Night racing and full FIA GT licences are included, as well as the integration of the Autolog feature, which first appeared in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010). A small preview of the game can be seen when players first run Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (2010).
A more realistic physics engine than seen in Need for Speed: Shift is utilised. The rubber banding AI slammed by most critics is said to have been ironed out and car customisation is much more comprehensive.
All race events take place along real-life circuits. The title features a large varierty of race modes:
- Championships (Includes the FIA GT1 World and GT3 European championships.)
- Circuit Races
- Drift Races
- Endurance Races (Higher lap number Circuit Races)
- Retro Races (Players get to drive cars from the 80s and 90s.)
- Time Attack Events (The player has to beat the fastest lap record before the final lap is declared.)
- Drag Races (Speedhunters Pack only)
- Standing Mile (Speedhunters Pack only, Players' speeds are counted and the one with the highest is the winner.)
- Legends Championship (Players get to drive cars which are the predecessors of today's cars.)
Players can change their car's appearance with bodykits, rims and vinyls. The performance tuning is greatly improved with addition of engine swaps.
The Autolog system has been reworked and offers more features than before. Players can compare their drift angles, generated smoke, velocity, time records and regular statistics.
The Limited Edition release of Shift 2: Unleashed includes three exclusive cars as well as additional career events such as Old vs New and Manufacturer Showdown.
- 2010 Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV
- 2007 Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640
- 2000 Nissan Silvia spec.R Aero (S15)
It was officially announced on June 17th 2011 that both the Legends Pack and Speedhunters Pack would be made available for the PC release of Shift 2: Unleashed.
The Legends Pack was made available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases of Shift 2: Unleashed on April 26th, 2011. It costs 800 Microsoft points on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
The pack includes 13 iconic cars and 5 iconic race courses.
- 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1600
- 1961 Austin Mini Cooper S
- 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL
- 1974 Ford Capri RS 3100
- 1970 Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600
- 1965 Ford GT40 Mk1
- 1963 Ford Lotus Cortina
- 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight
- 1971 Nissan Fairlady Z 240ZG
- 1969 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R
- 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0
- 1970 Porsche 914/6 GT
- 1964 Shelby Daytona
The Speedhunters Pack was made available to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases of Shift 2: Unleashed on May 17th, 2011.
It includes 14 tuned cars and 6 drag races courses.
- Dodge Challenger R/T
- Dodge Viper GTS by Twins Turbo
- Mazda RX-7 FC3S
- McLaren MP4-12C
- Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evolution 2
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR Edition
- Nissan Fairlady 240ZG
- Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R
- Pagani Huayra
- Scion tC (World Racing Pro-FWD)
- Toyota Supra
- Miyatomi Drag Strip
- Miyatomi Mile
- Agueda Drag Strip
- Agueda Aerodrome
- Nevada Drag Strip
- Nevada Freight Yard
|Need for Speed Series|
|Games||The Need for Speed • II • III: Hot Pursuit • High Stakes • Porsche Unleashed • Motor City Online • Hot Pursuit 2 • Underground • Underground 2 • Most Wanted (2005) • Carbon • ProStreet • Undercover • Shift • Nitro • World • Hot Pursuit (2010) • Shift 2: Unleashed • The Run • Most Wanted (2012) • Rivals • Need for Speed (2015) • Edge • Need for Speed (2017)|
|Handheld||Underground Rivals • Most Wanted 5-1-0 • Carbon: Own The City • Hot Pursuit (iOS) • No Limits|
|Compilations||The Need for Speed Collection • Collector's Series|
|Films||Need for Speed|