Good Griddance: GRID 2

By Adam Smith on September 27th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

I know about as much about racing cars as I do about building cars. Both jobs are better left in the claws of robots than in my own incapable hands. However, I have watched and scrutinised two pre-alpha videos of GRID 2 in order to pick out the most important details. Both videos have cars driving around quite fast before any collisions happen and when they do happen they are bumps rather than crashes. That’s the most important thing of all because if I’m not encouraged to drive into other vehicles within twenty seconds of pressing ‘new game’, chances are I’m going to be rubbish at GRID 2.

The mild collisions suggest the driving is reasonably safe. Nothing flips over and there are no dramatic wounds of war, not even so much as a wobbly wing mirror. Furthermore, the trees on the coastal track are alluring and the area seems tranquil. And yet I worry. The driver’s position on the bonnet rather than behind the wheel is cause for concern. Is he leaning through the windscreen and controlling the car with his feet? That surely can’t be safe.

GRID 2 is at the Eurogamer Expo, which is happening right now. The developer session is on Saturday afternoon at 3pm, which is not right now.

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32 Comments »

  1. Anarki says:

    Excited for this. You talk about the bonnet-cam though, they’ve removed the cockpit-cam which is a pretty big deal for a lot of people (see the youtube comments…)

    • Andy`` says:

      Oh. I was going to have a moan about how I was playing GRID 1 but 10 minutes ago (!) and was frustrated at the low-lod low-quality mirrors, and tried the F1 2012 demo but found it unplayable because of cars disappearing in the mirrors, but now I guess they don’t need mirrors.

      I mean I hardly play seriously but I like to be able to see around the car you know. And for that you need working mirrors.

      And a cockpit view :(

      • max pain says:

        It’s funny how they can work out shiny high quality hood reflections, but need to LOD mirrors down into oblivion.

      • zaphod42 says:

        Its sad, but I have yet to find a PC racer that can compete with Forza. Forza 4 has so much respect for the cars, the experience is so much more real and immersive. I can’t play anything else now. You actually sit in the driver’s seat, the interior is modeled out based on each individual car, all the dials on the dash work accurately as you drive, and all the mirrors are properly rendered the whole time. Its pretty much necessary to have really good real-time mirrors if you’re going to be racing in the driver’s position instead of pulled back third person, but third person just doesn’t feel like racing! And bonnet cam? Ugh, you can’t see a thing behind you!

        • Spakkenkhrist says:

          Have you looked at Project CARS?

        • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

          There perhaps isn’t any one game on PC that has as many cars as Forza, but all Simbin games (Race, GTR), netKar, Live For Speed, Grand Prix Legends (with its mods), NR2003 (with its mods), rFactor (with its mods) and iRacing have fully modelled cockpits, in the case of some – netKar, GPL’s mods, some rF mods – exquisitely done.

          Also in every one of those cases the modelling of the suspension/steering components, tyre and engine physics is vastly, vastly ahead of Forza’s.

    • The First Door says:

      Like me for example! I was watching that footage and couldn’t help thinking that the bonnet cam is really rather dull.

      Actually I thought all the footage was a little dull. I’m not sure if the person driving is just really good, but it didn’t seem to have the same sense of being on the edge of grip, or being bumped around in a pack that the first one had. It makes me worried a bit as with no assists to turn off, that is what it’s going to be like for everyone!

    • Derppy says:

      While I loved the cockpit camera, I think a much bigger issue is that they “removed” the driving assists and Codemasters is sure they can deliver one driving model that suits everyone.

      I loved GRID, but the assists made it way too arcade, just short of Flatout etc. Without the assists the game felt challenging and there was a good sense of driving and weight, but it still wasn’t as unforgiving as a racing sim like iRacing.

      If they don’t have the option to set the driving assists off, it means they are permanently set for a very casual experience, because that’s their biggest audience.

      The second video looks amazing and that’s why I’m terrified about the fact they are taking good features away, potentially ruining otherwise great game.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        That’s weird, I found Grid too unforgiving, just not in a good way. Without assists the car behaved in a way that was impossible for me to predict based on knowing how a real car works.

        • The First Door says:

          Isn’t that more of less the point though? In the original one you could alter the assists until it was at a level you were happy with. Also when you got better, you could incrementally turn things off, which I really enjoyed doing.

          • Jason Moyer says:

            I’m not talking about it being authentically difficult, like iRacing or Richard Burns Rally (or actually driving a car fast), I’m talking about it being unpredictable. I never knew what the car was going to do from one moment to the next, just that it was probably going to piss me off.

          • alundra says:

            I think it’s very stupid when companies start over simplifying their franchises, kinda sends the message that we all are idiots who can’t handle having a freedom of choice.

            Ah well, I loved the original GRID but with Codemaster’s recent track record, it’s best to adopt a wait and see attitude.

            PS
            This would be the third message I post, I get no error message, it’s just swallowing my posts, if anybody else can see all the, or a mod, feel free to remove them as you see fit.

            PS2
            Ah, it seems to be a censorship issue with the word c*un*t. Is dick censored too? lets see….nope, pretty double standard. Anyway, I got no system message about this, RPS could you fix your stuff? In the future would be nice to know what the problem is.

  2. JonSolo says:

    I read that title as “Good GRID-dance”. Then did a little dance.

  3. CaLe says:

    The second video looks a bit like touge to me. Anything that reminds me of Initial-D can only be a good thing.

    It looks graphically amazing as well.

  4. Jason Moyer says:

    Looks like someone took a crappy ps2 racing game and made an HD version of it. It looks like the original Grid, i.e. Pro Race Driver, with a graphics overhaul.

    • IDtenT says:

      Looking at your comments you are clearly not the target market, so I’m not sure what the fuck you are complaining about. Next you’ll be telling us about how much you hate a new skirt cut.

      • Jason Moyer says:

        I’m pretty sure I’m in their target audience, being someone who plays racing games. I also have actually enjoyed 2 of Codemasters Ego games (the first DiRT and F1 2010) so there’s that. I don’t really see the difference between what I’m doing and someone who likes RPG’s or shooters criticizing the crappy, simplified console ports we get in those genres.

  5. Anguy says:

    Does anyone know if they have that PoP-like time rewind feature in there again, as seen in the first GRID?
    I’m usually pretty bad at racing games but this kept me playing a long time :)

    • SooSiaal says:

      Codemasters has put this rewind thing into every racing game that came after Grid.

    • zaphod42 says:

      Pretty much every racing game since GRID has had that now, I know NFS Shift and Forza both have it. I’m pretty sure that’s become a staple of racing games now.

  6. rocketman71 says:

    [Edit] Eating my words because I’m a confused idiot.

    Still, probably no LAN support.

  7. SouperSteve0 says:

    The sounds are too docile, from the cars to the wheels to the impacts. Everything is too soft

  8. A.i. says:

    Dirt Showdown Destroyed the Dirt i loved(No cockpit or rally) and now a Grid game without cockpit view. it seems Codemasters like to shoot themselves in their own feet every time they make a success of something.

    Grid was perfect, just ad more cars, features and polish the graphics. Why fix something if its not broken?

  9. J Arcane says:

    That looks mindblowingly dull.

    Where is the awesome, shaky-cam cockpit? And the spectacular first-person crashes?

    GRID was a game about absolute brutality, but these trailers look less intense than early Gran Turismo titles. I about fell asleep trying to watch these.

    It seems like they’ve chickened out when it comes to being the “hardcore” racer company, between this and that awful F1 game.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      When has Codemasters ever made a hardcore racer? The first TOCA game back in 97, maybe?

  10. Joshua says:

    Personally I love the bonnet cam: I always consider my PC screen to be a windscreen anyway.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      Same. I use the bonnet cam for all my racing games.

    • Archangel says:

      Bonnet cam is the way to go. It gives the proper sense of speed and sense-of-place, in my experience. And I agree — my monitor is my windscreen. Why would I want a picture of a picture of my own hands on the wheel? My “cockpit” is my desk, with my control wheel, etc.

  11. wodin says:

    Cockpit or no sale…sorry

    • RiptoR says:

      This.

      I do understand that bonnet cam is the best way to play when you have a steering wheel, but since I don’t have one (and do not want to buy one, a decent controller is plenty enough for me) I won’t be getting GRID2.

  12. FriendlyFire says:

    Am I alone who felt the first video felt decidedly… low quality? Lots of aliasing, weirdly blown up highlights, unimpressive lighting, and an utter lack of damage modelling.

    I don’t know, I felt GRID had an… impact that few games have. The cars felt like they had weight, the crashes felt like actual crashes. It looks like we’re back to the Gran Turismo bumper cars model here.

    Maybe I’m just having a bad case of rose tinted glasses, but I’d almost think GRID looked better than this.

  13. IDtenT says:

    My first thought whenever hearing about GRID 2 is “fucking finally”, but seeing as to how they’ve made rallying a side show in a rally game I’ll just be cautiously optimistic.