EA kicked off a Need for Speed spin-off series with "Need for Speed: Shift" in 2009, but as of the second installment, the words "Need for Speed" appear to have dropped off the title to make room for the name "Shift 2 Unleashed." In all fairness, the long-running racing franchise already has plenty of exposure at the moment, thanks to projects like "Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit" and "Need for Speed: World" hitting this year. With a new rendering engine and a strong predecessor to pivot off, though, EA sounds confident that "Shift" will be a strong enough name on its own.
"'Shift 2 Uneashed' is redefining immersive racing by blending the rush of tearing up the track at unbelievable speeds with the emotional experience of competitive battle," the game's executive producer Marcus Nilsson said in a press release. "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."
EA anticipates a Spring 2011 release for "Shift 2." The game will come from the developers at Slightly Mad Studios, where they're putting a heavy emphasis on simulation and a new helmet camera that they hope will help convey the intensity and danger of the racetrack. As for the trailer, it offers little more than a teaser for the game's tone, but the upside-down mid-air accident that gets frozen in time toward the end offers a clear impression of what Slightly Mad wants to do.
Are you burned out on Need for Speed games? Do you still have some excitement left to turn toward "Shift 2"? Share your opinions with us in the comment section below.