GRID 2 Review

A truly worthwhile sequel.

The racing genre has been all over the place during the last 4-5 years with franchises like the Need for Speed, Forza, Gran Turismo, Burnout and many more. However, GRID 2 is an entirely different beast and is a sequel to the critically acclaimed racing game Race Driver: GRID that was released back in summer of 2008. So how does GRID 2 hold up to the original and is it a worthy racing game to play before this generation ends? Lets find out.

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GRID 2 is a well-presented racing game and it shares many similarities in terms of style from the original game. The menus are slick, cars look convincing, and the overall graphics is solid. The game’s graphical art-style gives it a perfect arcade-look to it and is consistent enough to identify itself as franchise.

The objective of the game is to gain fans and promote yourself through racing clubs and events to compete in the World Championship. Racing games don’t actually need a story, but GRID 2 tries to give you a reason to why you’re racing in the first place. While it doesn’t genuinely matter, it’s a like-able small addition that adds to the overall presentation of the game.

The gameplay in GRID 2 is a lot of fun and feels terrific once you get the hang of all of the varied events that you get to race in throughout the career mode. The career mode spans over different events such as typical Lap Races, Head-to-Head races, Speed-runs and my personal favorite Overtakes. Head-to-head races in GRID 2 are called Face-off. In this mode  you are pitted against another racer in a one-on-one match across three different rounds to score top place to win the overall Face-off event. The game also provides additional car challenges and promotional events that you can participate-in to win new cars.

Overtakes is that one mode that stands because all you do is race past regular cars to gain points, the more cars you can chain up in-between each car the more you points you earn and you’re points multiplier goes up. However, if you tend to collide with a vehicle or any environment in the race track your overtake streak resets back to 100 points.

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In GRID 2,  you can choose what difficulty setting you want to play and how car damage works. For example if you collide with an object in the game or another vehicle you can turn on/off if you want the collision to affect your car’s handling. If you choose to keep it off then crashing into vehicles will not any effect on your handling, but if you choose to leave it on then get ready to drive more carefully. It’s a neat small feature that lets players play and challenge themselves.

Overall GRID 2 provides solid amount of racing variations that you’d come to expect from a racing game. I love the car handling system in GRID 2. At first, it was a bit confusing on how to drift and handle your vehicle; however, after about an hour so the handling grew on me and I started to enjoy it. The handling feels perfect and almost like a combination between a simulator racing and arcade.

If you have crashed and you’ve lost the lead you can rewind the race a few seconds back until you feel confident enough that you can safely make a sharp turn or avoid a collision. This may seem like it makes the game too easy but trust me you’ll be happy this feature exists because it’s fun, and it helps you out a lot on the higher difficulty settings. You may also only trigger it 5 times during a racing event, so use it wisely.

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My only gripe with GRID 2 is the fact that the amount of race tracks is quite limited. The circuits are a bit too similar to one another, and there’s also not many to choose from either. There was a five year gap between Race Driver: GRID and GRID 2. With that being said, why does the game has a limited amount of tracks? It’s kind of questionable and disappointing at the same time.

In GRID 2 Online you can play by choosing certain playlists that consist of different type of events that can either be randomly chosen or particularly picked. The big draw of GRID 2 Online is the fact that you have a separate garage from single-player and whole different progression system that will last you a long time. Players can level up and progress to unlock new cars and better yet earn credits by participating in online events that they can spend to tune-up and upgrade their vehicles to get better performance and a higher chance of winning. I didn’t encounter any lag during my online experience, and getting from one match to another was fast and easy.

Achievements in GRID 2 are easy to obtain for the most, and the majority of them are single-player related. Just like most racing games, achievements asks you to be placed 1st place in every career event, progress through the story/career mode and complete world championship. Then there are the miscellaneous ones such as finishing all the challenges, promotional invites and so on.

The online achievements can easily be boosted and don’t require a lot of time to finish and may be completed in just a few hours. Overall a solid achievement list that doesn’t make you want to tear your hair out with non-sense grinding.

GRID 2 is an excellent racing game. If you’re looking for an enjoyable single-player and multiplayer racing,  GRID 2 will be your answer. GRID 2′s single-player provides a lot of fun thanks to the varied events and fantastic gameplay. The multiplayer is a beast with a separate garage and the ability to level up and earn credits to upgrade your cars is awesome. Overall a magnificent racing game to enjoy despite the lack variety of circuits.

This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.

The Good

Consistent art-style and presentation, fun gameplay, good single-player experience, awesome multiplayer mode and great handling system.

The bad

Poor variety in the number of circuits

FINAL VERDICT

Excellent racer with great single-player and deep multiplayer options. I highly recommend it to any racing fan.


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