As you may already know, Shift 2 Unleashed will incorporate Autolog, the competition-between-friends system introduced by Criterion in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit; however, it's not just a quick port job. Autolog in Shift 2 Unleashed is far more robust and delivers loads more information to players. Also, the UI is more intuitive, which was the biggest issue this writer had with the offering in Hot Pursuit.

The way it works is largely the same: at any time, you can press a button and be presented with your Autolog, which will list track times for your friends and recommend courses for you to take them down in -- that's old hat. Producer Jesse Abney says Autolog is now "Need for Speed DNA" -- it'll be in every Need for Speed game from here on out. Its feature set is now enhanced to not only provide track times for unique events, but will now also segregate data based on quick race tracks, race types, automotive disciplines and will even document times on individual segments of a particular track. So it's going beyond "hey this is the time your friend got on this race, now beat it" seen in Hot Pursuit.

Finally, we were also told about a new loyalty incentive program for Need for Speed gamers. Those who played Hot Pursuit will gain access to two extra cars: the Pagani Cinque Roadster racer and Lamborghini Reventon police car. Racers will gain access to these cars when they log into Shift 2 using the same EA account they used in Hot Pursuit, following input of their Online Pass code.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.