A few years back Codemasters’ GRID was a new racing IP in the long line of racing games the studio has put out over the last decade. The Codemasters name has been synonymous with racing for years now (with the occasional foray into other genres with games like Operation Flashpoint), so when the studio announces a new racing title people generally listen. I personally enjoyed the first GRID game because it came in the midst of Codemasters’ rally game fever when they were pumping out the (also great) DiRT series, so it gave a change of pace and offered some more street racing style gameplay. GRID 2 stays true to form, and while it’s not quite all that it should be it’s a solid game overall for fans of the studio’s racing titles.
Let’s get the controls out of the way right up front here, my biggest gripe with GRID 2 is that the controls still feel a bit too loose for my liking. Drifting corners feels great but the game seems to employ quite a bit of over-steer correction making it difficult to pull yourself out of a bad turn. This being the only main issue I had with the control scheme is a good thing overall, as it shows that the entirety of GRID 2 is resoundingly solid and a lot of fun to play. The cars all seem to handle slightly different, which in 2013 should be happening in every racing game, and the game features a Forza-style rewind feature (that has limited use) during every race. Being that I’m not the best of the best when it comes to racing, the rewind is a nice added touch to help when you’re 3 laps in and clip a rail trying to drift the final turn. The only other oddity I noticed in regards to controls were that the game teaches you how to drift early on but, true to most real-world scenarios, you’ll get passed quite quickly if you try to drift every corner. The game essentially wants you to drift, but then punishes you for doing so. That’s just a minor complaint though, GRID 2’s controls are very solid overall.
The meat of GRID 2 takes place in the single player “story” mode which essentially just consists of being invited to different races and completing them with the cars necessary. Some unlock you more cars to upgrade and use in other races and all get you more fans, which is the game’s level up system. It’s pretty straight forward for a racing game and I do wish that Codemasters would have gone away from this style of racing campaign, as a lot of their games use it and a ton of other racers do as well. It’s not bad by any means, just overused now. Alas it is a racing game though, so the whole point is to get in the car and win. Multiplayer also returns in GRID 2 and is as solid as ever. If there’s one thing you can count on with Codematsers it’s solid multiplayer.
Overall GRID 2 is a very solid game that sometimes feels like it is playing it too safe. The controls need a bit of tweaking (or a lot of getting used to) and the campaign mode is pretty stock overall but the game has a lot to offer to racing fans. If you loved GRID you will not be disappointed by GRID 2 (although you might be a bit underwhelmed). GRID 2 is a solid effort all-around and worth a look if you’re in the market for a summer racing game.