Shift2 Unleashed>> On The Subject Of Physics

One thing that really interests me is the process of recognizing patterns, especially trends and collective opinions. It's a skill that has allowed me to carve out a bit of a career as a creative director and has served me well over the years.

Now one pattern that I picked up at the end of the Shift1 project was your viewpoint in regards to the physics experience of the game. Shift1 was definitely trying to please both the traditional Need for Speed arcade racers as well as sim racing fans. The feel of the game thus ended somewhere between both of these types of video game racing types.

So after I showcased for you the in-game AE86 and the host of wheels available for it, I was quite interested to read your feedback. And it appears that while most of you are excited by what I showcased in the article, you wanted to know more about the physics and our approach for this game.

So I'm quite pleased to let you know that Shift2 is quite firmly focused as a sim racer. And not only that I'm feeling quite bullish that we've pushed the genre to the next level.

Now the whole focus of the SHIFT2 UNLEASHED experience is quite a lot different than the offerings from Forza and GT. We've pushed ourselves to replicate the first person, human sensory experience of driving powerful race, time attack and drift cars. So we've created a totally new way of racing in a video game: Helmet-cam.

This quite literally puts you in the seat of a race car, whether you've built up your hot hatch in to a full spec silhouette racer or you are piloting an FIA GT1 machine. Every single nuance of the real life experience has been lovingly recreated for you. We figure that driving a powerful car should be more than just a mathematical simulation, it has to be violent and frightening.

Let's face it, motorsports is dangerous and dirty and this is the direction the team chose to take.

So to make sure we nailed down both the physics and our new helmet-cam feature we turned to the experts. Speedhunters and Need for Speed are involved with the careers of several different racing driver and drifters, so we decided to get them involved with the game production itself.

The Slightly Mad Studios crew are pretty hardcore car nuts and collectively have a lot of experience of taking high powered cars to track day events. But to really take things to a deeper level and get absolute verification of the in-game race experience we hooked them up with a few of our driving crew.

When it comes to advanced technology, the Shift physics system itself is second to none. It takes the actual suspension geometry that we receive from manufacturer CAD data and replicates the suspension components in 3D space. It is not some game producers "idea" of how a car should handle. Not at all, if you are say driving a Porsche 911 in game, then you are driving an actual 3D physics representation of that car based on CAD data. Within this driving experience though, we can layer on driving aids and tweak items like holistic track grip, tire slip angles and car setups. So there's a bit of wiggle room to push the difficulty levels and physics modes in to a few different directions.

SMS have also added these HUD physics displays to the game, allowing you to see the forces acting on your car in real time. This screen shows tire temp, lateral force and grip direction among other items.

This screen is layers in shock telemetry and allows you to get a visual on what the suspension is doing.

But like I said, our goal with this game was to make it as realistic as possible, but also try and capture the essense of driving powerful cars. I don't think this is something that has really been done too much in the past. I mean seriously, how many of the existing driving engines out there make you feel afraid, as you would be pushing a real race car to the limit?

The first driver to get his hands on an early version of SHIFT2 UNLEASHED was Vaughn Gittin JR. Some of you will recall that we flew him to the UK last May to join a Speedhunting trip at Silverstone. What we couldn't say at the time, was that the real purpose of the trip was for him to sit down with the SMS crew to try out a completely re-imagined drift mode. Our focus? To see if we couldn't capture the true essence of drifting. It had to be fun, exciting and with just a touch of hooliganism. So we decided to start from scratch with the drift experience in Shift2 and based the mode around car setup and optional driving aids rather than a different set of physics. I'm quite proud of the result but it did require literally months of work from SMS. They kept at it though until we got the feeling just right.

I took this snap of him and Will Roegge right as he arrived at the SMS studio in London.

So we wanted to see if JR thought we were on the right track or not. He liked where we were going, but had a lot of suggestions which we then worked to incorporate into the mode. I'll let JR talk more about this in detail in a future article though.

The next driver to test the game was Jamie Campbell Walter, one of the drivers of the Sumo Power GT-Rs. we set up a meeting in London last August for him to try out SHIFT2 UNLEASHED.

As we have the official license for both the FIA GT1 World Championship and GT3 European series, we wanted to make sure that we had nailed down the exact speed and feeling of the GT1 machines. Were the target laptimes correct? The braking distances ok? Did the cars have too much or too little downforce? And more importantly, were we capturing the true feeling of racing one of these cars?

Jamie was very impressed with the overall Shift2 experience, especially helmet-cam, but thought that more downforce was needed. To him, the real life Sumo Power GT-R felt more planted in in Eau Rouge at Spa in real life than in the game. Jamie also wanted to see more aggressive turn in for the car too.

He also pointed out that we needed to raise up the shift knob in the GT-R's cockpit. It wasn't in quite the right position.

He did think we had nailed the braking power though. He found that he was hitting the brakes around Spa in exactly the right points.

So we made the adjustments and had him try the updated physics again the following month… this time we got a big thumbs up.

Now there is one guy on our crew of racers who is as hardcore as they come when it comes to sim racing: Tommy Milner. Interestingly, we both got our big start in sim racing back with the old EA game, Sports Car GT and have remained in contact ever since.

First of all, we had to updated his BMW to the latest 2010 spec. A few calls to our collegues at Rahal Letterman racing netted the actual graphics file for the 2010 car wrap, which we used on the new 3D model.

And then we brought him to a private gaming session held at Formula D Irwindale last October.

Tommy had a huge amount of feedback for us that day. First of all, he thought we needed to rethink our racing headlights in the new night mode. Longer beams would be needed to get around the Nurburgring Nordeschleife at night. He thought that the trees, guardrails and signs were lighting up in a realistic fashion but the tarmac itself was not lighting up enough. You just couldn't see where you were going enough in the dead of night on the remote tracks.

Secondly he didn't like the shock dampening on the BMW and felt that the set up of the car was way too soft compared to his real GT2 car. He thought it was pitching and rolling too much, which definitely should not be the case for a high end GT racer.

We later discovered that the shock bumpstops of all the high end race cars in SHIFT2 needed some adjustments. It was Tommy that suggested these changes.

Tommy is a truly amazing in-game racer but Darren McNamara can give him a run for his money.

He was pretty excited to try out the in-game version of the D-Mac86 which was completed for Shift2 well in advance of the real car (Dmac86 when is the next blog post BTW?)

Darren was quite interested to try out the drift mode… he also had some very direct feedback on the amount of lateral grip on the tire model during moments of high speed wheel spin in a long drift, which we also addressed later on with SMS.

Rado also popped by too…

… And was rather blown away by the in-game representation of his AWD Scion. This is one of the wildest, fastest cars in Shift2 and is rather frightening to drive I have to say! Driving this beast of a car around the Nordschleife or Bathurst is extremely frightening :>

The whole Twins Turbo crew are rather hardcore gamers too… they were itching to have a go.

Their Viper was a very late addition to the SHIFT2 UNLEASHED release plan, but we've been working with them for a while now to get this crazy machine set up and going. I'll show you more about this process later on….

I'd say that of any driver we've had working on SHIFT2 UNLEASHED, the one guy that's had the biggest effect on the game is Edward Sandstrom. He worked out of the EA DICE Studio in Stockholm for around three months this past winter and individually tuned the set up for each of the cars. He wanted to also get a more aggressive turn-in for the high end GT race cars and also focused on making them a bit more lively, to allow you to balance the pitch and angle of the car using throttle input as you exited the corners.

Of course I need to mention Patrick Soderlund who not only spent 2010 racing the Team NFS Schubert BMW Z4 GT3, but oversees the production of all racing titles inside EA. The first title to be released under his leadership was NFS Hot Pursuit, and SHIFT2 UNLEASHED will be his second.

I think Patrick considers SHIFT2 to be a little bit of a special project for him, so he spent quite a bit of time trying out all the physics settings. In particular Patrick was able to use his actual experiences behind the wheel of the real world Z4 GT3 to compare with the in-game counterpart.

The last big game test we did was was at SEMA in November. We rented out a private suite above the show floor to present the game to a few select journalists and drivers on a crazy D-Box setup.

BTW notice how Tommy prefers to drive in his socks. I guess trainers deaden the feel of the pedals too much.

Tommy is by far the fastest sim racer I've ever witnessed in the flesh. It's quite unreal to see him display his skill as a racing driver on plain view.

We also let Fredric Aasbo and Matt Powers have a go too. Fredric interestingly had no issues drifting using a game controller AND manual transmission. More testing with these drifters and few of our other guests have netted more changes to the mode. Personally speaking, I think it feels pretty natural now. The cars still feel like there's grip and you can dial in or out a number of aids depending on your level of hardcoreness.

Personally I'm completely addicted to these D-Box chairs. With a full range of motion, vibration actuators, and built in surround sound, this is the ultimate way to experience SHIFT2 UNLEASHED… I quite literally am shaking with adrenaline, every time I use one of these things.

Of course this new focus on deep, immerse realism would not be possible without the superhuman efforts of the Slightly Mad Studios crew. Once they were freed up up to unleash the full power of their physics engine with a purely realism focused game, they really went to town adding the new on-screen telemetry features and a whole new level of car setup detail. If a parameter is adjustable on the real life car, then it's adjustable in game. And if you add aftermarket parts to your car, then more adjustment options open up.

So to answer your questions: YES the driving experience of SHIFT2 UNLEASHED is squarely in the realism space and the physics experience is much improved and evolved.

OK I'm going to show you some more customization options next… How about a showcase of some new BMW and Mazda cars?





Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

This is very exciting, stunning! I'm very happy to see Shift 2 is really heading to the Sim-Racer direction, and not between sim and arcade(It never really works). One thing i'm interested is what kind of livery editor the game will feature. Since i believe that there will not be as many car in shift2 as in Forza 3, I'm hoping to see a better and more freedom livery editor than Forza, such as painting on windsheld (add sunstripe on normal car), free wheel color change (ring and the middle). If storefront mode is include in the game it will be even better!


Great write up! and loads of pictures to feast on ^^

You definitely addressed our questions. Im soo looking forward to this!! ><


march cant come quick enough.


I've been playing driving games for longer than I really want to think about and the problem that every 'sim' game has is a feeling of cronic understeer, no bite from the front end. The current Forza 3 is a great example of this, as much as it looks great it's no fun having to bring the car to a near halt to negotiate every corner. Resonsive turn in and cornering fast differentiates a car that's fun to drive from one that isn't and the same applies to a gaming experience. Gran Turismo got progressively less fun from through the first 3 games as they tried to increase the realism. F1 2010 feels good but as it's F1 there's no yaw and no slide. I can kind of see what you were going for with NFS Shift but it didn't really work and I'm not exited by this helmet cam either, there was never an issue with the view - it's ALL about the physics.


I want it so bad now!


oh excellent, the twins turbo viper in a vidja game. good choice. just looking at the car gives me chills, can't wait to get behind the virtual wheel.


crikey..... i'm impressed. keep it up!


The game is looking amazing. I was really exited for Shift, but I put the game down after about 5 hours of playing because the game was trying to be a sim while still being an arcade racer at heart. Shift 2 is looking like a through and through sim though, and i truly cannot wait!


wow lancia delta integrale and bmw m3 e30. I can't wait to play this game


You had me until dampening. The last thing I want in a game is for it to become wet :P. Seriously, though, glad to hear it's focused towards realism.


This is HOT!!! I HAVE to buy this when it comes out. Great job to gear the game towards more of a sim feeling


Did you focus as much on the experience with a steering wheel as with the controller?


if this is gonna be like in the article i need to pre-order that game ... sounds like this is gonna be a sim of pure awesomeness


looks great, guys! question: is there going to be some sort of apex-look option for the helmet-cam? I remember appreciating the option when i played GTR2, and it would be pretty realistic, nobody just looks straight ahead while driving a race car, right? :)


Just wow! SHIFT2 sounds incredible and NFS appears to be on it's way back to the top. Great work guys!!!!


Just curious, how much customization will we have with wheels? Will it just be slap a pair on, or can we fiddle with diameter, width, and offset, and add spacers?


This is going to be EPIC. That's quite a work

It'll be good to see the NFS series back on top


I cant wait for this game. So stoked! I am going to pre-order it after reading this write-up. The D-Box chairs look great too.

Thanks Speedhunters


For me the next BIGGEST game is TDU2! 6 days and counting!


that looks sooo great. anyway, the physics in shift1 weren´t the best. but it was fun to play and i loved it more than any other need for speed before. drifting was such a fun. what you wrote about shift2 makes me happy. just please show us some more cars and what we will be able to modify on the cars.


Gonna keep my eye on this definitely. Didn't play Shift 1 a lot, but I remember the gameplay being pretty cool. Maybe technically it wasn't totally 100% perfect on the PC, but this is all looking quite impressive in terms of features and stuff. Forza 4 is still far away, so racing games are always welcome!


so is it better than gt5?


Excellent post!

Nice research...

Looks extremely promising...

Only thing left is the release of the game!!!


I have to watch "Drift Bible" a couple more times to be ready for this one !!


wow, this actually sounds pretty good, and i was kinda pessimistic. could i get confirmation now that the drifting physics are not in any way different from the racing physics?


YES PLEASE! Carlist and possible modifications^^ will there be 3 types of bodykit upgrades as in shift 1? engine upgrades or tuning a la GT or forza?


The 370 looks insane!


The 370 looks insane!


The feel of being in the car is what i've missed with Forza 3, but haven't found the NFS games real enuf..

Might be tempted to buy this one. :o orimjsthi


Can you show some subie love too? :)


I think it looks great and this will make for one awesome sequel. I just have one question about the drift mode. Will it only be solo runs again? Or can we now have two more cars on track at once?


Finally some word on how the cars feel! And it hasn't come from a gaming news site, which I find kind of amusing.

Good to hear that it's realistic this time. Could you perhaps show some of the body kits for the Supra in the next post? That's a deal breaker for me.



I just pre-ordered....


50/50 on pre order ;)


Is there a clutch like in Forza?


in shift 1, i could finish world tour because of the terrible way my porsche 911 gt2 bounced through the air when i turned. if i feel that in any demo again im not gonna be a happy camper :/


in shift 1, i could finish world tour because of the terrible way my porsche 911 gt2 bounced through the air when i turned. if i feel that in any demo again im not gonna be a happy camper :/


All sounds great! Now to see if the customization meets the expectiations...


If you guys are heading for an iracing / rfactor type racing game, you're right on the money. There's probably thousands of sim racers out there looking for a true console sim racing game.


1st thing I want to say is the last two renderings of the NSX and 370 look drop-dead gorgeous. I would sincerely buy this game out of it's looks and customization options alone. one of my favorite car games was TOKYO DRIFT F&F. The visuals were not great, and it had the worst physics. But I could spend HOURS modifying cars with the HUGE selection of aftermarket parts.

2nd...KUDOS to you and the whole team for investing a great deal of time to get the physics engine on point. Nothing beats getting feed-back from the ACTUAL drivers that race these monsters in real life.



Cant Wait!!!

BTW someone out there from ea needs to come up with NFSU3


Yo. R32 and R33 skylines?


Being that I work at a sim racing company and play sim racers in a triple-screen rig all day (including NFS:Shift), I'm glad to hear that sim is the name of the game this time around. Part 1 just floated in that strange limbo between arcade and sim and as such, didn't really succeed at either.

One of my other major gripes was the sound: my stock M3 sounded like a stripped out race car (engine + ambient sounds) when I first got it, and stayed the same when I modded it fully. Please destroy Forza and GT by putting REAL sounds that fit the cars. For some reason this is the biggest fail in console racing games.

We (at the office) are really looking forward to this. Every time an article pops up on Speedhunters I share it with everyone here, and we have a close eye on your progress.


Glad to hear the physics are becoming more realistic...

I always imagined the perfect game being a combination of Forza's physics and Shift's graphics.


This looks like a promising title. But I will say there is another title that does give you a fear factor, in the gran turismo series. And while im here, one thing i need to get off my chest...

As a Gran Turismo die hard fan.... to all wondering - GT5 has been a massive disappointment. Physics have been revised and is nice, although too much empahsis on drift. Drifting is a byproduct of Grip Driving, not the other way around. It should be in the realm of 'driving', not a separate entity. I feel that the game engine, while improved, has emphasized drift far too much. Not really a real driving simulator.

For the time it took to release it, they just polished GT4, made the interface worse and improved the in game physics. Lazy programming introduced 'standard' and 'premium' cars, and customization has lessened. To keep on point with the post topic, I will check out NFS series again...they did lose the plot for a while but it has been a long time since i last checked if the series has returned to being good.


Awesome 1st

Great game it totally blows gt 5 and forza 3 away


Awesome!! Very good news about physics :D really excited about this game!!! just pre-ordered for xbox and ps3!

excellent work on collecting all the passions and ideas from the community and bringing it to the table!!

I think focusing on ONE realistic physics engine and the typical NFS Race-Feeling was the best they could do!!!

now I'm really excited about SHIFT2. Hope that Matt Powers' and Madmike's cars are in game, too!!!

(very nice for DMAC, he can testdrive his AE86 before finishing the real one :D )

Thanks to Rod Chong and Speedhunters!!! and sorry for my bad english ;)


wheres matt powers s14 at? that would be a awesome addition to the game?


I know you guys use macs! please push NFS to release this game for mac OS. I don't want to install a w7 on my mac because i don't want to sacrifice space on the mac's HD nor sacrifice ram on the mac. hahaha


It's good to see Shift 2 going in the direction of Sim racing.

I played Shift with a keyboard and mouse initially and hated the handling. I then switched to a G25 wheel and things got better. I then found out that the game had some limitations due to the fact that it was supposed to be playable by everybody. A couple of mods later, most limitations are gone and the game feels awesome.

I can thank Hot Pursuit for Shift 2 I think, as it covered the arcade audience and left EA to concentrate on making Shift 2 more of a sim. At least I hope it will be more sim than Shift :D

Oh yeah, and adding bucket-loads of wheels can only make me happy! I hope the new upgrade system is a bit more sim-like too, the one in Shift is puerile and outdated, sim people want more control over their upgrades, generic "stages" are not enough!


The handling in Shift 1 was terrible, I couldn't play the game. This is looking alot better now though. Good work.


Cant wait! Looks awesome! Are u making ebisu?? It is a must with ebisu.


Perhaps you would be interested in digitizing my truck?

Certainly different.

At least if you say yes that will motivate me to finish up the bodywork and get it painted factory gloss black again.


You just don't test a sim with a pad!!! so really.... no pure simracing again i think....


Imo the menu of the friction and bumpstop simulations looks a bit too much Forza Motorsport.

But it would be hard do make it different and still make it easy to read and still get adequate info from it...

And please try and get it easier to use a pad, so the movement don't get as "twitchy" as it is in Forza or GT5. I know that it will be harder to do that in a Sim. But Please Try!


Whooa! That sounds and looks great. I can't wait to test it!


Wow this is looking very good


Any chance this will support head tracking via PSEye / Kinect? I think that could bring the helmet cam to the next level.


How is the focus on the smaller cars? eg. civics, mazdas...


Whatever you guys have done, you've ruined the spirit of need for speed. Listen all those ppl yelling for a version of a new "Underground" version and not real simulators. We have the Gran Turismo if we want to test our skills in another level. In need for speed we want to customize our cars like never before (yes, even if it's rice) cause we want hella fun! Sorry but this is me (and many many more as i've found out).. :/

sorry for any mistakes in text


GT and Forza have something to worry about.


Rod, saying "realism space" and SHIFT2 UNLEASHED in the same sentence makes you sound like a tool.

Just so you know ;P


sounds good! :) can't wait to try it..


thanks for sharing these highlights.

hats off to everyone with the efforts. making a game this polished is something all must be proud of.


Great to see how much effort the team has put into trying to get the physics just right, I loved Sports Car GT (the last pc game I bought infact) and I can't wait to try this out!


now that's some great news, I'm really happy to hear that


WOW , great job guys you've really pushed the envelope with the helmet-cam. Hearing that it will be more realistic than SHIFT1, I'll be one of the first people to go out and buy this game, heck I think I'll pre-order it now. The cars and tracks look amazing, can't wait to play the game and thanks for the updates.


tbh gt5 wasn't all about graphics styling or anything it was the physics. forza done well with both but physics in certain spots were ''iffy'', and ive tested wheels on both. if nfs could make some way of using the logitech g25/g27 on xbox, it would wipe the face of both titles if the physics are what you say.


im going to preorder it next week for sure


Hey guys, Im a local grassroots racer in autocross, solo 1, trackdays and knox hillclimb. I am also an avid e-racer and hope you deliver with your product. I have tried pretty much every sim out there. For PC, nothing comes close to the realm of RFactor, Live for Speed and Iracing. In the console world, Forza 3 is the most realistic experience in my opinion. GT5 was a huge dissapointment, as I got a PS3 just for the damn game. It is content rich, but not detail rich. The cars still do not feel as organic as in Forza 3, the feeling of the responce still felt too stiff.

Your first game nailed the organic aspect of the cockpit view. Between the visual effects and overall experience it was perfect. The cars looked good too. However the driving feel was very off, it was inconsistent. In fact, at times it was more difficult to drive the cars in game than in real life! If you can deliver on the physics (we need caster, toe, swaybar, camber, spring rate, compression, rebound, weights...etc), create a great tire model and allow the cars to be customized with liveries I believe you will have a winner.

I would prefer to have 20 cars that I can customize in all aspects than 100 cars that are premade and offer less customization. Good luck with the project, can't wait to try it out.

As well as good luck to the entire NFS driving roster! Have a good 2011 season. May you nail every apex for racing and tap every wall for drifting!


Tandems in drift mode? Really missed those in Shift 1 ...


The thought of reproduced geometry from the actual CAD files the cars are built off has me all hot under the collar!


Pretty lame, and then it's an EA game lol No thanks random online play code


is there free mode or all just races?


Cheers from Brasil, i have been addicted to nfs series since NFS 1.....its great to see now it leading to sim, i hope it will kick gt5 out!



1st thing I want to say is the last two renderings of the NSX and 370 look drop-dead gorgeous. I would sincerely buy this game out of it's looks and customization options alone. one of my favorite car games was TOKYO DRIFT F&F. The visuals were not great, and it had the worst physics. But I could spend HOURS modifying cars with the HUGE selection of aftermarket parts.

2nd...KUDOS to you and the whole team for investing a great deal of time to get the physics engine on point. Nothing beats getting feed-back from the ACTUAL drivers that race these monsters in real life.



I'll believe when I see it, definitely not getting my hopes up for this one. Shift1 was said to be a sim too, all these drivers like Jr were behind it, but it was a letdown to me as far as a sim went. I loved the look, loved how you could put together some of the cars, but I could not get around that the action on the track was terrible. I remember playing for 2 hours just to get to the first drifting event, tried to first few turns and instantly turned the box off and never played the game again. Luckily walmart took returns on that kind of stuff at the time.

Here's to hoping, but also doubting, that nfs will get a truly realistic sim on the market.


This game is looking fantastic. Is there any chance of ever seeing an AE86 Toyota Levin? it wouldnt be too hard for the devs to just model the headlights and bumper on the existing Corolla.


u guys could never make me not impressed! I want this game badlyy!!


Hope the gameplay is as good as it looks! Looking forward to this one for sure.


In one of the trailers, the cars look like their running in Long Beach! Although it looks like they are running the track the opposite way. I have been waiting for a game that runs LBGP's official track. I got so excited playing GRID but realized it was the old LB track. Hopefully it'll also have Formula D's mini track configuration too.


I game was expecting to be complete rubbish and defiantly not buy(as the first need for speed shift is the only of the games i never, but just to terrible to play), now it doesn't seem like that will be the case. Must still i am still very hesitant about it though. Even after all this great sounding feedback.


yess! want to know more about the customization, but seriously i nearly preordered just from this write up. good job.


Helmet cam... HOORAY!!! Last time I saw that feature was on an F1 game years ago. Glad to see its return. That, and the focus on realism will be great for us "old guys" who can't race in real life any more.


I'm a bit worried about all the "experts" and real racers using game pads/controllers to "test" and evaluate the game. How on earth can you get proper feedback with this? Do you see real racers driving their cars with game pads? :-/

I'm willing to bet that Shift 2 is still just a dumbed down wannabe sim racing experience. The marketing is not trustworthy at all.. there are still only a hand full of good, accurate sims. iRacing, rFactor, GTR2/GTRevo and netKar pro. These are programmed and tested by REAL race drivers, using proper sim gear to give proper feedback.

Ah well.. maybe Shift 3 will pull it off?


Speedhunters: International Car Culture


Will this game be able to use the full 900 degrees of steering on the logitech wheels? Will it be able to use it properly like in granturismo? if no, then pass...


The real question lies not within the physics of the player's car but in the physics of the AI cars. Will it be like every other NFS game since Underground where the AI cars are equal to yours in acceleration and corning regardless of modifications, etc.? Will there be that horrid underlying "catch-up" feature that ruined so many NFS games in the past?


Looks amazing, hopefully the physics will live up to the expectations... hell I still have fun with NFS Porsche (the best ever NFS regarding car feel, in my opinion), but I wonder when will NFS return to the streets for real, like creating a driving simulation, where the track is the street... I still think that road racing is the most basic and powerful experience one can have, after all this is where motor sport started...


I hope the controller issues are a thing of the past, especially with PC wheels. Shift 1 had way too much lag and setting up was a bit cryptic. iRacing in comparison makes it insultingly easy and the response is almost instant.


Are there going to be any roads in the game like the Wangan circuit in GT5 or Touge courses like Fujimi Kaido in Forza 3?

I know that you guys are focused on race track experience, but it would be really cool to see some street courses as well? Perhaps add a street drag strip from somewhere in so cal for that ultimate "Grassroots" racing experience? After all, the mountains and highways of Japan is where it all started, and street drag racing in the USA is where our scene exploded into what it is today....

Just a thought.


Hi guys!

I play race games everyday, I really enjoy it. I prefer to turn all electronics off and use manual transmission. I like gt5, grid and dirt2. The first one is good but I think it's rather brute(((

The 2nd and 3rd are more arcade.

I want SHIFT2 be better than these games I play.

And by the way, my friends play the same way. Some dudes use steering wheel for racing.


It's going to be hot!


Can we have in the game more big straights to hit the top speed limits of the cars ?

In the first Shift just Nurburgring was good for doing that, with the stock cars like veyron...

Something very cool to think about is adding something like BONNEVILLE ...

Something to SHIFT2 guys think about.


looks epic.

Hurry up and publish a full car list.


Thanks for all the hard work! It looks like this is shaping up to be one hell of a game!

The only thing I can ask is to PLEASE DON'T NEGLECT SPLIT-SCREEN!!!!!

I have so much more fun racing someone siting next to me than someone online.



you are developing a "really advanced" physical engine and you give it to a real driver to try USING AN XBOX GAMEPAD?!?!?!?!?



very exciting. hope everything lives up to expectations this time. if things sound good i might even pick up a copy


Now this looks very promising, thanks for the writeup!

Please make sure they nail the driving feel with steering wheel too, many simracers use eg. Logitech G25 and there are very few games that have a good steering feedback (GT and GTR Evolution).


Sumo Power R35! That NSX is sick.


uh they hyped up nfs shift 1 saying its realistic and what was a disappointment,i think ill just wait for forza 4.........forza 2 n 3 / dirt 1 are my fav racing games so far.....EA needs to hire someone from turn 10 to help them with the racing games.....I WILL BUY NFS SHIFT 2 IF THEY ADD ALL THE FORMULA D AND D1 TRACKS THOUGH


You guys had me (and others) worried the other day with the presentation of wheel options first on this game. But this all sounds like good news. I think the one thing that ruined the first Shift for me was the drift mode. It could be used, but I had to totally re-set my controller settings to do it, making it a huge pain and not worth it in the end. I mean, it's one thing to have a car set up for grip and a car set up for drift, it's a whole other thing to have to change controller sensitivity settings every time you go between the two because the physics change so drastically. Will there be custom controller mapping on the 360 for this? If I remember right, that wasn't there for the first Shift and it also slowed me down. It's much easier to use the same settings for all driving games through a custom set up, than having to choose the one that most closely resembles your set up. Overall, this looks like a huge improvement. I sold my original Shift, but I'm considering pre-ordering this one.


so far it's all sounding sweet but one issue I had with the 1st Shift apart from the overly twitchy handing was the AI-opponents' suicidal tendencies to ram you like they wanted you dead when you were about to pass them. aggressive AI is good and all but when seemingly a third to half of the field is out to kill you realism goes out the window - keep a few bastard AI-drivers around for entertainment but no more as most race drivers would know that damaging their own car by using it as a weapon will ruin the chances of a win - this becomes even more of an item with your promised updated damage model.

also, vinyl editor was virtually useless with no copy or mirror function and the guess what color you've used palette ought to go for a hex-inspired code or swatch-type one so beings as myself can nerd out and plaster our cars accordingly.

regardless, is looking forward much to your game.


This has the potential to be PERFECT, but like someone said above, I'll believe it when I see it. I couldn't wait to get hold of the original Shift, but was bitterly disappointed by the physics model; pretty much undriveable. It was tragic, because up to that point nobody had made theffort to produce a game that really set out to nail the look that Shift is going for. Once bitten, twice shy, but still more than willing to give you the benefit of the doubt based on the screens we've seen.

Like someone else said, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PHYSICS. Get them wrong, and I (and thousands other I bet) will be lost to you for a long time. Get them right however, and you could've wrapped up everything I'd want in a game in one package. Instant hero status beckons. Don't f*ck it up...;-)


As many others are saying, I think you guys have it wrong if you are selling this as a Sim, but optimizing for controller. I am praying that the Elite mode (or whatever you will actually call it) that you say will be complete sim experience, will actually be made to use a wheel. It simply is not possible to make a simulator if its designed to work on a controller. Shift 1 had the terrible hopping, the drifting was nonsensical (trust me, I played it enough and still have some of the top world records for PC online). I could do it, but only if i havent touched another drift sim in weeks. After reading this article I played shift last night....HUGE HUGE glaring error of the first is the lack of wheel options and the fact that the came still played like a controller even with a wheel. I press the gas pedal, and with 2" of travel, the first 1-1/2" of travel does nothing. Steering was so heavy and the cars snapped back way too hard. I think it was too much tire grip/too sharp of steering/too much HP all fighting at same time, making for a mess of the drifting. Again, I played many hours of this (200+).

I am involved in many online drifting communities, and i can tell you, everyone wants a great drift game. rFactor is close but still no cigar. If you have the physics working well with a wheel, the grip levels and lateral slip realistic, and ADD MULTI-CAR DRIFTING AGAIN then you guys will own it all.

Please god don't show me any more testing with pro drivers using slot camera view and playing with controllers. It is really making me feel like you are gonna pull another fast one on us a la Shift. "ITS A SIM!!! SEE HOW WELL IT WORKS WITH A CONTROLLER!!!" get the point.


This looks promising! Can't wait to try it. I also like the fact that real racing drivers had a saying in this.


im Very happy with those news - because it feels like there's no really good sim racer for PC's and this one could really fill the space for computer-based gamers :)


@ warblethegarble

I completely agree with these sentiments about the drifting mode. I could not understand how my "stage 2" so to speak S2K was getting (barely) enough grip around the track in race modes but yet burned out in six gears at virtually any RPM in Drift races; I had to start in 5th gear just to get going. Without access to touch sensitivity on the PC, drift is downright unplayable in Shift 1.

With that said, I never touched the drift races again. The rest of the game is solid, but outside of higher "tier" cars, tires may as well be made of butter in terms of handling. For example, realistic tuning on the Porsche Carrera 911 yields almost zero improved control even over default settings, and the whole experience ends up emphasizing drift in races due to a severe absence of grip. The difference between a tuned tier 2 car and a tuned tier 3 (in this case say the GT3) is night and day in terms of handling. Granted I have not been lucky enough to get behind the wheel of a GT3 for a real comparison, the difference in handling between these two cars in Shift 1 with comparative modifications at comparative speeds is astonishing. Again, a lot of this is due to the absence of pressure sensitive controls on the PC, even with a 360 controller, but even aside of it, lower tier modified cars feel far too inclined to drift, even when not on the gas.

With that said, I enjoyed Shift 1. I definitely wanted a little more out of the garbage livery editor which was probably the worst of all NFS games and I would have liked to see more variable or user adjustable "visual" modifications (most notably the absence of wheel color editing). Of all the addressable issues for Shift 2, I personally think the most important is re-approaching how modifications effect the performance of cars. The stock feeling of cars felt good and seemed to be a fairly good representation for how the ones I have driven out here in the real world feel, but once you start modifying those cars that realism drastically goes down hill from the 'real' effect those modifications could be expected to have.


The nsx looks epic in this game, looked pretty plain in the first shift


I hope Shift2 really has realistic handling... That was the only reason i disliked Shift. I'll cross my fingers and wait. Right not Toca Race Driver 3 is the only PC racing game I play. I love the racing but really miss having a game where I can have a garage of 250 cars that I set up myself. I need someone to save me from having to buy a PS or XBox.


I could hardly play Shift 1 on keyboard. I just couldn't point the car where I wanted. The steering usually turned too much with the slightest touch at the left / right key, and returned to the center too quickly when I released them. Race Driver: Grid and Colin McRae Dirt 2 are loads better at turning the wheel the way I want. I hope that you have taken measures for the vast keyboarding community.


Oh yeah... Been staring at the NSX in the last pic for a while now... Any chance of a screensaver?


I stopped bothering with Need for Speed after Pro Street. I really liked the game and the customization options. The soundtrack and visuals were cool too... very unique. The thing that ruined that game though, was the ridiculous amount of understeer. The cars didn't feel in control. You were either struggling to get around a corner because the car would refuse to turn (resulting in a crash into the wall) or you were out of control going sideways with what felt like no way of turning out of it (also resulting in a crash). Another thing that annoyed me is that the physics would change for drifting. The game would have been a great amount of fun if it weren't for that physics engine.

Pretty much every NFS game has been like this since Most Wanted. I tried the Hot Pursuit demo hoping it would be as fun as the original Hop Pursuit but it wasn't... because of the physics.

Shift 2 is looking promising though. This article has convinced me to give it a try when the demo comes out. All the adjustable parts look like fun to play with and the feedback from the actual drivers of these cars is good. The cars look great. Let's hope EA doesn't mess this one up too.


i'm really hoping the G25 force feedback on the PC mode is as realistic as the physics and action claim to be.


lets see some damn gameplay. this games has the potential! dont let us hardcore dudes down. oh and could you please answer this in the next write up. WILL THE XBOX VERSION BE FULLY COMPATIBLE WITH THE NEW FANATEC 911 GT2?and i only put that in caps so that it would stand out. hopefully you can give us some info on that. thanks


Holy crap I seriously cannot wait for this game to come out. It'll be my new addiction.

And thank you for showing us all of this, can't wait for the customization post.


Fantastic article! Very pumped for this to come out!


maybe if they finish making it before releasing it, it might have a chance. last time it was shipped with a deadzone of 20% which was a bad joke. i don't expect this game to be good, i'm still burned too bad from the first one to even bother with this one.


I had two main problems with Shift1.

The main problem was the clutch not working with the G27. I set the settings to manual and set the clutch to manual as well but it would never work because I was still able to shift without it.

The second problem was that the game would always shift through gears at the same (slow) speed. Lets say I shift from 2nd to 3rd. After shifting, I would press on the gas pedal but I would still be in 2nd for about 200-300 milliseconds. I don't know the exact time but you will notice it because you will press on the gas pedal and you will be at the redline for a slpit second before your RPM drops down a bit.

I'm sure these problems have been resolved. If not, then............I don't know. I'm still going to buy the game either way, haha.


suspension simulation is usually nailed nowadays... tyre physics is another story though

we players need a consistent tye physics that is as good as that of live for speed for the pc, which is cheap and made by like 5 guys tops

we also need these tyre physics to remain the same across all the game modes

thanks for this article and your obvious concern


Since Fredric Aasbo tested the game, I'm guessing that it is safe to say that a Supra will be included in the Shift2 car lineup


I for one really hope that the drift-mode will not be a kiddy-game with automatic counter-steering and such. We've seen too much so-called drift-modes that have nothing to do with drifting, but more with being able to use a sequence of button-bashing considered drift-skills. I know using a FF-Wheel never will replace the real feeling of car-momentum etc. but having experienced drifting irl myself, getting the car into a drift and controlling a curve shouldn't be too hard, it;s the combinations and precision that is the hardest. I'm curious wether drifters irl that are placed behind a FF-Wheel in front of the game will be able to instantly drift in this game (and get the same feeling), instead of first needing to learn the game's interpretation...


If you can play with a joypad and be fast, its not a sim.


Kaiser lol Wats up dude.


I honestly dont understand how most people can say they enjoyed shift1. I played it for 2 weeks straight and hated every second of it.The game felt more arcadey than sim anything. When customizing a car you couldnt tell what was going on because of the big white customizing screen in front of the car. No car went straight ahead after a turn and there as ay too much over-correction on any straight. There was alot of beautiful tracks in-game and I diidnt have to keep switching from forza to gt5 every time tracks got repeatitive. The view-points were amazing but the lack of cars was way too disappointing. I mean why add in a gt-r anything if your not gonna add in its biggest rival the almighty "SUPRA"!!! Not to mention the LF-A but it just really got annoying with gt-r this and gt-r that and no supra anything. MOAR supras and srt-4s.



I know you are all about EA Games and the NFS Franchise, thats whats paying your bills. However. Your testers really need to drop their controllers and go take a look at what Frederic Aasbo's friends have done with the simulator Racer. They made Fred's car in rediculous detail, and used a TON of real-world data in the car. Frederic himself has tested it quite a bit and says it is by far the most realistic drifting simulator to date. He used G27 too, not controller like you had him test with on Shift 2. I tried it out last night as was blown away.

If you guys are serious about not wanting Shift 2 to be a joke, then you may want to try it. The lateral grip while drifting and the behavior of the car are just so much better than any other drift sim out.




i remeber when yall said that shift one would be better than forza 3! so when u say sim i laugh!! i hope you paid more attention to TIRE PHYSICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for me thats what puts forza way ahead of gt. and i was a gt junkie for years. MAKE THE TIRES FEEL REAL AND THE WHOLE FEEL WILL BE BETTER!


It's interesting to see "the force" of the Speedhunters community finally influencing actual NFS games. As a diehard Gran Turismo fan myself, I found GT5 massively disappointing in terms of lack of communication between the developers and users. The whole premium car/track fiasco was a near scam and the online experience is dreadful to say the least. Toyota Supra with PS2 level graphics and that Monaco track?

Anyway, it's good to see the NFS team taking input from a wide range of actual drivers. Make sure to include a properly modelled Nordschleife track in there and you'll definitely catch my attention!


This sounds awesome, ive always prefer sim racers to arcade. I always play with a wheel and so far, all of the NFS games just dont feel right. This one looks like it has gotten it right.

Also I feel like I have to say it (although im sure you realise it) : Dont forget about the feel of the force feedback. You can have all of the realistic physics you want, but if you cant feel it all through the force feedback of the wheel, then the game is pointless. An example : in GTR2 you can feel understeer, and that is quite amazing when you think about it. Its just a force feedback wheel, but you can feel when the car is understeering.

One other thing that most sim racers miss is the view, this is a 2D representation of 3D, you may have a fancy helmet view, and sure its realistic, but when viewing a racing game in 2D we need all the help we can get to see corner apex's. For that reason ill always use a bonnet or bumper cam. (until I can afford a 3D setup, then maybe ill use a helmet cam)


sounds amazing. i cant wait to get my hands on it. but you have all these shots of the big name team nfs drivers and their cars but still not a shot of matt powers s14 or mad mikes rx8 or fd rx7. and no talk of them. its concerning!!!


Wow this article convinced me to buy the game when it comes out. I am very excited to see how it feels and am glad they asked REAL drivers on how the game feels and drives. Drift mode sound freakin interesting and I can't wait to drive and customize those cars. Gran Turismo 5 was great but it also left me disappointed in the end