In the year 2008 Codemasters released the original GRID. It was an underrated game that was praised for being a great racer balanced between arcade and simulation. It also introduced the rewind function that adeded a completely new element to racing and one that has been adopted by other franchises. It’s now 5 years later and Codemasters have returned to bring GRID 2 to consoles.
GRID 2 uses Codemasters EGO engine. Whilst the game doesn’t look as good as some of the top tiered racing games out there, the EGO engine is more than capable of running the game. The locations are stunning and are full of detail. I noticed that the night races seemed to be even more beautiful with lighting effects that i’ve never seen used in a racing game before. I really appreciated the fact that Codemasters really worked hard to make sure that each track had its own visual style. They even went the extra step to add extra touches such as mist effects to really give you that sense of speed that you want out of a racing game.
The cars are also equally impressive with as much detail as the tracks. I thought that the dynamic damage system really immersed you in the experience and I constantly found myself looking at the car after having a huge collision before rewinding and trying that section again. I found that there were a few small hitches with the frame rate but nothing that ever made me lose my place in a race. The sound design is extremely impressive and the sounds of the cars are extremely realistic.
The main objective of GRID 2s main mode is to gain fans and promote yourself. You can do this by finding your way through a number of racing clubs and events to eventually compete in the World Championship. I liked the way that GRID 2 gave you a reason to be racing without tacking on some completely ridiculous story like most other racers do. It helps tie the game together without feeling forced.
Racing in GRID 2 is a lot of fun. It does have a steep learning curve but it is extremely rewarding once you get the hang of it. It is extremely enjoyable due to the fact that the game provides you with a lot of different events to take part in. There are different events such as Overtakes, Speed Runs, Head to Head and your typical regular races. These mode sees you doing things such as taking another racer one-on-one across three different rounds in order to score to place. Overtakes is my favourite mode. It sees you racing past other gains in order to gain points. The more cars you can overtake in one chain means more points and a higher mutlipier. You have to do this whilst trying not to hit any other cars.
The way that GRID 2 caters to veterans and newcomers is in providing you with your choice of difficulty setting. For example you can change car damage so that if you collide with another object, you can decide whether this effects your handling of the car. It provides a great balance between how you want to play the game.
The rewind feature is also incredibly neat for those who may not be so good at racing games. You get the chance to rewind the race a few seconds back so that if you take a corner badly, you’ve got the chance to do it again. It gives the game a point of difference and is more fun than anything else. It doesn’t make the game feel cheap at all due to the fact that you can only use it 5 times during a race.
I wish that more tracks were included in the game. Whilst I liked the variety within these tracks, I wish that they had included more so that the game had more replayability. The online works as you would expect it to. You select a certain playlist which then consists of different types of events that are either randomly chosen or chosen by the player. I really appreciated the fact that multiplayer had its own progression system. This allowed for the game to last a lot longer than if they both shared the same progression system. You gain credits in these multiplayer events in order to upgrade your car and prepare it better for the next race.
GRID 2 is an extremely competent racing game. I really appreciated how suited the game was for a newcomer to the racing genre or racing veterans. I also really appreciated the fact that the game lets you play how you want to play. It caters to those who are more suited to simulation style drivers whilst also providing the rewind feature which completely changes the dynamics. I’d recommend it to anybody who is looking for a way to get into the racing genre. Just keep in mind that it does have a steep learning curve.