Top critical review
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The Good, The Meh and The Ugly
on 6 June 2013
Grid 2 is probably inferior to Grid 1, however certainly in some areas, particularly presentation and physics have all been dramatically changed. If you are wondering whither or not you will like this game it probably comes down to your love of car customization, cock-pit views and 'big' races. If the last three don't bother you then this game is a good, competent racer. Still not sure? Then how about the good, the meh and the ugly?
+ Production Values
The graphics are fantastic, visually there is a lot of detail from the newspapers sweeping across the road to the glitter of distant fireworks. The longer coastal and mountain tracks in particular look superb. Damage effects are also great and the music on a final lap of a championship really amps the tension.
+ Multiplayer Madness
Add a dozen racers with persistent damage, no flash-backs and crazy anarchy reigns, yes it is possible to get a 'proper' race but most of the time it devolves into a brutal game of shoving, raging and seat-of-your-pants racing, if you like that = great.
+ Variable Physics
The cars really do feel different, the changes between how each car grips the road or how much is weighs can make a real effect on your race plan. If you like that sort of thing, then great, if you don't like lots of drifiting skip this one and proceed to 'The Bad'.
+ Split-Screen Racing
Always nice to remember there are still people that enjoy playing games in the same room rather then with the delightful masses of homophobic/racist ten year old Americans.
~ No Cockpit View
I never use it except to try (and fail) to impress my other half, but if you like it...its not here.
Some people say its great, smart, aggressive and dynamic. Others say its rubbish sticking just to lines. My view? Its a bit of both but thank goodness its not as suicidal as it used to be!
~ Lack of Customization
Again, not something that bothers me, but if you are into decals, color schemes, changing your car suspension etc, not here in the single player. Likewise no buying cars in single player.
~ 'Story Mode'
Gone are the smultzy rivalry's of Toca (boy i miss those) replaced by a streamlined, slick and non-invasive voice overs and live action videos where people talk about how amazing you are. It's fine for what it is but Grid 1 had a better campaign layout. One day we will get some crazy triple A race game which takes a 'Mortal Kombat' approach to racing games like this (which is to say a crazy overblown story of rivals, love interests, grumpy retired race-coaches and hopefully the 'ultimate showdown of ultimate racing')...sorry what were we talking about?
Wait! Wait! The flashback system is really good, thank goodness the days of restarting a whole race are over and done with! However...remember Grid 1? Where you could have amazing, crazy crashes then flashback and watch it in slow-mo while moving the camera around the glorious carnage? Gone. Replaced by a one speed rewind where you press (Y) to restart the race from. Streamlined but soulless, ugh.
Mario-kart it ain't. Nevertheless there is a lot of drifting, a lot greater emphasis on sliding round corners instead of careful breaking and following the racing line. This becomes very frustrating when you fail to drift correctly and skid into the nearest invincible signpost. This is'nt due to a particular lack of skill, its just that if you are used to a more simulated form of racing then it can be a bit of a steep learning curve.
- Lack of Features
Destruction derby? - gone
Le-Mans race? - gone
Epic longer races? - gone
More then 12AI in a race? - gone
There are other things I could probably list but it does feel like a few things missed the cut, certainly the location list isn't that impressive, only a handful of real tracks and some variable city ones. The mountain and coastal ones do look very nice but you will do them again...and again. Grid original surpasses Grid 2 when it comes to tracks, features and variety.
- Day 1 DLC
Day 1 DLC is a cancer in the video-game industry (okay, okay, maybe not as bad as always online DRM) and Grid 2 comes with a bunch of it as well as the constant nagging to upgrade for a season pass for more money, what...was £40 not enough?
Anyway, hope that helps someone, it is a good racer overall, certainly good to watch and you will get a buzz out of it...but the lack of features and general...lack of soul, and by that i mean there is no awesome slow-mo flashbacks, no epic 24hr le-mans, no customization just a constant invitation for 'season passes' and further DLC, that is soullessness. But hey, great bargain bin racer if you can get it.