rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

June 14, 2013 15:00 IST

Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

     Next

Next

The iteration is not as stunning or as addictive as the first game was, but a perfectly acceptable racing experience nonetheless, says Murali Venukumar.


Platforms: Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC

Price: Xbox 360/PS3: Rs 2799 / PC: Rs 999

Developer: Codemasters Racing Studio

Publisher: Codemasters

Distributor: Reliance

Genre: Racing

Age Rating: 3

Score: 8/10

You get this weird feeling with Grid 2 if you’re a fan of the first game. Perhaps it’s the low-key intro, or the fact that you’ll likely go into the options menu looking to fiddle with the settings and find that you can’t fine tune your driving experience at all. It’s a one size fits all approach, something that the first Grid dabbled in, in some ways. Except it did so by maintaining a reasonable amount of depth to the driving experience by way of assists, while also including a wide range of racing disciplines that any fan of motorsports would be happy with. Grid 2 on the other hand is bit harder to cozy up to.

The first game (which came out in 2008) also had a lot in common with Codemasters’ sublime Toca series, just as the first DiRT had with the Colin McRae games from almost a decade ago. But just as DiRT has been moving away from its roots, this latest iteration of Grid seems to be showing signs of a similar sort of tonal shift as well. It’s a tad troubling, especially as the first Grid and DiRT games struck the perfect balance between pure racing and the distinctly North American flavour that Codemasters have had a recent penchant for.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Codemasters

     Next

Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

As an up-and-coming racer who’s being courted by a mysterious investor looking to set up his own racing league, you make your way through a familiar ladder of events broadly defined by the cars you have access to and the increasingly dolled-up track ribbons you’ll be racing on in the US, Europe and Asia. Acing these events gains you fans (they’re your in-game currency), unlocking new races, cars and moving you up tiers in the process.

Codemasters’ gorgeous menus make a comeback, although the whole PC interface aesthetic may not be as impressive as the minimalist joys that were seen in DiRT and the original Grid. There’s also no in car view, something the developers said too few folks used, which is a shame. You’ll race in standard checkpoint races, elimination challenges, drift attacks and special events such as passing a procession of pick-up trucks on the track.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Codemasters

Prev     Next

Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

We’re also missing a few of the more eclectic offerings such as the derby events and Le Mans. With the new-fangled Live Route system in the game, there’s a distinct slant towards a city tracks and point-to-point races as opposed to real world race tracks. It’s apparent that a bit of work has gone into Live Route, what with it configuring a new ribbon from a basic set of track blocks – and all in real time, but it seems a bit out of place sometimes (as most gimmicks tend to).

Perhaps it would have been better to spend the resources on more real world race tracks instead, especially given how most of the city-themed tracks start to blend into each other as you get deeper into the career mode. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s already a copious amount of DLC available for the game, especially unnerving when it’s this close to release. 

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Codemasters

Prev     Next

Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The driving itself is mostly fine, especially given how you can’t really change anything. The cars have distinct handling and are a drift happy lot, although the smoke effects can be a bit much – sometimes completely obscuring your vehicle. Your initial set of cars can feel like they’re (quite literally) all over the place in terms of traction but that’s something that fixes itself as you unlock better vehicles. The game’s positively miniscule number of cars (50 or so; and when compared to its sim cousins) isn’t really an issue thanks to this being an excellently curated set.

What’s troubling though is the lack of any sort of customisation that isn’t visual, which is funnier still when you realise than you can make performance upgrades in the multiplayer mode. The flashback/rewind mechanic introduced in the first game also makes a comeback, and is mostly an unobtrusive addition. You’re also going to need it, considering how the AI can be pit-manoeuvre happy sometimes.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Codemasters

Prev     Next

Gaming Review: Is Grid 2 made for YOU?

Prev     More
Prev

More

Grid 2’s online mode is structured as its own game. You now have access to the aforementioned upgrades as well as the ability to earn cash. Codemasters’ RaceNet is excellent at throwing micro and macro level challenges at you, which should ensure that there’s no shortage of races for you to partake in.

That’s Grid 2 in a nutshell, then. Not as stunning or as addictive as the first game was, but a perfectly acceptable racing experience nonetheless. It remains to be seen whether that’s enough to survive in a marketplace that has become increasingly averse to racing to any racer doesn’t isn’t Gran Turismo or Forza. 

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Photographs: Codemasters

Prev     More