4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Approach with Caution,
This review is from: Grid 2 - Race Day Edition (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Although excited about the release of Grid 2, I have to admit that previous iterations of key franchises (I'm looking at you Dirt!) have meant that I was never certain that this would live up to Dirt 2 or the original grid, let alone the subtle, tangible handling found in the beautiful Forza Horizon and the genuinely terror-inducing racing of Shift 2.
With the cars in this game, there is little intimation of feedback: a car will break away with little visual, aural or haptic warning, there is no 'edge' on which the car can be balanced through apexes and high speed corners. As an example, compare the works-converted Mercedes 190E from Shift 2 to the 190E in Grid 2, where the former is responsive and balanced, yet exciting, Codemasters' car seems to pivot on a central axis, making for a frustrating drive and insulting tothe legacy of this classic car.
The tracks are awash with graphical excess, which is no bad thing in my opinion: both Pure and Forza Horizon are similarly pitched visually, but they are either too short or move to the puzzling 'Live Routes' system which randomises track content thereby nullifying the constant challenge of mastering a track, through clipping armco, bumping the apex, or throwing weight into the car through mechanical or hydraulic means.
When the car and the track are brought together, the problems really start: brushing the side of the track or an (aggressive) AI can result in a cataclysm of sparks and shifting camera views which is only partly mitigated by an overhauled (and well implemented) flashback system: this is Codie's much vaunted 'TruFeel' handling mechanic, but there is little encouragement here to take the cars to their limits as there is indication as to what there limits are: without insulting the hardworking programmers at Codemasters, I'm not sure that they know either.
All in all, this release makes Codemasters' move to a purely racing studio a strange one. Without the diversification of different genres, they will rely more and more on established franchises, Grid 2, along with the Dirt series needs to step up next generation if one of Britain's oldest and proudest devs/producers is to survive and thrive.