Wot I Think: GRID 2

By Adam Smith on May 29th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.

I’ve had my suspicions about GRID 2’s narrative since I first played the game, believing the multi-disciplinary racing organisation around which the story is constructed may be a front, concealing something more sinister. Now that I’ve conquered most of the world’s continents by driving around them really fast, I’ve discovered the truth. You can read all about it below.

A man talks to me as I drift around a particularly difficult bend. He thinks I need to improve my skills in sector 2 and that I should be a less aggressive driver, but on the whole he’s impressed. At the beginning of the race, he told me that he’d set up my car “just the way I like it”. What this communication signifies is the lack of tuning in GRID 2 – everything under the hood is automatically configured by this unseen but ever-present engineer, and the most a driver can do before taking his new car out for a spin is add a new paintjob.

This is indicative of where the game lies on the simulation/arcade spectrum and it’s also something that doesn’t bother me a jot. I’m not even particularly interested in the livery editor, although when I noticed there was a randomisation button, I quickly warmed to the idea of splurging bizarre and repulsive designs all over my cars’ bodywork. I’m actually quite taken with the one pictured below.

GRID 2 has a narrative and it makes me laugh because it seems to take itself so very seriously. It’s like a judge who doesn’t know that someone has placed a tiny bowler hat on top of his wig. On top of that, the structure of the plot relies on an infatuation with social media so powerful that it already seems like a product of yesterday. What the story doesn’t do, to its credit, is force long and dreary cutscenes on the player between every race. The wait between the end of one event and the start of the next is usually brief. Choose an event from those available, pick a car and prepare to hit the tarmac/dirt/cobbles. The loading screens display tedious facts about your career to date and the figures arrive on the screen, like everything else in the game, as if part of some burlesque of smoke and chrome. GRID 2’s persona, despite the game’s British origins, has none of the bloke-headed Top Gearisms or boy racer affectations that I associate with Englishmen and their cars, but instead a sort of digital age, futurist American dream.

Split into seasons, the single player mode tracks the evolution and eventual domination of the new World Racing Series, an attempt to create a global franchise that encompasses all manner of event types, including point-to-point races taking in spectacular coastline and mountain views, city centre street races in which routes can shift from lap to lap, and recognisable circuits. While there’s plenty of variety, some routes and cars are only available as day one DLC, which is at least a little bit rubbish, particularly for those who enjoy speedway. Traditional race tracks are underrepresented and the Indycar pack contains cars, online events and routes which bolster that content significantly.

Oh, and in case you’ve somehow managed to be interested in the game and somehow miss the fact, there’s no in-car view (though modders may yet have their way).

Before I lob a rotten tomato with enough force to dislodge GRID 2 from the podium though, let’s move on to all of the things that work well. The actual driving is lots of fun, which is a relief since there is absolutely nothing else of importance in the game. It’s worth mentioning the narrative again before moving on to specifics of the handling and variation in race/car types. Despite its constant presence, the storyline is little more than an aesthetic choice, a method of linear progression through continents and vehicle tiers. At times, rather than wishing it was excised altogether, I craved deeper involvement. The World Racing Series is a fantastically preposterous backdrop, taking in live action SportsCentre clips, named rivals and racing clubs branded with names like Eliminazione (location, Europe – specialism, Elimination events). There’s no real interaction with any of it though – the game moves to a new area, bestowing increasingly sci-fi garages on the player, and a series of challenges are presented and overcome.

Progression is tied to the number of fans the player has attracted but these loyal folk are nothing more than a form of currency. Gather enough and the season’s final events open up. This means gathering enough high-placed finishes on the club events and, if you’re as good at racing games as I am (unpractised, but with the speedy instincts of a cat on Whiskamphetamines), you’ll find it fairly easy to place in the top three at the first attempt during the first couple of seasons. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle at times but mostly, learning the curves is intuitive. The handling of each car makes sense after a minute or so, helped by the returning rewind feature that, at first, seems like an extra life system, allowing recovery from horrific crashes, but later becomes a device to shave a few hundredths of a second off an all but perfect lap.

Even playing with joypad rather than wheel, there’s a satisfying sense of weight and speed, and I often felt like I was grappling with my car, particularly during the first season’s American adventures. These early races are packed tight with gas-guzzling monsters that crunch off barriers and one another as they muscle for supremacy. Even with full damage effects switched on, they can seem far too robust, so it was a shock when Europe introduced itself by presenting me with a tiny hatchback that gripped the road rather than drifting around bends, and crumpled like a concertina when I span into a barrier. The detail around the tracks is superb and as I (presumably) perished in my vivisected Volkswagen, the crowd behind the barrier gasped in astonishment. They should probably have screamed and attended post-traumatic shock therapy but, hey, at least it’s a response.

I don’t think Codemasters are making an overt political comment with their continental shifts, but I will say that the flimsiness of Europe’s engines and the design of the cities in which they engage put heavier demands on driver’s technical abilities than the American autos ever do. Indeed, progressing through the game is consistently rewarding, despite some niggles. Why bother with a league system for the final tournament in each season when the top drivers always seem to finish in the same spots? Even the slightest bit of give and take in the standings would create some tension rather than, as is the case, making the best driver in each club/region a sort of boss battle. The AI, while pleasantly aggressive, becomes too predictable, although I was still happy to play through every singleplayer event.

Multiplayer is far more competitive because your average human being is an unpredictable learning machine. The RaceNet profile that tracks multiplayer success and failure creates a more compelling CV than solo play’s narrative, which is a good thing for those who plan to spend most of their time online, but does somewhat highlight the campaign’s lack of total commitment to giving the player’s racer an identity in the world. Also, as many people have pointed out to me, the game has built in audio for plenty of names for chaps, but refuses to speak to ladies. It’s a man’s World (Series Racing).

I have enjoyed driving these cars, particularly in the UAE, and around the splendid streets of Barcelona, Paris and Chicago. The first season is perhaps too stubbornly single-minded, but as various disciplines and cars become available, the variations in handling become apparent. It’s a looker too, despite appearing as this generation of consoles prepares to pass away. With all settings at maximum, and there’s plenty of room for tweaking, GRID 2 runs at a consistent and rapid pace on my three year old rig, and the sparks, glitches and smoke of the stylised world rarely fail to please the eye.

It’s been a pleasure, there’s no denying it, but I must confess my disappointment that there isn’t a late game twist. I demand that 3RID Three: Good Griddance contains in a plot in which World Series Racing is exposed as a secret organisation, set up by a mad genius to find the greatest drivers in the world so that he can recruit them as members of a crime-fighting/causing vehicular organisation. Capers, as you might imagine, would swiftly ensue.

GRID 2 is available now.

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80 Comments »

  1. trjp says:

    Grid2 is available tomorrow surely – 30th?

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      • liquidsoap89 says:

        Gravity n’ stuff.

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  2. Lexx87 says:

    Nice to see Adam back in full force again! Enjoyed that Wot.

  3. lowprices says:

    This is pretty much the only racing game I have any interest in this year, unless Codies sneak out Dirt 4. Good to hear it’s turned out alright, as I’d read a few reviews that seemed less positive.

  4. The_Hunter says:

    Adam, I think it’s worth mentioning the vast amount of PC-centric settings available…I’m surprised graphics and options weren’t mentioned in the review.

    Grid 2 feels like a proper PC racing game…and it runs like a champ.

  5. Bostec says:

    Why do they need to cram in a shitty storyline for a racing game? When I booted up Shift 2 and it had that fat guy blaring away at me about being “awesome” and “you can do it bro” It just put me off completely. I just want to boot up and race.

    • CaspianRoach says:

      There’s a few more cute guys later on though. :3 But yeah, they’re not needed there. (YOU NEED TO RACE REALLY HARD TO WIN THIS ONE) (THIS TRACK IS HARD NAIL THAT FIRST CORNER) (YEEAAHH WE WON WE WON)

  6. UncleLou says:

    I’ve read so many totally downright completely contradictory opinions on nearly all relevant aspects of the game (AI is terrible, AI is the best in a racing game yet, handling is totally different than in G1, handling is the same, handling is great, handling is awful) that I won’t buy it without a demo. Might have if it had a cockpit view, but that tips the scales.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      My initial thoughts on it were that it definitely fits that “not a sim” genre, which Grid 1 was also a part of. I can’t compare the 2 too much because I had a bastard of a time trying to get the first to work on my computer, but I can say it feels good. Drifting feels quite natural, it doesn’t feel like drift mode just enables itself when you come to a corner you need to drift around (which is kind of how Dirt 3 made me feel).

      As for the AI. I don’t think it’s nearly as aggressive as I’ve been hearing it it. In fact I would probably say I’m the most aggressive driver on the track, which is something I’m not particularly proud of.

  7. DestroyYourEgo says:

    Hm…

    So game about cars… to upgrade and make prettier, faster cars….

    Got it! It looks horrible.

  8. Bhazor says:

    So there’s no tuning at all? I remember the original Grid only allowed tuning at the highest difficulty.

    I’m not too worried as I barely touched the settings but still it feels like a step back.

  9. Cytrom says:

    Driving in 1st person mode in racing games is like having blinders on or playing an fps with 45 fov… i don’t think many poeple who actually driven a car in their life would want that restricted crap. Although it is also possible that EVERY person complaining about the lack of 1st person view has a fully supported occulus rift, which could make 1st person view mode actually function.

    • SominiTheCommenter says:

      Fucking immersion, how does it work?

    • The_Hunter says:

      Proper FOV in a cockpit view is good times.

      • Squigibo says:

        really… I have the game. Proper cockpit view is sitting in a cockpit and not on the center of the hood. Instead of seeing better, your FOV get’s pulled in to that of a console game. Oh, was that a corner I went by? Where are the other cars around me? I can’t see them, no mirrors, nothing.

        • The_Hunter says:

          Agreed, I was testing it last night and that view is just useless.

          Especially considering how smooth this game runs on Ultra, I think the engine could handle a rendered in car view.

          • liquidsoap89 says:

            Consoles :( It most certainly isn’t because of that “less than 5% used the cockpit” BS.

    • UncleLou says:

      I’d rather sacrifice a little field of view than play my driving games from a behind-the-car camera, which removes me so far from the whole idea that I might as well play something entirely different in the first place.

      • Cytrom says:

        Its not just fov. In real life you can freely look around AND move your whole head and body in the car. In 1st person view you got huge blind spots in your view that you cannot avoid. Outside view might be less realistic, but at least you can see… also modeling the cars in great detail is just a waste of time if nobody can see them.

        • UncleLou says:

          Still a negligible point compared to what happens when you “drive” in 3rd person, where you have to judge the bend and apex of a curve by taking into account an external camera view that moves at a different speed than your car turns. Which turns it into a nice bit of abstract skill test based around a car theme, but really robs any illusion whatsoever that you’re actually, you know, driving a car.

          Not that I have problems with anyone preferring 3rd person view, particularly for easier to play, arcadey games. Not sure why there is such a crusade recently against people mentioning that they actually prefer a cockpit (or even hood) view, though.

        • RiptoR says:

          You’re not driving all by yourself on a course, so saying that “modeling the cars in great detail is just a waste of time if nobody can see them” because some players like cockpit view is rubbish. Yes, when using cockpit view you don’t see a lot of your own car’s exterior, but you can still see the other (player/AI) cars.

          Plus, when I’m playing Most Wanted or Burnout Paradise for example (where I usually play with the exterior cam view) and I notice the detail on my car for like 2 seconds, then I concentrate on the road and the other vehicles. I don’t think “look how pretty my car looks” while I’m in the middle of a duel with another driver.

        • Jason Moyer says:

          “In real life you can freely look around AND move your whole head and body in the car.”

          Not really. If your seating position is correct in a racecar, even looking in your mirrors shouldn’t require moving your head whatsoever and that’s the furthest your eyes should be moving away from where the car is going and only for an instant.

        • Imoonpeople says:

          Ok, signed up just to say this. I’m 27, I’ve been driving even before I got my license, I love it. I love motorsport, mostly Rally, when I play driving games, putting me in the cockpit view syncs my brain with the game as to where the wheels are, how the physics work, and what the car is telling me (how it’s acting). Codemasters for YEARS had supported TrackIR. This solves the “blinders” problem as I just use my head to look around, check mirrors, look into apex of turn, and so on. (If you dont know TrackIR is setup so your not completely turning your head and looking off screen, it’s subtle, but once you have it you can’t go back.) I played all their games in Cockpit view. I played DiRT 2 and DiRT 3 online only in cockpit view and used to host Rallies that locked your head to that view. I did buy Grid 2 because I bought a large TV and figured it would be a fun arcade racing game after finding out about the loss of cockpit view. Last night I totaled the car so many times try to get the handling right. It throws me completely off. Sure I’m getting used to it but I’m taken out of the game. I don’t feel the stress like I do in the 1st view. I get how some people don’t understand, but those of us who are real drivers do understand.

      • Convolvulus says:

        I think the argument being made is that the first-person view, as depicted by current hardware setups, can be considered farther from the idea of driving than a behind-the-car viewpoint, in terms of function but also with regard to immersion. First-person gives you the semblance of an immersive viewpoint but due to display limitations withholds quite a lot of the visual information required to recreate the driving experience accurately. Even in a helmet you have a view of your surroundings that can’t be duplicated by flat screens positioned on a plane in front of you.

        The floating camera viewpoint, on the other hand, gives you more of the information needed for immersion, and, as Marshall McLuhan might argue, recreates the machine extension of self that drivers in the real world maintain. The on-screen car rendering approaches a simulation of driving a car while a first-person view merely attempts to recreate being a person who’s operating a car’s controls, a less immersive goal because it fails to echo how the mind processes self-image in that human/machine relationship. When controlling a motor vehicle you think of yourself as a sometimes unreasonably rude, nearly invincible fire-breathing deathbot, a necessarily vague modified consciousness that’s reflected, firstly, by a simplified mental image of yourself in chrome armor standing atop a mound of dismantled skeletal warriors with broken Viking helmets and, secondly, by the language used to describe your experience. For example, you wouldn’t say, Her car is going faster than my car. You’d say, I am a car. I go vroom. McLuhan!

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        Instead of complaining about orbit cameras being unrealistic, do something positive.

        I have removed the driver’s seat from my redoubtable Austin Allegro and mounted the entire seat and control assembly on an enormous boom which I can swing around to view the car from any direction as I drive. I have to be rather careful with low clearance bridges, and I must slow down on cornering or the weight will tip the entire thing over, but it increases relative immersion on driving games no end.

    • Yagrum Strelok says:

      Definitely prefer the immersion of a cockpit view.

      Cracks me up that they’ve done unique £125,000 edition yet aren’t capable of keeping a feature from the first one:
      http://www.codemasters.com/uk/grid-2/ps3/article/125-000-grid-2-mono-edition-the-world-s-most-expensive-videogame/

      Roll on Project Cars.

    • Joshua says:

      Shift 2′s “helmet” cam is completely awesome and negates all the disadvantages you mentioned IMO.

      • Screamer says:

        This! Oh yea!!

      • LordMidas says:

        Shame Shift 2 was a bit shit.
        But yes, adding a cockpit view with moving helmet cam to GRID2 would have been nice.
        I like the ‘being strapped to the bonnet’ view. Scary yet funz.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      Put on a helmet and head restraint and sit in a racecar, then let me know how unrestricted the view is. I can understand wanting a more open FOV or whatever for taking in the scenery but when you’re racing you should be staring at a point far off into the distance anyway.

    • -Spooky- says:

      daheck? You want a cockpit? Go in your car – their is your cockpit. Enjoy the rush on the highway!

  10. apa says:

    That’s a nice ’70 or ’72 Camaro RS in the header pic!

  11. Yosharian says:

    It’s no Gran Turismo, let’s face it. I’m looking forward to picking up the PS4 and the latest GT, not having played one since the PS2.

    • trjp says:

      Why – the formula hasn’t changed…

      Development effort put into modelling cars and tracks in detail – 92%
      Development effort put into handling – 5%
      Development effort spent on things other than the game – e.g. Skyline dashboards – 3%
      Development effort put into a GAME – 0%

      Play any GT – they’re all the same – buy a car, tune it, enter a race-or-2, win easily, buy a new car…

      What people REALLY do with GT is

      a – swear at the staggering install and update times
      b – show the game to friends who THINK their PS3 is a brick…

      • Yosharian says:

        I’ve always been a fan of the GT games, I don’t think what you say is true.

      • UncleLou says:

        Not sure what the problem is, sounds to me like the effort is bigger in every respect than in Grid 2 with the exception of superfluous trackside detail and instagram lighting.

  12. psyman says:

    Cockpit view is so misunderstood. Just because I want to use it doesn’t mean I’ll use it exclusively, rather when it’s appropriate or I feel like being more immersed in the moment.

    Battlefield 3 is a great example; in vehicles, I would be just as frustrated if there was only an exterior view as I would be if there was only a 1st-person view. They both have trade-offs & benefits, and are equally important yet so few developers understand this. So little stock is put into the benefits of immersion because “hurf durf it restricts your view which makes you bad at the game!!1″.

    The sense of “being there” is critical for me in games, especially vehicles. I need to feel as if I’m inside, even if I may spend most my time in other camera views. The most egregious offender is the Halo series, where the developers stubbornly refuse to include a cockpit view which I think is just moronic and amateurish at this point given that we’re up to the 6th Halo game. They couldn’t even put in a cockpit view for the space fighter mission in Halo Reach.

    • trjp says:

      It’s been asked a million times but what it “immersive” about a picture of a dashboard on your screen which is – in effect – your windscreen.

      I mean would you feel like you were going faster in your real car if we put a picture of a racecar dash on your windscreen!?

      Yo dog, I heard you like…

      • Derppy says:

        Cockpit view isn’t ideal for single monitor setups without head tracking, especially if you sit at a fair distance from a small monitor, but try using the hood view with TrackIR or any alternative. It’s extremely disorienting when you’d expect to be inside the car, but you are on the hood instead.

        With Oculus Rift coming out it’s such a huge waste of potential and ruins the immersion for all the racing fans who’ve invested in their setups.

        • trjp says:

          That’s fair enough but without even playing it I can tell you that the sort of person who owns a wheel/pedals and a trackIR isn’t going to get much out of Grid2

          Looking at everything I’ve seen I’d say it sits somewhere along the road between the last Grid (an arcade racer in my book) and Shift 2 (still an arcade racer but with some pretentions to being better).

          It’s not even approaching the iRacings and netKars of this world – not even trying to

          Remember, it’s on consoles too – that alone tells you quite a bit about the why and what…

          • Morzak says:

            Yeah because somehting like Forza 4, did such a turrible job with the cockpit views……. (wish kinect headtracking would be decent). It’s codemaster beeing lazy nothing else.

            It’s only partially about immersion, I don’t get how you can play in chase cams, in nearly all racegames you feel absolutely disconnected from the car. The Camera and car don’t point in the same direction, have different rotation speeds, and with a bit of bad luck there will be a bit of zoom in/out. Cockpit view gives me the best feedback of any view.

      • UncleLou says:

        And it’s been replied a million times that the monitor isn’t the windscreen. That’s a false premise.

        But what makes it immersive? A natural position of the camera in relation to road and car. Working instruments instead of a hud.

        • trjp says:

          If your monitor is as small and close as a steering wheel – erm, you have an odd setup ;)

          Most people’s monitors are RIGHT where a windscreen would be – some people’s (TV users) are looking at bonnet-corner mirrors, even ;)

          I’m not knocking people who want the in-car-thing – if you want most of your screen wasted showing you nothing useful that’s upto you – I’m just disputing that it’s “immersive”

          As someone who’s played a tonne of driving games over decades and has used most every view there is – the best I can say it usually is, is “harder”…

          and you could simulate that putting gaffer tape onto your monitor at random…

          • derbefrier says:

            no your just being obtuse for the sake of it. I believe you understand you just want to argue or if you REALLY cant comprehend what these guys are saying your just a lost cause. I do want to say your wrong when you imply the cockpit view puts you at some disadvantage, as is everyone else who uses that as an argument. I am here to tell you it most certainty does not. In fact it gives a greater sense of speed and a better(err how to say this) sense of when to turn, brake etc…at least it does for me. every time i am forced into a 3rd person view in a racing game I am horrible at them. Give me a cockpit view I’ll drive circles around you and i have been playing racing games just as long(if not longer) than you since you had to bring that up like it matters.

          • UncleLou says:

            You really don’t want to play the decades games played/number of racing games played game with me, trust me on this. :p

            And you can’t possibly dispute that the cockpit view can be more immersive – because, quite frankly, that’s a subjective thing, but surely it can’t be hard to understand where we’re coming from? Surely? I find that hard to believe.

            And no, gaffer tape is not the same thing, because neiter gives it the illusion of a 3-dimensional space, nor dies it magically place the camera in the game where my head would be in a car. The Hood cam is usually the equivalent of a camera mounted in the middle of the hood, and near, but outside of, and definitely not behind, the windscreen. That’s not how I drive my car…

      • darkChozo says:

        For the same reason that FPSs don’t have the perspective mounted to the scope. In-car cam isn’t necessarily about the pretty pictures of the dashboard (though they help), it’s about having your in-game camera in a place that’s in line with an actual car. Hood/bonnet cam doesn’t accomplish this.

    • Imoonpeople says:

      Well said, I completely agree.

  13. tobias says:

    I’ve been very disappointed by my time with the game so far to discover that- far from some evolution of it’s younger sibling’s arcade/sim mid-ground straddling handling- the sequel actually shifts the focus heavily to drifting.

    When you drift in Grid 2, your car gains a brief boost of speed; you can see your opponents doing it in front of you as they round the bend ahead. This effectively means that with the majority of cars (they are split into three groups: drift, balanced and grip) powersliding is a faster way of rounding a corner than using the apex and a racing line. It surprises me that this has been so under-reported on; it’s a total shift away from the previous game’s handling style (silly, but ultimately grounded in reality, and with all assists of still moderately involved), and brings’s Grid 2′s handling philosophy much closer to titles like nfs hot pursuit. I’ve seen lots of reviews talking about ‘truefeel’ and how the game is sort of a middle ground between gran turismo and project gotham. That’s bullshit- this is purebred arcade of the highest order,

    How much this bothers you would depend on what you wanted grid 2 to be. For me, it’s a crying shame, as I was really hoping for a more fine tuned ‘hyper real’ racing style in the mold of the first game.

    Also I found the fawning, americana-flavour player worship embarrassing, but as I expected it from codies latest I wasn’t unpleasantly surprised.

    • NoMoreClaymores says:

      Your comment should be at the top. I don’t understand how this game is getting such high reviews from critics but low reviews from users. I don’t think Adam Smith was really paying attention to the details (or lack thereof).

      The handling for GRID 2 has been completely butchered and is barely comparable to GRID 1. This is much more NFS speed and less GRID. I have tested taking turns at ridiculously high speeds and as long as I drift the corner I will ALWAYS make the turn.

      Once you take a hairpin turn in a 70 Mustang at 85 mph you will realize you’re not really driving at all, rather the assists are.

      Plus the track selection is short, repetitive, and fake. I’ve only done 10 or so races and I’ve raced Miami 3 times already, and Chicago twice. The slight variations to the track design does not make it a unique track.

      The car selection is poor as well.

      Where’s my damage indicator? Why can’t I see the vehicle WHILE I customize it? In-car view? Bouncy and poor kite-view camera. NFS handling. Annoying commentator. Drifting every turn?

  14. Derppy says:

    Can any GRID / DIRT fan comment on the handling?

    I haven’t got my hands on the game yet, but judging from the video there seems to be a ridiculous amount of driving assists. Sliding suddenly stops after a corner and the car seems to auto-correct when it’d spin.

    I thought DIRT and GRID without assists nailed the semi-realistic driving model, that isn’t quite as unforgiving as iRacing or rFactor, but still forces you to mind your traction and break into corners. Compared to that, the GRID 2 footage seemed like Mario Kart.

    Might feel much better when you play it, but the Codemaster’s “We’ve removed the driving assists” seems more like “We forced all the driving assists on”

    • Keyrock says:

      It handles very much like the first GRID. That is to say, far from realistic, but with enough nuance to force you to drive strategically, judge breaking, push drifts to the limit before catching the ass end or lose it, and dive bomb it into the corner outbreaking your opponents and praying to your deity of choice for it to grip in time for you to make the corner.

      • NoMoreClaymores says:

        I disagree. It’s worse than GRID 1. The handling is much more arcadish – not unlike the NFS series. You drift every corner and ridiculous speeds and your car is assisted if you like it or not.

        Pay attention to how your car auto-corrects itself coming out of a turn. If you intentionally oversteer it will start to correct even if you take your hands of the controls.

  15. Lagwolf says:

    No in-car view now sale… period. What a daft decision on the part of the devs to leave that out. Or will it be a DLC for extra money?

  16. engion3 says:

    It’s the same as the original Grid and has very impressive visuals. My only complaint is the low number of cars in the game ( doesn’t have my car :/ ).

  17. drvoke says:

    My favorite racing game of all time is Gran Turismo 2. There was no plot. Just car collecting and racing. Win races to unlock more races to make more money to buy fancier cars to win more races to put more go-fast parts on my cars to win more races to make more money etc… All this faffing about with storylines and winning tournaments so you can beat AI “Driver” Joe and show him who is The Real Man turns me off. I’m not a sim racer, obviously, but I do love collecting all those shiny cars and putting fancy rims on them and painting them fabulous colors and then hurling them around race tracks in order to bash my way into first place. Am I really alone in that?

    • UncleLou says:

      You’re not alone at all. But I guess cheesy stuff like in Codemasters’ games is what happens when games like GT or Forza get lambasted for being “sterile”.

  18. Paul says:

    Codies, wanna know why I won’t buy GRID2 despite owning GRID1/DIRT1/2/3 and spending dozens of hours in those ?

    Watch this little video I uploaded:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=si8nBiac4KA

    After SHIFT 2 came out, I was very excited to see what improvements to incar cam you would bring to overtake the amazingness that is SHIFT 2′s helmet cam. The fact that you resigned on this completely and just threw that view out of your game means I will buy it…when it’s 5 bucks on steam, and just for few hours of throwaway fun.

  19. PopeRatzo says:

    Grid 2 is completely lacking in DJ Atomika.

    I would like this game better if there was some stunt driving and Marked Man and billboards. Lots and lots of billboards.

    Someday, Criterion will figure out that they are leaving a whole lot of money on the table.

  20. Quine says:

    I’m having a horrible time with the game so far- I really wanted to like it too- played GRID a lot, liked all the Turismos and Forza. I have happy memories of GRID when taking Le Mans cars round Spa or a muscle car round some urban circuit and generally having a fun time racing stuff and avoiding the tedious drift challenges wherever possible.

    Here? First race is a sodding boat of a Mustang on a track with shallow curves and cliffs, so even the slightest overcorrection leads to disaster. After spending a lot of time fiddling with the wheel sensitivity I’m still failing to make better than third place. Second event- drift cornering. For about 5(?) separate face offs. Third event- more drift cornering. Fourth event- drift elegantly round drone cars *while not touching anything* otherwise you lose points and fail the event!

    Yes I could devote more time to learning the intricacies of balancing the throttle and stuff, but honestly I’d rather be racing stuff like GRID 1 let me do. The Forza approach of giving you some cash and a few cars and letting you pick your challenges was so much more rewarding. Even the flawed approach GT took to stuff at least had the occasional good race.

  21. DickDastardly says:

    Dashboards? Don’t you need an Voodoo 2 with 12 MB for that?

    • sharks.don't.sleep says:

      Oh, the memories..
      I remember the sheer amount of happiness when I found out that you could download user made cars for NFS 3..

  22. Megakoresh says:

    You know what I really miss from DiRT? 20-ton huge trucks and 4WD beast jeeps! GIMME POWAH! I am getting real tired of seeing these super-sleek glossy licensed cars. They are good, but there’s that sense of variety that’s clearly missing. Yes, a Ford Focus may drive differently than Bugatti, but it’s still all asphalt speed-track driving. What feels REALLY different is offroad like Paris-Dakar style racing. With trucks, buggies and jeeps. Games like this NEED them, otherwise it still becomes mundane way too fast.

    • psyman says:

      I’ve come to realise that the only racing games I really enjoy now are ones with off-road terrain and vehicles. I loved the desert truck racing in DIRT 1, it felt so satisfying to bash through the terrain and getting thrown about.

      I would love to return to an era of gaming where Star Wars Pod Racer, Carmageddon, Powerslide and Rollcage are the kind of racing games being developed. Although they were sci-fi racers, which are often associated with shallow arcadey gameplay, they actually offered a really nice level of depth. I still have more fun revisiting those than I do playing anything recent as I find games like Forza bland.

  23. NSGrendel says:

    baaleeted

  24. fish99 says:

    Can we please stop trying to argue that a bumper view is more realistic than a cockpit view. It isn’t. The cockpit view puts the camera exactly where your eyes would be in the real car. Any (modern) sim worth it’s salt will support triple screens and head tracking devices, so you can have a cockpit view that’s extremely similar to what you would see in real life sat in a racing car. Plus every racing sim lets you glance left/right quickly just like you’d do in a real car. I should also like to point out that when driving a real car your peripheral vision does not pick up anything in your left/right mirrors, ever, you have to look at them. The fact that some console games do a really bad job of implementing cockpit view is frankly irrelevant. If that’s your major beef then try playing some racing sims instead of arcade games.

  25. F33bs says:

    I’m an avid simracer and play everything from iRacing to rFactor and RBR, but the demand for a cockpit view in GRID 2 absolutely astounds me. You’re talking about a horrible arcade game made for adolescents whose only concept of racing is smashing into barriers, but the deal-breaker for you is the lack of a dashboard? The handling is shit and all you have to do to win is just turn the game on. Who cares about a cockpit view. If sim aspects are what you’re after, go play a SIM.

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  27. Neoheresy says:

    I am definitely in the “no dashboard view, no buy” group of racing game fans. I often play Project CARS and other racing games that are taking the racing thing much more seriously than Grid and Grid-like titles. I understand that re-creating the cockpits equals extended development (modelling, etc.) time but hell, why include the dashboard cam in Dirt and skip on it for Grid 2? I just don’t understand the decision behind not including such an important feature in a racing game, a publisher of which would seriously like people to consider this title for a game fit for both amateur and more advanced virtual drivers alike.