GRID 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Racing
Developer: Codemasters Southam
Publisher: Codemasters
Platform: PC, 360, PS3

GRID 2 – Review

Site Score
8.1
Good: Fun way of handling your cars, Arcade with a decent jacket
Bad: Less innovation compared to its predecessor
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

GRID 2, the sequel of Codemasters’ success formulae of a new franchise. The game takes you on a journey to build up fame and get yourself enough fans to be remembered for years to come. Even with the head start, will this game earn first place or second after all?

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Story

GRID 2’s main ‘drive’ isn’t about a decent storyline or the use of hefty cinematics to draw you in the game. Racing is the main theme of the game and in the end that’s pretty much all that matters. That being said, the developers did their best to give us a decent portrait about how the world works today, through social media, that is.

In GRID 2 you will, like in many other racing games, be competing with other drivers to become one of the greatest racers the world has ever seen. Of course this will revolve around the cliché of being the rookie no one has ever heard of. The game however uses social media to add to the overall realism of your rising success. When winning or finishing in the top 3, you will get a lot more ‘fans’ that will support your career and will also help you climb to the top. A pretty simple ‘story’, but a realistic one.

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Graphics

Codemasters’ sequel proves to be quite pleasant to the eyes. The game looks quite detailed when it comes to car models, environments and even the crowd has been done a lot better than many other racing games. Sadly when games have a lot of customization options nowadays, GRID 2 might be a bit lacking to create that many fun and unique designs. Luckily this is made up with the visual damage done to your vehicles when driving a little too careless.

Sound

Whilst the music might get your adrenaline going a tad less than other competitive racing games, the music still is catchy and appealing and will set the right mood. Sound effects are as they should be and aren’t more than that. The only annoying part, when it comes to the overall sound quality of the game, is the person speaking to you during races. He will constantly state the obvious or even tons of useless facts in a repetitive way. He will announce crashes, sometimes when you are in the crash. He will constantly tell you to ‘push’ your opponents during times you’re driving in 1st place with a gigantic lead and so on. A slight dent in the bodywork of the sound department.

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Gameplay

Racing is of course the primary focus in Codemasters’ GRID 2. You will be able to plow your way through 5 seasons of the WSR, each being a little longer than the previous one. The length is only determined by the fact the older seasons tend to have less extra challenges and shorter tracks. (And less categories to choose from.)

Each season consists out of several racing types like face-off, time trials, race and so on. Race and time trial being classic modes, Face-off offers you the chance to duke it out one on one, while climbing a ranking to reach first place. A mode called LiveRoute is a mode that is quite unique and fun to compete in. A track in this mode tends to change several times during one race, creating new routes making it impossible to learn the track by heart.

To gain access to more and more races or to the actual WSR competition each season, you will have to gain popularity. To gain popularity, you will have to earn loyal fans, who can be won over by finishing in the top three of each event you are already able to participate in. Of course, finishing first will get you more fans. This means, if you have enough fans, you will be able to skip several events and races of the season you’re in. Then again, completing them and earning even more fans proves to be a lot more fun. Who doesn’t like the spotlight?

The game also offers some extra events or challenges by which you can also win extra fans or nifty new rides. At the start of each season you will be able to choose several sponsors to decorate your car with their names. Of course, each name comes with a challenge you can complete during the season and by which you can earn extra fans upon doing so. Other challenges however will offer you the change to win some extra cars to get your collecting spree going. These challenges tend to be normal events like races, time trials and so on, whilst the sponsor challenges tend to be requirements you need to meet during an event itself.

Filling your garage is a fun aspect of the game, you will be able to win new cars fairly easy, and you won’t have that constant feeling of – “This is going to cost me all of my hard earned money’’. Also you will never have to worry about not being able to earn every car the game throws at you. If you pick one car out of two after an event, you will be able to win the other one during another event. As mentioned earlier, the customization might be a bit lacking when taking a look at other games in the genre. Nonetheless, you will be able to change your car a bit to your liking.

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GRID 2 tends to be a bit different than conventional racers because you tend to go from one turn into another one on most of the tracks. This will pretty much give you an indication what to expect of the tracks this game will throw at you. In the end, this creates a decent challenge when controlling your car compared to other games where speed is the only requirement you need to finish first or at least earn yourself a decent spot in the ranking. The game tends to have a slight learning curve but once you get the hang of it, the controls will feel quite natural and realistic in the sense that you will actually take into account what you’re doing. Simply put, the game has a control system that’s fun and challenging at the same time.

Challenging is a word that can be linked with the overall difficulty level of GRID 2. Your AI opponents tend to make hardly any mistakes, and if you happen to turn of cosmetic damage and convert in to real damage, you’ll be in for a ride. Your AI opponents are able to drive you off the road quite easily, whilst when you attempt the same, you will once again be the only victim, doesn’t make it any easier. For modes like Face-off, where a nudge is sometimes needed to overcome an opponent, the feeling of driving against a brick wall, when trying to alter the course of your opponent, feels dated and simply broken. You will often feel yourself powerless when hitting your opponent in the right way and hoping something to happen in your advantage. A flaw this game shouldn’t have had.

Like most popular racing games these days, GRID 2 also works with a rewind system. You will be able to ‘rewind’ several mistakes during races, to undo your wrongs to make a right. A feature well appreciated when spoiling a good race, in the last turn.

When you feel the need of trying out your skills against other players you will be able to play either a simply put together split-screen mode or an online mode with a decent amount of effort put in to it. To keep track of your progress you will need to create a (free) account for the game though.

Conclusion

GRID 2 is one of those classical arcade games that comes in a brand new coat and a decent amount of game modes for you to enjoy yourself with. If you master the single player mode, you will be sure to have an extra amount of fun online, competing with other players. In the end this sequel tends to keep its solid gameplay intact, but might lose a little touch of the innovation its predecessor had.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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GRID 2 - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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