The original Need for Speed: SHIFT has sold nearly 5 million copies globally since its launch in September 2009. EA are crossing their fingers for a repeat performance, with the unveiling of SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED upon a not-so-unsuspecting public.
I could give you a whole lot of words here, but what you really want is the trailer, right?
So. First things first, the whole “Need for Speed” part of the name has been scrapped, shifting the focus slightly to look more at the amazing game design that took the original SHIFT into a whole ‘nother realm of games. Just like its predecessor, SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED promises to be visceral, more physical and more intense than any other racer.
This time around though, the game introduces the driver’s battle – a primal feeling of power and speed which turns the usual competition race into a struggle for supremacy.
Marcus Nilsson, the game’s Executive Producer, explains:
“SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is redefining immersive racing by blending the rush of tearing up the track at unbelievable speeds with the emotional experience of competitive battle. We are also working closely with real-world performance drivers to ensure that SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED captures their experience and becomes the benchmark in authentic racing action.”
An all-new rendering engine has been brought on-board, overhauling the graphics and dropping you right in the middle of the racing action. There’s even a helmet-cam to emphasise the thrills of travelling at 200mph (at night!).
…and like every other game these days, there’s a social media element involved with Need for Speed Autolog – a network that will connect you to your friends for epic head-to-head races, or just to compare stats.
SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is in development at the appropriately-named Slightly Mad Studios, and a little birdy tells us that Australian audio guy Mick Gordon is also doing some work on the game (that means it’ll sound as awesome as it looks!). It’s all due out in “spring” 2011, for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.