Review :: Grid 2

Grinding across the finish line...

Written by

Published Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:07

Write your own review !

grid 2 - screenshot 02-f

 

 

Codemasters Grid was one of the milestone racing titles of this generation.  It featured a wonderful blend between simulation and arcade racing and innovated some fun new mechanics that, while not revolutionizing the racing genre, certainly helped redefine what the status quo should be for a next-gen racer.  But that was 2008 and this is 2013, and as we gradually witness the twilight of this console generation, this sequel begs the question: Is status quo from 2008 acceptable in 2013?  

 

In short, Grid 2 does a lot of things well.  The fundamentals of a good racing game are in place.  The only problem is that unlike Grid, Grid 2 never gives you a reason to keep playing.  This racing gets boring--- fast (pun shamefully intended).  But it’s not just the bland gameplay that keeps Grid 2 from reaching its predecessors heights, it’s the convoluted menu screens, inconsistent controls, bland tracks, and weak multiplayer component.

 

The single-player component of Grid 2 involves a hokey narrative about how you must earn fans via a made-up social media site through “video uploads” of your past performances (think YouTube and followers and views), create a fictional World Series Racing league (the aptly named WSR), and be the best racer in the fictional racing league that you helped create.  The generic narrative, however, left me with no real vested interest in anything that was going on.  As I completed races and unlocked new fans, I felt bored and uninterested.  None of this was helped by the inconsistent control of the cars and the bland derivative tracks.  But, even then, I wanted to feel a sense of place, a sense that this world, this narrative was as carefully crafted as the beautiful looking cars in it.  I just never felt that, though.

 

The inconsistent control of the cars is probably one of the weakest elements of Grid 2.  Each car felt incredibly different.  This is fine and realistic and for the most part should be desired from a racer; the only problem with Grid 2’s feel, however, is that some cars feel like they are operating by a completely different set of physical laws than other cars.  That is to say, some cars feel like they are floating on the track, while others feel like they weigh as much as a tank.  I would avoid using some cars completely because I felt they simply were un-drivable.  No racer should make you feel this way. And maybe it was my lack of skill, or my ignorance to the rules of the game, but I never wanted to learn how to control those difficult to control cars, it just wasn’t going to be any fun.  

 

The locations and tracks in the game also left me with a feeling of nausea.  As a racing fan, I had seen this all before.  Want to race through the streets of Paris or Rome?  Haven’t we done that already?  Want to race at sunset with the glare of the falling sun in your view?  Did I not see that in Gran Turismo on the PS2?  Oh, yeah, I did.  This is all just more of the same.  

 

Due to the inconsistent controls Grid 2 feels incredibly difficult.  I never had the sense that I was getting better after the completion of a race.  I have also never faced a more competitive and aggressive A.I.  Trying to effectively overtake any car was a challenge, as oftentimes they would crash into you when you tried, effectively taking you out of the race.  Cars that are behind, meanwhile, have a distinct ability to knock your car off balance and send you spinning into a wall.  When you try the same technique on those same A.I. cars, your car goes spinning out of control while the A.I. operated car races off unaffected.  You are operating with a different set of rules than the A.I. and that is usually the sign of a poorly made game.  

 

 

If there is one area where this game shines it is in the visuals.  This was one of the sharpest looking racing games I have ever played.  Each track is impeccably detailed and the locations look like their real-world counterparts.  While some courses tend to over use the aforementioned sun-glare effect, this is a relatively minor complaint when one considers how good the game looks overall.  There is also a nice sense of speed while you race, and the “rewind” ability (which allows you to rewind your progress if you make a mistake) demonstrates the games great particle effects.  The same praise can also be given to the games overall sound.  The soundtrack is very reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Tron:Legacy” soundtrack and that is not entirely a bad thing.  Aesthetically, this game is an impressive display of current-gen tech.

 

Grid 2 is guilty of an awful UI-- nothing seems to work the way you think it will.  What’s worse is the fact that the UI changes mid-game, so while you may feel like you finally have a grip on where certain buttons are you must re-learn some of it as you progress.  I don’t know what it is, but sports/racing titles seem to be guilty of this crime more than any other.  There is too much flash to the UI and nothing seems easy to figure out.  It really is a style over substance matter and it’s one I hope next-gen titles don’t suffer from.  So while it is difficult to criticize Grid 2 of its UI when similar games suffer from the same glaring attribute, I feel it is worth noting if only so future developers take note and start making game UIs a little more intuitive.  

 

race-driver-grid-2 02A8000000112201

 

 

The multiplayer component was a little dull as it offered nothing competitive or exciting.  It was instead crippled by the incompetent UI, slow loading times, and the poor control of the cars.  When I did find a challenger the matches lasted too long and never felt compelling.  

 

Racing games are about the sense of speed and control.  Grid 2 offers plenty of speed but hardly any control.  The graphics and sound are top-notch but every thing else leaves much to be desired.  Grid 2 seems to want the best of both worlds: it wants to as much to be a racing simulator as it does an arcade racing game.  Clearly Codemasters knows how to make a quality racing game as made evident by the original Grid, but Grid 2 never reaches those solid heights.  To say I had no fun playing Grid 2 would be a lie, it’s just that the fun I had was intermittent and never lasted long. Overall, Grid 2s biggest fault is it’s inconsistency-- a fault which I hope will be fixed with Codemasters next-gen titles.  

 

 

 

 


Pros

+ Great sound and graphics 

Cons

- inconsistent controls

- bland, derivative courses

- weak multiplayer

- weak single-player campaign

 

 

 


Final rating
7.0 / 10
Comments
More Xbox 360 reviews
2014-11-11 :: Assassin's Creed: Rogue
2014-04-06 :: Dark Souls II
2013-11-12 :: Alien Rage
2013-09-17 :: Grand Theft Auto V
2013-09-15 :: Lost Planet 3
2013-09-13 :: Splinter Cell: Blacklist
2013-07-26 :: Remember Me
2013-07-23 :: (XBLA) Sanctum 2
Special articles
Evolve Toronto Launch Event Special articles

Evolve Toronto Launch Event

Last night as the clock ticked down to the midnight release of the highly anticipated 4v1 monster hunting extravaganza known as Evolve, Xbox and EB Games threw a launch party in Toronto to celebrate the game's imminent release.  Attendees stepped off the sixth floor elevator and were instantly greeted with some thick foliage and monster footprints.  It appeared that the downtown loft space had been magically transformed to the planet Shear, complete with staff decked out in garb ready for some big game hunting.  Ammon belts, camo and other accessories straight from Ted Nugent's closet were the threads and animal skulls, furs and weaponry adorned the walls. 
Lire la suite...
Why Buying Amiibo Might Be A Bad Idea Special articles

Why Buying Amiibo Might Be A Bad Idea

When Nintendo first revealed Amiibo back at E3 2014, many fans of the company were quick to chomp at the idea of the connected figurine line. Skylanders was a hit. Disney Infinity was a hit. Nintendo wanted a piece of the interactive action and they dove in head first. Read more
GameFocus' Most Anticipated Games of 2015 Special articles

GameFocus' Most Anticipated Games of 2015

With the start of a new year, the gaming slate is as pure as the driven snow and full of promise and expectation. Here at GameFocus we thought we would share some of the games we are stoked to get our hands on in 2015. Will this bumper crop of intriguing titles entice, disappoint or be delayed (as was common with our 2014 picks)? Only time will tell. Happy gaming this year. Read more
GameFocus Feature: Warlords of Draenor and the Clint Bajakian Connection Special articles

GameFocus Feature: Warlords of Draenor and the Clint Bajakian Connection

Music can make or break a movie. The same could be said for videogames. For the last 30 some odd years, as videogames have slowly crept their way into the main stream, we have been beholden to some truly memorable musical contributions that enhance the immersive experience that make video games stand out among entertainment mediums. Read more

Game details
Grid 2
Release date : 2013-05-28
Platform :
Publisher : Codemasters
Developer : Codemasters
Gameplay : Racing

DLC Talk

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

DLC Talk: Bioshock: Burial at Sea Ep. 1

Here we are. The next generation of consoles is among us and it is finally time to start thinking about finally unplugging our beloved current-gen systems. Could there be a better swan song for one of these systems than taking a trip back to Rapture?


Read more

DLC Talk: Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall

DLC Talk: Dishonored - The Knife of Dunwall

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall is an impressive little bit of DLC. I should emphasize “little” though, as it is a relatively short experience. Just when the story seems to get going it ends - or, rather, it “kind of” ends.


Read more

DLC Talk: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

DLC Talk: Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen

Dragon’s Dogma was released last year on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.


Read more
GF Blogs

Why We Need the Worst Game Ever

Why We Need the Worst Game Ever

mystery quest

Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad if the sales person hadn't said, "this is our most popular seller; I can barely keep it on the shelves."  My mother and I were in the only video game store in the city.  It was in the basement of a professional building and smelled like stale cigarette smoke and BO.  For passing grade five I was rewarded with a video game.  This wasn't a decision to be made lightly; this would be one of the two games I'd get all year.  I can no longer remember the game I originally wanted but I do remember the store didn't have it.  Instead, the sales person was recommending something I'd never heard of, a little game called "Mystery Quest."


Read more

5 Games to Play with the One You Love

5 Games to Play with the One You Love

Stumped on how to incorperate your love of games and the love of your life into one sweet Valentines's day package? We've got your back with 5 games sure to help you maximize the loving you deserve. 


Read more

A New Challenger Approaches

A New Challenger Approaches

With the exception of the Virtual Boy I've owned every gaming system released by Nintendo.  I considered myself well-versed in what the company had to offer until I started hearing about amiibos.   The official website didn't help clear up my confusion.  "Discover the Power Inside" greets vistors upon arrival. Inside of what?  Do the amiibos do something?  Can they move around like animatronic robots or are they Nintendo's real life version of chibi-robo?


Read more
GameFocus Radio

GameFocus Podcast: February 2015

GameFocus Podcast: February 2015

This time the guys pick the movies they would like to see made into feature films. Is Mass Effect ready for the Silver Screen? What are Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx up to? We also talk about the pros and cons of pre-orders, why we want to see a statue before laying down some fat stacks, and did Sherlock Holmes do some computer hacking in his day. Add some thoughts of the perks of joining a Drive Club and examining why Life Is Strange and you have this month's podcast.

Read more
GameFocus Radio

GameFocus Podcast: February 2015

GameFocus Podcast: February 2015

This time the guys pick the movies they would like to see made into feature films. Is Mass Effect ready for the Silver Screen? What are Bruce Willis and Jamie Foxx up to? We also talk about the pros and cons of pre-orders, why we want to see a statue before laying down some fat stacks, and did Sherlock Holmes do some computer hacking in his day. Add some thoughts of the perks of joining a Drive Club and examining why Life Is Strange and you have this month's podcast.

Read more
GameFocus 2015 Top 10
1
Apotheon (PC)
9.4
2
Splice (PlayStation 4)
8.4
3
7.8
5
6.6

facebook-follow-us

twitter1

 

Recent comments

Powered by Disqus