Building (Critical) Consensus: Grid 2
Codemasters and race sims goes hand-in-hand. As much as I like the F1 and Dirt series, I absolutely loved the TOCA series. Sadly, that series is dead. It’s now the hybrid arcade/sim Race Driver: Grid series which was shortened to just Grid for the second iteration in the series.
Grid 2 tries to find the middle-ground between a sim racer and an arcade racer. Some critics think it hits the mark while others find the opponent AI to hamper what could be a good experience. And let’s not mention all the fun Day One DLC you missed out on by not pre-ordering the game. Did you know that Codemasters has ESPN tie-ins with Grid 2. So does EA with its sports games. Can’t be a coincidence given the DLC BS.
Edge (90%): Codemasters had a hard act to follow in Grid, but with this sequel it’s delivered a dazzling package that can proudly take its place among the best racing games of this generation. It not only smooths off nearly all of the awkward edges that have plagued the studio’s ongoing attempts to cohere its racing games with driver-focused storylines, but it does so with enough pomp and spectacle to send current-generation hardware off with a memorable bang.
VideoGamer (80%): The meat of the game is fine, and this is a solid racer that feels weighty and very satisfying once you get through it without making a dent on your ever-increasing fleet of vehicles. There’s a nice sense of progression as you win ever more glamorous cars and race around even more exotic environs.
Now Gamer (75%): It’s just the dedicated racing fans who might feel left out here, as the handling drifts closer to arcade than simulation and with no settings to redress the balance. GRID 2 is fantastic if you’re not huge on racing games and want to experience the thrill of them without putting in the hours and yet that same lack of depth across career mode and the handling will be what puts the more serious racing fan off the title.
Eurogamer (70%): Grid 2 is a strange backwards step, one that manages to retain some of what made the original great while getting lost in its own peculiar sense of drama and never adding enough worthwhile of its own. What should have been the return of a racing great instead feels like another curious offshoot, leaving Dirt now clearly Codemasters’ premier brand.
Joystiq (60%): Grid 2 has its moments, but every racing game comes down to the relationship between car and driver, and here it is almost exclusively an adversarial one. Were the cars more fun to drive, the events more coherently constructed and the AI given a sense of a self-preservation, Grid 2’s best moments could have been the norm, instead of the exception that proves the rule.