Codemasters have come up with quite a unique title that comes off as a fluid combination of an arcade and simulator racing experience.
When you start Grid 2 it doesn't give you a tutorial or really a guide on how you are supposed to move forward. Instead, it makes you put your big boy pants on and tells you to race through the mean streets of Chicago demanding you show what your made of. Unlike most racing titles where you are just a regular Joe, Grid 2 treats you like a racer that just happened to catch the eye of the right person at the right time and the single player campaign blossoms from there. There is beauty and detail in every location you race in, I commend the level designers on making such pristine locals available to enjoy.
Every car is very responsive and feels like they can really get up and go. The customization and fine tuning for this title is not very deep. The player is able to change paint schemes and color patterns. When it comes to performance, you can upgrade a few things with the in-game currency that you earn from racing. Most of your currency will be applied towards purchasing new cars to burn some rubber on the track. Online multiplayer is where this game really shines. There is no shortage of racing modes to enjoy. There is the standard race to the finish, lap circuits, time trials, drifting contests, and last but not least, Touge.
Now with all the other race modes mostly self explanatory, Touge pits you against another player. The goal is to win the race of course but any contact made with the other driver results in a disqualification. It will help you develop a racing discipline that will pay off when racing all out against 11 other people online. A race is much more enjoyable if you all drift around a turn together as a pack instead of causing a big ol' pileup. Granted, Grid 2 is no simulator experience, it is close enough with its handling mechanics that it may deter some of the younger consumers that just want to... and dare I say "Watch the world burn."
The leveling system with Grid 2's multiplayer ranges from 1 to 30. The higher you place in a race the more experience you will earn and the quicker you level up and progress. If you come in dead last then you will see your experience bar snail its way up. If you win a race then you will see a huge jump in both experience and cash earned. To ease your mind, no you do not have to be max level with all the best upgrades and cars to come in first place. I actually won the second race I was in using a stock car that you start out with, beating other players that were capped at level 30 with the best cars and upgrades. Yes those cars perform a little better but it is all in the skill of the driver. One more little tidbit is the higher level you are the furthur back in the starting grid you begin the race in. Therefore, the new guys get to start out front while the seasoned veterans have to fight their way to the front and try to avoid any wrecks.
In short, Grid 2 is a fun all out racing bruiser that allows the player to let loose and have a blast. If you want a Need for Speed feel mixed with a little bit of Forza goodness then Grid 2 may be right up your alley.