Review - GRID 2
Codemasters is known largely for their racing game history. They've been at it for quite some time, with series like DiRT, Colin McRae, and believe it or not, Micro Machines. In 2008, they released GRID, a simulation-style racer that didn't quite live up to that classification the way Forza and Gran Turismo do. That isn't to say it was a bad game -- it was never going to really challenge the big two of racing games. Five years later, Codemasters has brought their sequel to the track, and like its predecessor, GRID 2 is a fun time on the track, but won't push for a podium finish.
As someone who enjoys racing games, but is admittedly average when it comes to playing them, let’s just say I've made ruining beautiful cars an art form over the years. I've developed a great appreciation for how good the cars look at the beginning of an event in GRID 2 by seeing the results of my banging off the guardrails and doing the occasional barrel roll at the end. Trying to whip a '69 Charger through a mountain pass and seeing the windshield wipers raise as a result of centrifugal force isn't going to make or break anyone's mind about GRID 2's graphics, but it is a nice touch on Codemaster's part. There's a variety in the track settings in different parts of the world. Along with the standard mix of on-track and real world settings, racing in Dubai, Paris, Hong Kong, Chicago, and the open roads of California and Japan kept the game from getting stale. One man can only drive Laguna Seca so many times before it gets old! Having a large city designed to break apart into multiple tracks keeps the player feel like they're racing somewhere new while not quite leaving the city you've been in. One thing which does feel somewhat out of place, or at least underutilized, is the inclusion of ESPN. They cover motorsports, so having them “cover” the growth of GRID 2's racing organization, World Series Racing, makes sense. It's just strange that for all the money that addition probably cost to make happen, ESPN pops up only for brief videos after a season -- or sparingly on billboards at races. They could've made better use of that.
When it comes to music, GRID 2 has a somewhat sparse amount in the races and the menus. There isn't a licensed soundtrack blasting over everything, and it's a very welcomed absence. The menu music sets the tone for a racer moving from their home garage up into an elite competition like World Series Racing. In races, the music is something a gearhead would want to hear: the cars. Those sounds that developers spend so much time capturing to get just right--then usually drown out in electronic beats--they are the soundtrack to GRID 2. Music is held back so that when it comes in to emphasize how tense holding onto 1st place on the final lap should be, it actually does the job. The crew chief returns from the first game, giving you pertinent information for the race. It can be pretty standard stuff about what position you are in the race, but it’s appreciated during time trials, letting the player know how they're doing in relation to the time they have to beat. One thing I didn't appreciate coming over the speakers was being chastised for initiating contact with another car while the rest of the field has been trying to treat me like a pinball. Someone needs to tell that guy that sportsmanship went out the window a long time ago.
So the premise of GRID 2 is that you're attempting to help get a new racing series off the ground that will combine drivers from multiple disciplines of motorsports to see who ranks ‘best in car’. The appropriately named World Series Racing combines a slew of things that make for great diversity in game modes, but don't quite fit with some other development choices. The WSR combines the open road racing of America, the precision of Europe, and the wide open styles of Asia into one competition. In making the game a little more approachable, GRID 2's car list is smaller than other racers, and lacks the full blown customization that sim-racing fans have become accustomed to. Instead of being able to tune a car for a certain kind of event, cars are simply set a certain way. A car that is RWD/Drift can't be retooled to become Balanced or Grip, it will always want to get sideways. What that results in is you possibly having cars driving in a more aggressive way than is natural for, say, an endurance race. Someone banging around in the middle of the pack is going to cause chaos and generally disrupt the flow of things. Someone looking for an accurate representation of racing just isn't going to quite get what they're looking for in GRID 2.
Trying to mesh a bunch of different events and styles together was bound to not always go smoothly, and it hasn't. When you're in the early seasons of the career, the individual racing clubs have their own styles that work within their own events. Just Time Trial guys make for good Time Trial events, and just Touge drivers are fine in Touge. Throw them into the same race and things get sketchy. The standalone events are more simulation, while the World Series Racing that you find yourself in later leans a little more towards arcade. The different race types, when they're untainted, are great. The satisfaction from shaving that half second off a lap to win a Time Trial is on that upper echelon of good feelings you can get from a game. Face-Offs are tense, no holds barred sprints that get the blood pumping. The Overtake races are all about passing the obstacles of moving trucks, and are good, simple fun. The Live Races are a blast with their courses constantly changing, a la Hydro Thunder Hurricane.
If there's one event I'm disappointed with, it's Drifting. I absolutely loved swinging that ass out in a corner in the first GRID. This time, Codemasters went for a more “realistic” drift setting with the mountain passes in Japan, and they're just too short for my liking. Going from putting up scores in the millions to only getting a quarter of that is kind of a buzzkill. Everything is good until you start throwing all the ingredients in the one pot that is World Series Racing. Each season ends in, or ultimately is, WSR; and you just don't know what you're gonna get. The AI could be a pushover, it could make things a little difficult, or 1st place could shoot so far off into the lead that finishing 2nd or 3rd feels like more of an accomplishment than it probably should. Combine that with the pinball fustercluck that could be happening in the middle of the pack and it just makes GRID 2 hard to want to keep playing. At times, not even rewinding time to undo the moment where the AI completely ruined the race will save you from restarting.
There's plenty of fast times and high scores to fight for on GRID 2's leaderboards and finding an online Rival through RaceNet, but how many people stick around to fight for those top spots is debatable. GRID 2 doesn't necessarily know what it wants to be, starting with solid sim-racing before coming undone in the late stages of the career mode's seasons. People who shy away from Forza and Gran Turismo for being too real will feel more comfortable in GRID 2, and while it has its moments, there's just better racers than this one.
Grid 2 have a pretty cool graphics, making this my favorite Racing Games on the PC. thanks for review dude..
From What lil bit I did on steam .... The controls are WAYY to TOUCH-CHAAYYY!!! just a lil push to the right and you'll go right...INTO A WALL!!!.... the progression is just a joke, Drifting is a joke, and for anyone who loves sims...three's no cockpit (I originally was gonna look past this one but I'm not immersed, Bonnet cam is not really enough...) sigh..At least EA's Shift (2) get's that right. Oh however the game now includes Pit Stops and Indy Car. But It's still Not enough to impress me... Bottomline As far as car porn goes I'd give Shift2, GT5 (GT6!?) , and Forza (not so much Horizon...) a chance before I give Grid a chance. Maybe If they "Patch" things up a bit , It'll be come playable and I might enjoy it. Sorry to pull an Xplay.... but this get's a 4.5 and a F--- it...for now (If it were Xplay for real then 3(or 2) out of 5)
This game looks OK. Might check it out if I have the chance.
If you want a good Codemasters racer, try Micro Maniacs on PSone. Pretty hard to get the controls down, but it's insanely fun.