Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shift 2 Full Review Boogaloo

After clocking a bunch more hours in Shift 2, I feel as qualified as any internet nerd to give my fully unbiased opinion* of this game. This is from a very mediocre car driving gamer's perspective, so take it for what it's worth.

Unsurprisingly, my extended impressions aren't that much different from my first impressions. Shift 2 is good looking and fun to play. It doesn't have the wow factor of a more arcade-y game like Grid, but it is satisfying on some deeper level. For a simulation game it is quite easy to get into, and vastly more exciting off the bat than Gran Turismo.

Like I said before though, this game is hard. How hard? Well I can get first in most races in Dirt 2 on higher difficulties. In Shift 2 on medium with most assists enabled I make the podium maybe half the time. This is also using the speedfreek and realtrigger attachments on my ps3 controller. There is just very little room for error. Sometimes you can do everything right and the game just decides to F you in the A with a roll of quarters.

Many times you'll have the lead for the entire race, then in the last corner, Turbo Dick from the planet Fartbrains slides past and cheerfully flips you off before switching on his afterburner and it's 1.21 JIGGAWATTS BACK TO THE FUCKING FUTURE MARTY!!! And you're left in the dust with your ravaged pride and broken dreams.

Most of the early races are 2 or 3 laps, which doesn't sound like much but anything longer gets very taxing. I actually had to remind myself to breathe sometimes. It's just very nerve wracking, especially on the night courses. I feel my whole body tense up going into a hairpin turn. It's a great rush, but because of that I find I can only play the game in short bursts. It gets physically and mentally tiring. Or maybe I am just that out of shape...

The variety of races is nice, featuring a good range of cars from european to japanese, classic cars to modern supercars. One thing I could do without though is drift events. Fudge that poop. I have never played a game ever in which drift events were fun. Maybe one exists but I sure haven't found it.

Another thing I dislike is that they got rid of your pit chief and replaced him with some drift racing jerk-off. I guess they were trying to pull a Dirt 2 and appeal to today's youth. He's just annoying and generally doesn't tell you anything useful. "Go fast into the second corner then hold tight." Yeah good luck, I can't even remember to freaking breathe half the time. Which reminds me, on every loading screen they felt the need to put inspiring quotes by REAL race car drivers. It's all stupid crap like "Chrome don't get you home." or "Speed is the essence of fast." Maybe you should stick to driving cars, guys.

Anyway Seinfeld is coming on, so in short this game is challenging but rewarding if you can stick with it and forgive the occasional frustrations. There's a nice variety of tracks and you will be kept busy for a long time earning money and exp to unlock new cars. And cars are the essence of driving. You can quote me on that, btw.

*Opinion may actually be biased

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