Driver Blog>>vaughn Gittin Jr: Unleashed

As some of you may know, I was very involved in the original Need For Speed SHIFT and this year I had the amazing opportunity to increase my involvement for the release of SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED.

I'm a frequent Sim player, and I truly believe that having a proper virtual driving experience translates to a shorter learning curve when the opportunity arrives to hit the track in real life.

When I first played a beta of the original SHIFT game, I had a few sheets of notes and changes that I felt needed to be made. The original SHIFT was a great game overall, but only some of my suggestions could be implemented into it. 

I am very excited to announce that the team has implemented many of my suggestions and I'm hoping everyone is pumped on the new features.

I can finally share with you some of the things I've been keeping under my hat for the past year or so. As you can see from the screen grabs (and previous related posts), it is very hard to tell you are looking at a video game. The graphics are simply unbelievable. In this shot you can see how the smoke is much more realistic now.

The game's engineers and artists have done an incredible job with replicating my Formula Drift Championship winning Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang into the game. Not only does it look the part, but it's handling and throttle response are pretty much as crazy in-game as it is in real life. All players will have the opportunity to have my competition car in their garage and flog it, as it's the "Boss" car for the drift element of the game.

There have been a lot of changes to Drifting in the game. We really focused on overall fun factor! With fun in mind, we swayed away from professional drifting competitions and tandem battles, instead concentrating on just going out and having the track to yourself to get crazy on. You can hotlap any track in the game as much as you want without the annoyance of being restarted just when you start getting in the groove. I expect everyone to be thrilled with the refined drift feel and how fun it is, even for the first time players.  As you can see from the image above, the Ebisu touge course returns. How can you have drifting in a game without Ebisu Touge? 

There's also an all new "drift park" called the Nevada Freight Depot. I really pushed hard for an area where players can get familiar with their cars and learn the dynamics of drifting with very little boundaries. This ended up being a perfect place to learn and once you get the hang of drifting, it is a great place to go and freestyle and just have some fun! Hopefully we will have a real-life drift park in the future here in the States!

Many of you will recognize this. That's right, you can now tackle Irwindale Speedway. This track is such a special place for me personally and for drifting worldwide. 

I was so pumped to see it in-game for the first time. Doesn't it just look so crazy? If I didn't know, I wouldn't be sure if Iw as looking at a real picture or not. 

Many of you have followed the build of the Team Need for Speed RTR-X from day one. To see it and play it in-game for me is simply surreal. The RTR-X is the "Boss" car in the Muscle component of the game and everyone will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Just please, don't scratch the paint! ;) 

Speaking of being behind the wheel, the team has put so much effort into giving a true driving experience. The addition of the helmet cam is really something special. You feel and see everything in a first-person view…

…Which is particularly important in drifting. With helmet-cam you're looking out of the side window when you are at deep angle just like you would in a real car. And while racing, your point of view shifts to the apexes ahead. Under braking you really get a sense of the forces, with your head getting pulled forward. The sense of speed the team has been able to make a player feel truly is incredible.

SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED is a raw driving experience that sparks all of your senses. It is NOT just another sterile "driving simulator". I guarantee in many occasions it will have you moving around in your seat – and flinching – like no other driving game has.

Aside from my cars being in-game and my personal contributions to physics and other elements of the game, my person has now been immortalized in-game. I am honored that the SHIFT 2 Unleashed team decided to make me one of the main characters in the game.

I am each player's friend and coach in the game, so there was a lot going on behind the scenes over the past few months. I got to work with some very cool creative people during the process, some of which you know such as Rod Chong and Will Roegge. 

I also spent a lot of time in recording studios, working with people like Charles Deenan. Thanks Charles for bringing out a talent in me that I did not know I had!

Not only am I in the player's corner throughout the game, but I also work with players to teach them how to drift during the drift tutorial, another thing I really pushed hard to get in-game. All players go through the fun tutorial prior to their first drift challenges in-game.

We start out in the Nevada Freight depot in a special 240SX that we at Drift Alliance built for the player. I personally instruct the player just as I would in real life by starting out with large drift donuts, then moving into figure eights, then moving to high speed manjis.

Working on this game has been a true project of passion for me. I am very excited for the world to have to opportunity to get behind the wheel of my cars virtually. Who knows, it could turn into reality for someone one day! 

I sincerely hope everyone enjoys SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED. The team has put a lot of blood, sweat and tears behind each element of the game!  

- Vaughn Gittin Jr.



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Looks great! Can't wait to give it a whirl.


Again looking great...

DLC though? Need some more oldschool cars!


can you play it in 3D?! i reckon the 'helmet cam' would look pretty darn impressive!


can u customize your car?cuz id hate to play online and have everyone drive the same car.


Wow looks so real!

looks like an amazingly fun project!


Will there be a demo? The drifting physics were very sloppy if you weren't actually sliding in the first one, so I'd like the chance to try this one before dropping 60 bucks.


Nice insight, for 2011 try deflate your big head and not act like a dick to everyone big or small.


While I have no doubt these guys WANT to make an awesome game, but both GT5 and Forza are tough acts to follow (or exceed). Will the driving be as realistic as GT5 with a steering wheel? Which seems to be the only thing the GT5 is good at (VERY good at), although I was really disappointed at GT5's lack of customization of options and the poor number of tracks. NFS UL2 seems to have both of these issues covered, but that won't mean a thing if the driving physics remains more or less than same as NFS UL1.


M3 will be only in style dtm or gt2 the version too will be?


I was never really a fan of Need For Speed SHIFT, and the more newer need for speed games, but seeing how this game is coming along it just makes me excited. almost everything I think of when drifting is being but into this game. No crazy point system just good old fun drifting with friends. And the Ebisu Touge track. Its about time someone put this amazing track in a game :D.Cant wait for the release.


Im sorry but granturismo 5 is the best driving game.


Amazing! So glad JR has been involved in the whole process! Can't wait to get behind the wheel.

Great job everyone at NFS - You've banged out another winner for sure!


I was never a Fan of Need For Speed shift and the more newer Need For Speeds. But looking at how this game is coming together I cant help but to feel a little excited. So far everything I look for in a drifting game is being put in here. And seeing the Ebisu Touge track just brings it all together. Its not a drifting game if you dont have the place were it all got started at. And drifting on japanese tracks just feels better than the made up tracks and their american counterparts. Keep up the Great Work. This could really become a great game. 240sx FTW :D


Hey Forza 3. I love you 'n all but... This is going to have a hellaflush 240sx with popup headlights and smoke... yup. T10 take note.


NO tandem battles = FAIL


So, is this a drifting component or maybe more then 50% of the game? Hopefully first one...


Next question though....are ALL Team NFS cars in here? Mad Mike's RX8 & FD3S (D1NZ), Tanner's Scion, Matt Powers' S14, Fredric Aasbo's Supra, etc? Or is it going to be just your one car. Because that would just suck. Its a neat car and all, but not the be-all and end-all of drift machines, dig? I mean, is this Need For Speed, or Vaughn Gittin's Drift Portion Of Need For Speed Shift 2 Unleashed?

You guys just keep answering PART of the question....please can we just get the straight story instead of the hype?


OMG *.* Jiiiiiizzz.

I'm going to buy Shift 2 for sure just by seeying this ! Can't wait to drift in Vaughn Gittins Mustang or that RTR Mustang :D


Cant wait!! This is a big step up from the first Shift


gonna be sweet having you in my corner.


Awesome!!! The addition of Toyota Speedway is very welcomed, as long as you can drive the oval. It would also be great to see Road America in Shift 2 again.


"With fun in mind, we swayed away from professional drifting competitions and tandem battles...." Please, oh please, tell me we're going to be able to tandem! My biggest complaint for NFS Shift, besides the nonexistant feel for drifting with the steering wheel controller, was the fact that you couldn't drift on the same track with your friends! Seriously, if you can't drift with your buddies, what's the point?


"...we swayed away from professional drifting competitions and TANDEM BATTLES..." Yeah, because tandem battles are WAY overdone and appear in all racing videogames, and drifters clearly hate them... oh wait.


Therefore still drift alone ... is an odd decision for developers who claim to have created the game with fun in mind ...


Awesome!! this will be the ultimate shift!!

really looking forward drifting Mad Mikes car ;) hopefully Matt's, too


Very very cool guys. This looks soooo badass.

You get to test drive our prototype driving simulator in three weeks mate! Bring SHIFT 2 with you!


Oh holy hell... i need this game.


I'm looking forward to a demo, you guys have hyped the game well enough to get me excited.

A couple questions though: how realistic is tire wear? Do different pressures and compounds impact tire life like they do in Forza and Grand Turismo?

Furthermore, are there going to be pit stops? If so, what do the entail?

I know my questions probably won't get through to anyone but I feel like a lot of people are wondering about the same things that I am.


Looks great!! :) Cant wait.. But ONE thing. What about FREDRIC "HALLON" AASBO`s car? AKA Chucky?? :) That is one sick car


^When you're on top, you can do that kind of thing. However, there are consequences. Do you want to come off like a Michael Schumacher or an Ayrton Senna? Both are well respected for different reasons, although both amazing drivers.


@B16A5FTW, how can you possibly say that without even playing this game, now STFU.



GT5 may be the best driving game but Shift 1 was a better racing game and Im sure if they sort out the physics shift 2 will be even better.

A driving game means nothing to me because when I want to drive I get into my car and do it IRL but when it comes to racing games Im a fanatic and GT5 feels nothing like a racing game unlike Shift


"With fun in mind, we swayed away from professional drifting competitions and tandem battles"

they said how can you have a drifting game without ebisu touge, well like wise to the above comment?, Shift 1 needed tandems how could you not have it tbh.


Reading that there has been a lot of changes to the drifting has made me hopeful for this game. finally a decent NFS game. ive been disappointed in ever one since Most Wanted.


I'm glad to see someone is making an effort to make a racing game as customizable as possible, although personally I can't get into the NFS games. The steering response / realness of the steering has always felt very off. Is anyone else getting tired of the NFS articles?


Ebisu Touge!, its bought already in my heart!:)


Damn, Vaughn. You guys just lost a lot of drifters, with just the one statement "With fun in mind, we swayed away from professional drifting competitions and tandem battles, instead concentrating on just going out and having the track to yourself to get crazy on."

How has EA not gotten this? SOLO DRIFTING IS NOT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK, get rid of the retarded points, as its not accurate, prone to cheating, and not true-to-life. Tell me, as a professional drifter, just how far you may have gone with drifting if you were doing it by yourself, no tandem, no competition? NFSU2 had online drifting, and people were still drifting it online 3 years after the game was released. Doesn't that tell you guys anything?

By making the drifting a completely separate component of the game, you have guaranteed its failure. Many people now will not even touch this part of the game.

As far as Ebisu Touge, you guys have had it in 3 of your games, please don't talk like it's the one holy track thats been missing in all drift games, when you KNOW it's MINAMI COURSE! Dude, you drifted it yourself. Ebisu Touge was in Shift 1 and Pro Street. I know, because I still hold the world record on Ebisu. Now, how about treat us like we know a little about drifting, and explain why EA can get rights to every major track in the world, but still cannot get the rights to have Minami. We couldn't care less about the touge when we all would much rather hit the jump entry into the pit wall.



OMGGGGGGG i love this game!!! i cant wait! Drift Park, Irwindale, Helmet Cam, Customization, etc.!! its gona be beassst!


I have a Question..

Are the grip nd drift physics the same? Like is it going to be like prostreet where drifting and grip races has their own sets of physics?

sorry for more physics questions :P

Thanks!! Game looks GREAT soo hyped!


there was no tandem drifting in the first shift? there better be a clutch in this b1tch lol!

Forza 3 owns all, gran turismo has no counter steer = shit

heres hoping shift 2 is a better version of forza yes


I agree completely with D1RGE.EXE.


Man this is AMAZING! I can't waiy to put my hands on S2U.

GT5 isn't the best. S2U maybe is.

Hey, EA! What do you think about put some (really) diferent cars?


damn dude vaughn gittin needs to lay off the burgers and budweiser that fire suit is lookin kind tight if you know what i mean....


Awesome, you edited out my first post and posted the 2nd. So you killed any competitiveness in the drifting and made it so it's just a "fun" aspect of the game. Fine. Whatever. Will it be online-capable, or did that get left out? As it stands, I am very unhappy with this news.


Looks & sounds choice!

What platform are all the screens taken from?


My only concern is the steering, I messed with the settings while trying to use both steering wheel and the controller, the car would constantly be ridiculously wobbly and completely uncontrollable. I got so frustrated with the first Shift that I couldn't even play it anymore. Coming from Forza 3 to Shift is a total downgrade in controls. As far as the car choice, customization level, graphics, and courses included it was an absolute blast. But please oh please fix the steering problems.


Looks really neat. Amazing stuff!


looking forward to this. I just hope the car list will impress. So far, it's all mainstream cars. Otherwise looks good. And GT5 is not the best driving game.


That is sick! Irwindale looks perfect!


In the first SHIFT game I felt the drift physics were not down. The car did not respond well to clutch kicking, counter-steering and throttle input, and the car constantly grips back whenever I counter-steered. I'm really hoping SHIFT2 nails the drift physics right.


I agree completely with D1RGE.EXE


The game looks amazing. That said, how is it going to feel? My only thing that worries me is the physical steering input vs. in game steering. To me it looks like the in game steering wheel is moving way to much relative to the amount of direction change the car takes.

Also, ARE STEERING WHEELS SUPPORTED (for Xbox 360) ???? If so, WHICH KIND (for Xbox 360) ?? If not, count on me not buying the game. You can't make a "realistic" game and heavily rely on the use of gamepads.


I was actually hoping for tandem style for a little more of a challenge. hopefully they did incorporate something like that into the game.


hey just curious how would you compare the physics of this game to live for speed?


Sorry Vaughn, but I can't make any promises when it comes to your car and the wall.


Hope you editors are reading this stuff ^^^^

Sure seems like nobody wants tandem or battles, huh? Only small hope I can have is a DLC with maybe a few extra drift tracks and an online battle mode. I know there isn't enough money to be made on a drift-only game, but c'mon, there's a void here calling for you to fill and you guys are completely missing it.


you guys messed it up again ... really? I'll just stick with GT5.


i dont know about the drift tutorials... i mean drifting is suppose to be really hard so u shouldnt be able to grasp it in a day or 2 which for me makes it sketchy on the how easy the cars will handle when u go into drifting...i hope its like the real deal if it suppose to be hard make it hard if ur just a poser who wants to join in n thinks he knows wat hes doing they shouldnt be able to just grab the controller or wheel n start drifting is what im trying to say im just waiting for the demo on this


why oh why wont Need for speed spend some money and get real bodykits in their games?!

you have all this talk about realism and you have real life cars with their kits...yet when it comes to other cars that people will build in this game its gonna be NFS designed kits.

thats my biggest issue with these games....the kits are usually pretty ricey looking and the one you show here looks so much like a Origin kits that you might as well just get the licensing for the real thing!

the game however looks pretty fun.


fuck awesome! mazing man


I see evryone talking about lfs and how thay learn to drift in real life playing lfs.I have nissan 200sx and i dont play games to much maybe GT5.I know to drift but not like profesional drifter or somone who is trained for drift but now i will tell you guys therse no game on the world who can have handling like real life,also i play life for speed on G25 but when i drifting i dont feel car i dont feel height of car in lfs i drifting like i have car with 600hp and 300kg mass.This shift 2 have in helmet car cam but i watch wideos and in helmet cam realy moving like in fighter jet but it locks much beter than GT5 in car cam because ic more agresive and therse more adrenaline.I see drifting picture and problem is therse no old bumers big intercoler in front but it not bad smoke is very close like in real life not like in GT5 when you start drift smoke is there when i start drift my tires first start heating after few secunds therse smoke i think in shift 2 thay make that wee well see.Grafic is very god and full track drift is impresive.Also engine swap is somthing what i ever dream to do in my nissan i think best car for engine swap will bee silvia s15 because RB26DETT is best for drift car.BMW my favorite car with M5 engine :NO COMMENT

:and best evrything for now is car list.Ic just impresive lot of BMW also Nissan,Ford is very god thay drop in RS model my favorite ford.About LFS and iRacing games are so bad because like i tell player cant fell contact betwen car and track.people who drive theirs cars on local track thay know what is driving and when i drive my brother's honda crx on track i feel adrenalin so guys any game of the world is to away fro mreal life thay can have god grafic but handling and sound of real car never :) :)


First off thank you all for the feedback! It is genuinely appreciated and each is noted for future reference. I must say I really like the passion I am reading into from alot of you.

I want to clarify that Shift is a project of passion for me, it is not a put my name on it and wipe my hands of it and not care about the final product. I am very involved and plan to continue my involvement as long as possible. I love SIM games and have played for a long time, I built my own drift simulator in my basement 5 years ago and used it for hand eye coordination building and being "in the seat" practice. To this day it is one of many tools I use to stay tuned.

The opportunity to be involved in something like Shift is a serious dream come true for me, and as you can imagine when I first started with the team in the original Shift I had a dream list of functional things that needed changed not even counting car styling customizing etc....this is where I got my first taste of the world of video game production. A fast paced extremely detailed oriented production where deadlines rule. My long list of wants and suggestions were taken seriously however there was no way to implement everything right away. That being said the list had to be prioritized. Alot of the above mentioned additions that are in SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED came from this long list of things I have always dreamed to see in a game.

@D1RGE.EXE - I hear you loud and clear my man. Tandem would rule without a doubt, however fact of the matter is that creating a fun drifting experience for everyone was the priority here and like I mentioned above there is only so much that can be accomplished in a given amount of time. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the majority of the world would rather have fun drifting in compromise for tandem battles. Minami would be sweet for sure and that is on the long list, again other priorities replaced that line item.

I am confident everyone will be pumped on the game when they get there hands on it, both the racing and drifting are a blast!

Thanks again for the constructive feedback, I can assure you it will not be taken for granted!


dang i'm pretty sold on this game after all these posts on them. well done i can't wait


advantage of drifting in a video game is it doesn't cost $1000 every time you kiss a guard rail


so far this game is covering all the areas that GT5 and Forza3 is lacking, lets see the out come but don't put your hopes to high as i did in GT5!


drifting fun = battles we all know this! apart from EA


Thank you for responding Vaughn. I unfortunately disagree with one point still. Leaving the tandem on the cutting floor was a step away from the real racing NFS is advertising and moving towards what may (possibly) aid sales in the short term, but imo hurt in the long run. A good well made controllable drift game with online battles and tandem is something that A) puts drifting into a mass-appeal place where it can succeed, B) Help Formula Drift and any other co-opted series to benefit from the exposure helping the overall market and sport immensely, and C) give gamers a good drift game that they can play for a long time, even further cementing NFS into our minds as a great franchise. They addicted me and many many other people with tandem online multiplayer in NFSU2, and that was awesome experience. This is all i can or will say, only the game will tell. the commercials mean nothing anymore.