20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
If it ain't broke don't fix it,
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This review is from: Grid 2 (PC CD) (CD-ROM)
There seems to be a general consensus of opinion that the game looks very nice graphically and has a pretty good selection of cars and tracks. The fact that there is no longer a cockpit view will concern those who used to use it and won't concern those who didn't.
As far as I am concerned there are three major differences between this game and the original. None of those differences would be a major issue on their own, but the combined effect of all three does seriously compromise the game in my opinion.
First off, the handling of the cars cannot be adjusted, or there's no "driver assists" as Codemasters likes to call them. I feel this is something of a misnomer because it gives the impression they are some kind of switch that you can flick on to make the cars easier to drive, in other words, cheat. From what I can remember, however, most of these "assists" were actually slider bars that enabled the driver to balance the car to their own personal driving style and preference. Exactly the same as real racing drivers do. So why is this cheating? I get the impression the main problem was that it was perceived to create a lack of parity between online gamers. So why not just disable it for multiplayer and leave single player as it was before?
Codemasters have issued a load of old guff about wanting to convey the "unique characteristics of each individual car". From what I have seen so far, however, the cars all handle pretty much the same. Until you get to a corner. Whereupon the tier one cars oversteer a bit, the tier two cars oversteer a lot and the tier three cars oversteer a hell of a lot. You don't need an army of designers studying the characteristics of 84 different vehicles to accomplish that. But having said all that, the handling of the tier one cars is manageable with a bit of patience and perseverance.
The second issue is the AI. At first glance little seems to have changed since you can choose from one of five difficulty levels. The difference is that in the old game the difficulty level determined both the competitiveness and the aggression of the opposition. In the new game, however, it only changes the competitiveness. The aggression is maxed out on all the levels, which means that even on the very easy setting the AI will ram you off the track at each and every opportunity.
This leads to the third issue which is that there is a much greater proportion of street circuits to race circuits. Normally I would see this as a good thing because I have always found a lot of the race circuits to be rather bland and samey. The problem is, however, that if the AI shunts you off a race circuit you skid across some grass or gravel, which is a bit annoying, but you can often catch back up again with a bit of determination. If they shunt you off a street circuit, however, you end up in a wall and your car gets totalled.
So basically, Grid 2 consists of trying to coax a twitchy car through a corner only to be shunted off the track by ridiculously over aggressive AI. Even on the very easy setting.
I'm a big believer in the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. I would have been quite happy if Grid 2 had been exactly the same as Grid 1 but with different cars and tracks.
Grid 2 isn't a bad game. It just crosses the line from being challenging to being frustrating far too often for my liking. And frustration isn't my idea of fun.