At the Gamersblog Live Event the Guardian sat down with lead designer Andy Tudor and made an interesting interview about the upcoming Shift 2 Unleashed.
Excerpt: What level of detail do you have to go into to make a modern racing game realistic?
Starting from scratch, with the cars in the game, we get the CAD data from the manufacturers. We have great relationships with the manufacturers, and they want to be in our game. Of course, we want them just as much, to showcase these amazing cars that most of us can't afford to buy. They give us all their assets, and when you look at those amazing cars, there's craftsmanship in terms of the technical side of things – how fast they go, their acceleration and so on – and then the aesthetic side. So the craftsmanship that they put into the real cars, we try to recreate as accurately as possible, in 3D as well. And it's the same with the tracks. We try to get as many tracks in as possible, and to get them mathematically correct, but we also take the guys out to track days, so they can drive the tracks themselves. Because what you find is that what looks correct on a Google Earth map doesn't necessarily give you the same sensation when you drive it. You find yourself thinking things like: "Oh my God, that's way steeper than I thought it would have been, or than the mathematical height elevation tells me it is."
How do you reckon Shift 2: Unleashed stacks up against Gran Turismo 5?
I've gone on record before saying GT5 and Forza are on pedestals at the moment: everyone believes they are the games to beat. They are great products, but they stop at being a numbers game, a mathematical simulation of great physics, whereas we go beyond that with the emotional and social aspects. This has happened previously in games, when FIFA was trying to keep up with Pro Evolution Soccer and Dante's Inferno with God Of War: it's the same kind of sparring we have with our competitors. We'll see where we go, but we're in it for the long haul.
You can find the interview - partly as video, partly as text - here:
Additionally EA revealed two new cars for Shift 2 Unleashed: the Ford Mustang RTR-X and Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang GT.
Both cars have a connection to the recently published article by Vaughn Gittin Jr. on Speedhunters, where he talks about his influence on the development of Shift 2 Unleashed, of course focusing on drifting.
The racedriver and drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. published a new article on Speedhunters, explaining his influence on the development of Shift 2 Unleashed - of course with a focus on drifting.
Excerpt: 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. [...]
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!
Shift 2 Unleashed wants to offer an intense race experience and the developers are focusing on authenticity and realism.
Racing is exhausting. Racing is violent. Racing is fluid. Racing is not muted, static or uninspiring. When you take to the track SHIFT 2 Unleashed for the first time, you'll feel a rush you've never felt before in another racing game.
Top racecar drivers, including Tommy Milner, Edward Sandstrom and drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. all spent a great deal of time with the team at Slightly Mad Studios, helping make SHIFT 2 Unleashed the most realistic racing game you'll ever play.
If you wanted an authentic racing experience, look no further than SHIFT 2 Unleashed. The new ‘helmet cam' view puts you inside the heads of the best racecar drivers, who are always plotting their next move on the track, and drifters, who need to avoid walls at all costs.
Watch this video to get more insight in the development of Shift 2 Unleashed:
As the german onlinemagazine Gbase reports, there might be no demo of Shift 2 Unleashed! According to this article Electronic Arts confirmed there will be no test version of the game, so gamers are dependent on videos and reviews.
Releasing a demo was already a problem with the predecessor NFS Shift, but then they announced a post-release demo, which was in the end released close after the launch of the game.
Only Need for Speed Undercover didn't have a demo at all...
As soon as we get more information, you'll get to know here.
The recently announced content-pack Armed & Dangerous for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit is available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 as of February 22nd.
The Need For Speed community team and Criterion give you the opportunity to game with the developers on February 25th and try out the new DLC:
Get Armed & Dangerous with Criterion! This Friday, February 25th from 4:00PM to 7:00PM EST, the Need For Speed community team and Criterion will be online to play with you! We'll be playing some standard Hot Pursuit, as well as the newly released Armed & Dangerous DLC (which begins arriving tomorrow, Feb 22nd).
For more information and instructions on how to participate, please visit the official Need for Speed website:
Recently the Pagani Huayra was announced to be available in Shift 2 Unleashed. The racing website Speedhunters published a new article, which highlights the new cars and offers some new screenshots and wallpapers.
Last weekend The Gurdian hosted the Gamesblog Live event in London, where they presented Shift 2 Unleashed. Johnny P got his hands on the game an sums up his impressions for the onlinemagazine VirtualR.
He talks about the race feeling, handling, physics- and damage model and AI, which all improved quite a lot compared to Shift 1:
Excerpt: The game looks lovely. Bright, sharp and the car models are top-notch. The interiors also, as you would expect from the original Shift, seem authentic and look great (I watch a lot of GT racing on TV and have got a good idea how the real cars look inside).
There are marbles on the track, flies splatter on your windscreen and when you rev-up the engine, waiting for the lights to go green, the race car’s body panels vibrate in an authentic looking way (more so than Shift 1).
The tracks have also mostly been made more realistic and look all the better for it (i.e. they look a lot more authentic without graffiti sprayed all over every track‘s surface and ludicrous fairground rides all over the place).
The handling in Shift 2 feels very similar to Shift 1. In fact, if you imagine Shift 1’s handling without the feeling of constantly sliding and you are pretty much there (as I said, I raced mostly with the all-assists off Elite handling model). It’s still involving though, and it doesn’t take much for you to lose traction and spin (or half spin like I did most of the time). It actually made me think about how much better Shift 1 would have been, if it had just been for a little bit of tweaking of the handling and how good the underlying physics actual were.
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