A REVIEW BY UNKNOWN ENEMY
GRID 2 is a half-simulator, half arcade style racer that is a genuine balance between both styles of racing genre and can be categorized in a league of its own in terms of car handling and circuit design. Interior view has been removed from the original GRID which is disappointing as I feel that this camera view adds authenticity to a racing game, even if it is rarely used, I would’ve liked to switch views mid-race to know that my driver was steering the car. The music being added at climatic points in each event adds immersion in the racing experience, unlike games such as Forza or Gran Turismo which have static tracks played all race. This game is a minor step down in drifting compared to GRID 1, however city circuit tracks for regular racing seem to have a realistic transition between brick, asphalt, and kerbs unlike the games predecessor.
Codemasters has created World Racing League ‘WCR’ were your job is to race a variety of racing clubs from the US, Middle-East, Europe and Asia to attract ‘fans’. The inclusion of ESPN a well-known sport commentating channel in the US adds a layer of mirrored fame found in real life and adds depth in the single player experience, which helps new players to the genre engage in this racing game. The addition of displaying short story clips of your racing fame across YouTube, the WSR in game website and SMS messages motivates you to aim for a greater number of fans. While story typically lacking in racing games, Codemasters has pulled off a story mode that doesn’t ruin the experience of racing or feel that there is any difficulty in progressing to the next race as skipping events is optional. As you near completion of a race, overtaking a threat (another popular driver), complete a race or experience damage issues your crew chief will annoy you which adds to the enjoyment of the game but gets repetitive as you progress through the game. Throughout the game. the same tracks, modes and similar challenges were reused however the difficulty of driving a faster vehicle in the later stages of the game compensates for this. Codemasters could pull some of the officially licensed world class circuits from the F1 series into Grid 2.
In short the single player provides a decent range of content despite the large amount of additional content and will give at least 24 hours of gameplay in the base game*, additional tracks including the extravagant demolition derby has been brought from GRID 1 in a free DLC which is brilliant for local multiplayer fun with friends and family. The demolition derby features only one car to choose from that is kitted out just for demolition events which you can select in the quick race menu for single or multiplayer modes. It was disappointing that Grid 2 features the same tracks as its predecessor, which feels like Codemasters reworked the handling of the vehicle in this mode to be significantly easier to control, making it harder to slide out.
In GRID 2 online unlike the ‘WRS’ singleplayer mode you can purchase and upgrade vehicles performance. The new rivalry mode allows users to set up randomly assigned online players which compete for XP to crown the ‘better racer’, this mode I feel is underused at the time of writing this review but is a great feature that I believe GRID should integrate with the main multiplayer mode of future titles. There is also a global challenge that ranks your account on various tracks against world times and a full featured online mode which has typical lobby matchmaking as you would expect. With some interesting indicators for racers which prefer to drive aggressively indicated by traffic light color exclamation marks next to their profiles. Also by purchasing the DLC you get no advantage over users who have not purchased the DLC other than the specific vehicle, and all tiers are able to be used from the start in multiplayer however if you want more cars they need to be purchased unlike the singleplayer. Grid 2 is a graphically enhanced GRID 1 with several race types such as checkpoint, time attack, endurance, face off, drift, touge, races that change each lap and regular races found in the single player as well as the multiplayer.
GRID 2 is a well-priced game to buy standalone during a sale event, do not be pressured to purchase the DLC’s on offer for this title as the content is not worth what you pay for. The free DLC of demolition derby is to be expected as it features the same tracks and cars from the previous title, but I found that the gameplay was more enjoyable for the demolition derby races than in the original GRID. The lack of cockpit view is a major letdown and detracts the simulation aspect found in the previous title. Both GRID 1 and 2 are great games and if you prefer a more Arcady family and friend gaming experience than GRID 2 is the game of choice out of the two which is an easy game to get into for beginners. Overall GRID 2 is a brilliant game that can be set apart from the previous title in ways, however, there has been key gameplay features removed and missed from the original game.