Interview: Shift 2 is a "Racing Simulator," Not a "Driving Simulation Experience" Says the Game's Producer

Dan Webb

The original Shift was an interesting game. Loved by some, hated by others, and tolerated by us - it was decent; nothing more, nothing less. So when Shift 2 was announced, those who loved the original were over the moon, those who hated it rolled their eyes, and others, like us, were just glad they at least did the right thing and ditched the Need For Speed moniker.

While down in EA's UK offices recently, we caught up with Shift 2 Unleashed's Producer, Jesse Abney, to see what they had in store for us with the sequel; a game which Abney labels as a "racing simulator," unlike Forza and GT5 which are "driving simulation experiences." There is a difference... apparently. With night-time racing promised, a much more varied career  and more, we get the detailed lowdown on what fans can expect this coming March.

  • I'm really nerding out for this.
  • undergound 3 is next right???
  • Forza is a racing/driving sim...... Gt5 is a racing sim Silly market stunts that ea pull :/ Forza 4 will have nighttime racing, whilst gt5 also has nightime and weather..... Btw will shift s2 have weather?
  • Until they can match the "simulated" driving experience like Forza and Gran Turismo have, I don't see this competing with either. I doubt dropping the NFS title will make it any less NFSish.
  • This looks very GRID-like to me, which a good thing. I hope it's better than the first though because that one sucked.
  • They dropped the Need for Speed moniker, but added the completely unnecessary "Unleashed". What, really, is so unleashed about this game? I do not understand.
  • I wonder is Shift 2 will runs at 60fps Like Forza and GT5. Plus I wonder if Shift 2 will have real cars sounds like in Forza 3.
  • They must have added UNLEASHED because just Shift 2 is too boring. LoL.
  • He just gave that game the kiss of death. Driving Simulator? Really? I doubt it. It'll be good, but not that good, dont let everyone get excited, then get let down LOL
  • I'm quite looking forward to this, i've just got to get myself in gear (pardon the pun) and finish Hot Pursuit first!
  • IMO i prefer the arcade style of speed,drifting to me feels more realistic in a non realistic way! very hard to explain but like dirt 2, hot pursuit and split second you feel the speed you feel the drifts but in forza and the like you dont feel that you are doing 200mph if that makes sense,each to there own but for the people who like that then enjoy,but for me i think il wait for dirt 3 and stick with my hot pursuit for now.
  • @12 you should check out F1 2010. That is fast!
  • ill pick this up up after i get solid gold on Forza 3 (67%!). i enjoyed shift 1, i liked the game footage in this video. it should hold me over until forza 4. i never really liked racing games, i was always a FPS guy, until Forza 3. well CoD Black ops didn't really help sway me back. love Racing games now.
  • @6 The first one looked Grid-like and as you said, it sucked
  • @14 u can do it! solid gold will take a long time...i got it after 120 hours. this game looks interesting. i havent picked up a need for speed game since carbon. i hope it has depth to it
  • @16 same here, carbon was the last one i bought. well apart from shift which i didn't actually buy i got it as a gift and enjoyed it jus cause i could always try and beat my mate's record :)
  • No Go Karts ?! No Open Wheel ?! Are you sure this is Race sim? i dont think so... Pick up the list of drivers in FIA GT and show me ONE...just ONE that started his career driving a caterham , make some drift races in Japan and all of sudden is driving on FIA GT or DTM... BOSSES???? DID HE SAY BOSSES? WTF is the game developers fetish with BOSSES ?! This is a racing game, not Super Mario World or Street Fighter! Can you race fans imagine R.Dennis to Lewis Hamilton: "Hey man before you become Champion you gotta beat the F1 BOSSESS: SCHUMACHER,ALONSO AND RAIKKONEN BY 1 SECOND A LAP IN CHALLENGE OTHERWISE YOU WONT BE THE CHAMP" Thats ridiculous! Disapointing... I have the NSF: Speed game , its a very fun game...with fair achievements and all... im probably gonna get this one too but i dont expect to be better than FM3 ,Race Pro or even Codemasters GRID
  • I'm currently enjoying Shift right now and it's the best title in the series since Underground 2 IMO. This game got me back into the Racing genre and I can explain how excited I am about a sequel. It's a nice mix of realism and fun, something I can't say for the Forza or GT series.
  • @3 - Not sure you can call the Gran Turismo series a "true racing simulator"... Admittedly i've not played 5 so can't comment on that in particular but i remember all GT's used to have "on rails" opponents... they all followed the same line and never took "risks" or try bold overtaking moves... Heaven help you if you were on "their" driving line! At least in Shift, the AI make mistakes and can spin off in front of you...
  • dont think any game can claim to be a true racing OR driving simulator... I love Forza and Dirt, and the only thing that impresses me about GT is the amount of content and knowledge about the cars... However, actually driving on dirt does not feel like driving on ice, and sometimes in both GT and Forza it feels like pavement is made of glass. Shift forced you to race in cockpit view, which I'm sure made them feel like it was a "hardcore" game, but it alienated gamers... and I dont even wanna get started on Forza giving people the choice of the "auto-brake" their game... Holding RT and moving the LS is the worst... looks like i got started, well shit!
  • and @20 I completely agree with you... AI should make mistakes or TRY something every now and then, seems like almost every racing game has one or two cars on the track that are "perfect", I always pit maneuver em:-)
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