Unleashed will launch in the UK on 25th March, the rest of Europe on 24th March and in the US on 29th March.

Shift 2 is EA's attempt to beat Sony's Gran Turismo and Microsoft's Forza series in the hotly contested simulation racer race.

Last year lead designer Andy Tudor highlighted the differences between Shift 2, GT5 and Forza 3 in an interview with Eurogamer.

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FeatureNFS Shift 2: We won't add 1000 irrelevant cars

Lead designer Andy Tudor on creating a GT killer.

And all of a sudden the simulation racing genre is pretty competitive. Turn 10's Forza Motorsport 3 was released last year, Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5 launched last week, and next spring will see the game EA hopes will trump them both: Slightly Mad Studios' Shift 2: Unleashed.

Shift 2: Unleashed

Through the win-shield.

You're probably done with congratulating developers just for sticking an XP system in their game. And with good reason; applauding the insertion of statistical progression is like celebrating the creativity of whoever puts MSG in Pringles.

Shift 2 Unleashed announced

Shift 2 Unleashed announced

Out spring 2011.

Slightly Mad Studios' Shift 2 Unleashed will be released during the spring of 2011 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, EA's announced.

Shift is EA's Gran Turismo and Forza killer – it's designed to offer an authentic simulation racing experience in contrast to the arcade racing found in Criterion's Hot Pursuit.

The first Shift sold through close to five million copies worldwide, according to EA. Shift 2 brings an "all-new" rendering engine and a "massive" graphics overhaul.

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Need for Speed: Shift 2 confirmed

Yet another Need for Speed game is in the works.

Need for Speed: Shift 2 is due out for consoles and PC between the beginning of January and the end of March next year, EA confirmed last night.

No further details were offered.

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