Login


Forgot password?

Registration

Password reset

Please enter your e-mail address and new password.

GRID 2

Avatar
By NeonAnderson16-07-2013
Bobfish (editor)
Bis18marck70 (editor)
GRID 2

The Defence

Developer:
Codemasters
Publisher:
Codemasters
Genre:
Racing
Release Date:
US 27-05-2013
EU 31-05-2013

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core i7
AMD Bulldozer
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 560
AMD Radeon HD 6870
RAM:
4 GB
HDD:
15 GB
DirectX:
11

The Case

 

The first GRID set a new standard for racing games. Pretty much any current day racing game will be expected to have certain technical elements, such as dynamic visual and car mechanical destruction, due to GRID’s legacy. As such, the bar is high for GRID 2 and the question on all racing fans’ minds is whether or not GRID 2 can raise that bar even further.

The Trial

 

Upon starting GRID 2 you are immediately offered the choice of playing either the single-player or multiplayer. This also means that the two modes are completely separate, which is an interesting development choice and one that actually pays off. The single-player mode also includes the split-screen co-op but sadly there is no online co-op even though it is still good that the option is at least there in some form is split-screen co-op. The single-player, just as with the first GRID, is spread over a large variety of maps and settings, even more so in GRID 2 as the game literally takes you around the world.

Look at my car, my car is amazing, give it a lick, it tastes just like raisins.

Look at my car, my car is amazing, give it a lick, it tastes just like raisins.

There is also a good variety in game modes over all these maps that help make it so the game does not become overly repetitive or boring. In conjunction with with this variety is the diversity of vehicles. In total, spread over 4 different vehicle tiers, there are 59 different vehicles includes in the base game. In single-player, you start on tier 1 and, with the exception of the 2nd season, move up a tier each racing season.

It’s unusual for racing games to have some kind of tangible story but in GRID 2 there is a narrative that progresses as you complete each race. The story is provided through a variety of different methods, the most interesting one is done through TV-like presenters who talk about the WSR racing season as it develops and talk about an everyman (in the sense that they do not name him) racing driver who is surprising the fans by his/her performance. They do actually use your name in other story segments, such as clips that show how Neon Anderson is becoming a YouTube sensation and even has his own forum thread on the official WSR forums. While it is understandable that they do not name the racing driver during the TV sessions, you do actually get pick a verbal name that they call you in-game. It’s a small nitpick but with a little bit more this would have required more recording work, these could have been used for the TV presentations to add a bit more immersion. Despite the lack of that however, the story is decent and complex enough that it actually adds to the experience. Giving shape and reason to each season and racing location and even leading to promotional events.

As I already mentioned, the single-player takes you through 5 racing seasons, these featuring a variety of different race types that range from the traditional lap-based racing to more modern Touge, Elimination and Drift modes. The most unique of all modes though is the LiveRoutes. Here the player has no map to tell him what is coming up, instead the route is randomly chosen by changing at key junction points. Through this way the map will be different each time the player plays that level and it will offer a higher challenge as you simply do not know what to expect around each corner. This was definitely the stand-out in the entire game and I would love to see this mode taken further in future racing games. All in all there is so much content and variety here that you simply cannot get bored of the single-player campaign.

Nothing spells e-peen like imaginary fans.

Nothing spells e-peen like imaginary fans.

This variety is also increased further through how each vehicle is divided into 3 different handling “archetypes”, being: Drift, Grip and Balanced. Within these archetypes, the vehicles will all share similar handling and driving techniques. Drift cars tend to have lower top speed and acceleration but with a skilled player behind the wheel, they can keep their speed up by (unsurprisingly) drifting around each corner. Grip cars require more technical driving, where you really have to keep to the racing line and slow down on time for each corner, though if push comes to shove, you can use the handbrake to make your Grip vehicle do a small drift. Balanced vehicles are a middle-point between both and lose more speed drifting than a Drift vehicle but drift far better than a Grip vehicle.

Even within the same vehicle archetype, each car handles completely different and thus the player will really have to adapt to each he or she chooses to drive, whilst most levels limit which kind of vehicles you can take on them, with some levels allowing all tier 1 vehicles for example, while others only allow “Classic Muscle” tier 1 vehicles. But the variety does not even end there. Codemasters made certain to go out of their way in terms of customisation options for your car liveries. For those who are not used to the term liveries, it is a fancy racing word for the way your car looks (the paint, design, rims, etc.) before the game launched Codemasters made claim to 6 billion different possibilities. This claim was definitely achieved as there are plenty of car customisation options in the game, however not all is perfect here.

While there are plenty of customisation options, a few of the most basic features are lacking. The first and most annoying issue is that you cannot remove all the sponsor stickers from your car. You are forced to have the WSR sticker shown during all races on your car and then another 4 or 5 different sponsors as well. This is very annoying for people like me, who do not want to be driving a high-speed moving commercial banner! The lack of this is even more mystifying when the multiplayer DOES have this implementation! So why in the world would they not allow this on the single-player as well? There is no logical reason for it to have been left out.

There goes my fancy paintjob :'(

There goes my fancy paintjob :'(

The mystery does not even end here though...sadly; more features that are basic are missing too. You have the ability to save every livery you make and apply it to a completely different vehicle. While this is without a doubt great, it is odd that you then cannot go to the multiplayer and apply your saved liveries across the board. This means you have to re-create your awesome designs from scratch on the multiplayer and vice versa if you made something on the multiplayer and then wanted to use it on the single-player. Why these two are divided is completely beyond comprehension.

In terms of the gameplay, as with any racing game, the core part of the gameplay is how the car handles and the AI. In terms of how the cars handle it is pretty much perfect, as advertised, the vehicles all strike a perfect balance between realism and arcade-fun handling. The perfectly balanced handling of the cars combines well with the realistic damage engine to create a challenging and fun experience that you won’t forget.

Case Review

  • Keyboard: Great to see a developer that knows how to properly use a keyboard for a racing game.
  • Gameplay: As promised, a perfect balance between fun and realism in the way the cars handle.
  • Graphics: Some elements look great while others are simple 2D textures.
  • Bugs: Depending on where you spend the most time, being either single-player or multiplayer, you could be heavily affected by the few bugs in this game.
  • Multiplayer: Single-player was definitely the focus of the game, yet there are features in the MP that should also be in the SP which are not, while the multiplayer itself did not receive enough attention to be fully fixed and polished.
  • DLCs: It’s not right when a developer releases DLCs before properly fixing the bugs in the game, customer care over cash grabbing please!
4
Score: 4/5
Not perfect, but definitely a racing experience you won’t want to miss!

Tags

Comments (3)
You must be to post a comment.
avatar
Posts: 568

@Mokman, some developers at least have the understanding to either first patch a game properly before doing any DLCs or patch the game simultaneously as they release DLCs.

For example, Killing Floor they release hotpatches separate from DLCs due to urgency but then they also have "content updates" as well as seasonal events, both of which always include free update components with new content and fixes/improvements as well as new DLCs that you can buy.

So it always bothers me when I see a developer just mindlessly release DLC while yet not showing any care or intention to fix the game's issues. I mean seriously, how hard is it to add an option for push to talk? It is ridiculous they still release DLC and yet do not add something that simple. Not to mention all the party issues the game has, thus making it IMPOSSIBLE to enjoy playing with friends on the MP

and indeed, the MP is already dying, gg Codemasters.

avatar
Posts: 2665

There are a lot of cars in the world. And only so much space on a disc.

Just saying

avatar
Posts: 53

Well, admittedly all these games are DLC minefields...