GRID 2 review (Xbox 360)

Valenka | 406d ago | User review
Reviewing: GRID 2
Explosive Sequel to an Amazing Game
Five years ago, Codemasters released GRID, an under-appreciated milestone in racing video games this generation. GRID is a game that placed itself in between racing simulation and arcade racing; its focus, as with the sequel, remains locked on pushing an emphasis on racing. Legitimate, no nonsense racing and that's what I like about GRID. You're expected to take the risks required to win and learn techniques that will and will not work. You aren't expected to hang back in the bleachers and think tactically, but actually execute ballsy moves and take the lead.

GRID 2 is a charming sequel that does justice to its predecessor, but some aspects leave you rather disappointed if you were a true GRID fan and not just a casual racer. While GRID 2 is a near perfect sequel at first glance, its flaws become evident the longer you play, but those flaws are not nearly enough to turn you off from playing.

The premise is that you're a racer on the United States urban scene who gets recruited by a motorsports tycoon that wants to take the world by storm with a world racing league. Aside from the comments on performance and how well you impress sponsors, there's no real storyline to follow. That's a good aspect about GRID - it doesn't preface the game with a Hollywood action film style story, it's just about the racing. It basically gives you this premise to justify a series of events that find you racing point to point in California, Chicago and Miami and growing to take in elimination events, drift events, time trials, endurance races and more across America, Europe and Asia.

It's been said that GRID 2 is as notable for what it doesn't have as well as what it does, but some of these indications are petty. While there is a lack of performance tweaking when it comes to customising your car, there is a decent amount of aesthetic customisation but not enough to take away from the actual point of the game: racing. Your vehicles, while stock with a predetermined amount of horsepower, handling, etc. all generally handle about the same unless the vehicle-in-question's strong point is drifting. Purchasing cars is not an option either. Instead, you gain fans through your racing and this unlocks more events and your employer will reward you with a choice of two vehicles at a time; one of these you can pick immediately, while the other can be won later on through vehicle challenges.

For the first couple of races, GRID 2 eases you into what it has to offer and while that is an annoyance for some, it rolls off the shoulders of others. You are limited in terms of tracks to race on since you are just starting out. Your AI opponents can at times be overly aggressive which is sometimes fun but also a hassle as well. Luckily, the 'flashback' feature, similar to 'rewind' in Forza makes a return and you'll be using it quite often, not only to erase your own mistakes, but to avoid the savage rear-ending you as well.

Multiplayer is another instance of development jet-lag; it seems the developers are not hip to current trends in multiplayer gaming. Instead of integrating the single player and multiplayer experiences, the two are completely segregated; multiplayer has its own level based structure, its own cars and an upgrade system. Beyond the standard gameplay, there's global challenges to compete with high scores and posted times, plus the ever-so-popular rivals mode. Whether or not GRID 2 has what it takes to compete with Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Forza remains to be seen. From first impressions, it’s a good online racer, but it doesn’t feel like a great one. I'll leave that up to your discretion as I am not much of an online racing gamer.

So what is it that makes the player want to be persistent and continue playing despite a few annoyances? The short answer: it's fun as hell. Finish off the first few races, open up the World Racing Series events and you're on your way. Make it to Europe and the game really starts to open up with new and more varied events as well as more enjoyable vehicles to commandeer. Before you know it, you'll be on the edge of your seat as you assault your way to first place. GRID 2 still has its periods of redundancy as with anything, but if you can ignore it once every ten races or so, you're golden. Plus, you'll have the terrifying downhill courses in Japan that will entertain you beyond comprehension. Overall, GRID 2 feels like a true successor to the original.
Ups
Heavy emphasis on racing
Wonderful graphics
Aggressive, competitive feel
Downs
Unsteady difficulty levels
Lack of cockpit view
Score
8.5
Graphics Codemasters might not have the budget to compete with Turn 10 or Criterion, but you wouldn't know it from the way GRID 2 looks. Visuals are up to par with today's expectations and pleasingly aesthetic.
8.0
Sound Codemasters might not have the budget to keep up with sound effects and general audio as its competitors, but again, you'd never know. Sounds are incredibly on point and work well like an orchestral symphony.
9.5
Gameplay Wildly exciting and easy to pick up and play, I approve entirely mainly because of the emphasis on racing and not getting into the nitty gritty of fine tuning. I'll turn to Forza if I'm in the mood for that, but GRID 2 is my go-to for a pick up and play racer.
9.0
Fun factor Wonderfully entertaining and attention holding for hours on end. Races are aggressive and edgy and I find myself on the edge of my seat as I throttle for first place.
7.0
Online Not the best experience but definitely not the worst. While I prefer the online multiplayer of Forza, I am not much of an online racing gamer as it is, so GRID 2 gets a get out of jail free card from me here.
8.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Pintheshadows  +   402d ago
There isn't enough of Grid 2 and I don't mean track wise. The career is anticlimatic and short with no pay off and really misses the fun of recruiting other drivers to your team.

AI drivers are far to aggressive to the point of ridiculousness although I concede it makes for exciting racing but when getting through the pack undamaged is a near impossibility it feels too much.

I also noticed all to often that if you make contact with them you will spin/crash, but it is only on rare occasions that they suffer the same when doing it to you.

I think this is a game of fluctuating quality in the biggest sense. Some of the cars late on have awful handling characteristics and don't behave in a consistent manner, so, with the Agera for example I had no idea what it was going to do from one corner to the next.

It isn't a bad game but it could of built on the original GRID in so many ways and it just seems happy to be a rather lightweight arcade racer. Now i'm done with the career there is nothing pulling me back in.

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GRID 2

Average Score 8.1 Reviews(92)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
US Q2 2013
EU Q2 2013
AU Q2 2013
JP Q2 2013
PS Vita Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
AU 2012
EU 2012
US 2012
PS4 Release Dates
Wii Release Dates
Wii U Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US May 2013
EU May 2013
AU 2013
JP 2013
Xbox One Release Dates