Sunday, June 12, 2016

Grid 2 (Xbox 360) Review

Grid 2 is a racing game by Codemasters, the makers behind Dirt 3 and Dirt: Showdown, and was released on May 27th, 2013 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. This game is a sequel to the Race Driver: The Grid which came out in 2008. Grid 2 is one of the games released in May 2016 for Microsoft's Games With Gold program.
In Grid 2 you are a driver in the WSR (World Series Racing) which is a new racing league. Your goal is to win races which will help people learn about the WSR which will grow the sport and gain you more prestige/money in your races. The main game has you competing in five different seasons. Each season reflects the increasing knowledge of the fans about yourself and the WSR. You start out racing factory cars out of a dirty old garage. As you progress through the seasons you are able to race faster cars in different parts of the world. You even get an upgrade to your old garage.

After each season the game cuts to a video with two guys on ESPN talking about the WSR and the season that was just finished as well as the one coming up. It caught me off guard but it wasn't terrible, it just felt a bit weird to me.

This game is all about racing and Grid 2 doesn't let you down. Each of the races is pretty quick, I don't think there is a race longer than ten minutes. The types of races in this game are as follows; Race - which is a standard race, make it to the finish line first and you win, Drift - sliding around corners for points, Time Attack - get to the finish line before time runs out, Eliminator - The race starts and after (10-15) seconds the racer in last is eliminated and this continues on until there is one racer left, Checkpoint - the clock is ticking and hitting checkpoint adds more time. These game modes can be found in other racing games from Codemasters so if you've played anyone of them before you'll have no problem with this game.

One new mode I've never played is Touge. Touge is a one on one races. There are two races and both you and your opponent line up and race two races, one with you ahead of your opponent and one with him ahead of you. When the race starts you need to get to the finish before him and you can not hit him or you are disqualified. I liked this mode and I'm glad they put it in this game.

There are a few things I liked about this game and a few I didn't. I've been playing Gran Turismo and Forza games for almost 20 years so I'm not new to games like this. There are two big differences between Grid 2 those other well know games, races, and upgrades. Forza and Gran Turismo games have tons of races to go through. They have endurance races that last for a real 24 hours. Grid 2 has lots of cool tracks but they aren't very long, time or distance wise. The other part that is missing in Grid 2 is modifying cars. I use to love starting out with a dumpy econobox and working my way to a new exhaust and intake so I could shave half a second on my lap times. That's always been one of my favorite parts of these games. So much so that when I get to the full on unmodifiable cars I start to lose interest. The single player game does not let you modify your cars in any way mechanically. You can change the look but that's all you're going to get.

Now for the good parts of this game. I think the game looks great and I like how damage is handled. Lots of games have cars that when they are damaged you can see the dents and scrapes. In Grid 2 it starts the same way but before you know it you clip a wall and your fender flies off. Or maybe you rear end someone and your hood pops up blocking your view. Eventually, whatever was damaged will fly off your car and you'll have to avoid it when you come by it again.

You can see me that my muffler has come off in the crash.

As far as I can remember I've never played a racing game where you could lose a tire. Not a flat tire but the tire being destroyed with you driving on the wheel itself if a hail of sparks. It only happened twice to me but I was very happy when it did. I even finished one race that way.

I can fix this, I'll overnight parts from Japan.

I like the look, the sound and the driveability of the cars in Grid 2. The physics in this car worked very nice, I was able to drift around corners like I'd been doing it all my life. This game makes you feel like you're a pro driver. The cars look great both undamaged and with lots of damage. The tracks and scenery also look very good.

As this is a racing game and race cars have sponsors so too does this game and the way it's implemented I think works well. When you start out you can choose from a few different sponsors. Each sponsor will give you a challenge that if you complete will get you more fans which will unlock new races. As you advance through the seasons you have more sponsors to choose from and more that you can put on your car. The first one I choose was NO FEAR, anyone remembers NO FEAR shirts?? Every single car I had was sponsored by NO FEAR. And let me tell you nothing classes up a Bugatti Veyron like NO FEAR plastered all over it.

Grid 2 has lots of cars for you to drive including cars from Ford, Chevy, and Dodge as well as Jaguar, Honda, Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes. The cars span from the 1960s up to present so there will be something for you to like. Strangely there are no Porches' Ferraris or Lamborghinis. I know for years Porsche has been weird and not let their cars in games but the makers were able to get around that by putting Porsches modified by RUF into their games and labeling them as RUF, no Porsche anywhere on the car. And when I bought Forza Horizon the only way you can drive any Porsche's was to buy a ten dollar DLC. That's really lame Porsche. It's strange because Grid 2 has VW's and Audi's to drive but no Lamborghini and VW owns Lamborghini so I don't know what happened. The other cars in the game are good enough to make up for it though.

I did try out the multiplayer and I enjoyed it to a point. The racing itself works great, the problem being that the human players that you race against are jerks. If you don't start the race at the head of the pack you won't win because the racers crash into you and everyone else. After a few races of finishing in last with a mangled car, I gave up on multiplayer. There is a mode that allows you to races against people without them being able to hit you which is a good idea if you want to play against humans. Unfortunately by the time I found that I had enough of multiplayer.

My favorite part about playing online is you do get to modify the cars you have. It's not very in-depth but it was a nice addition. If you add too many upgrades your car will increase to a higher tier so you'll be racing against faster cars.

It took me around 20 hours to finish the game and that includes getting first in every one. This I think is the problem with this game. It's too short when compared to Forza or Gran Turismo. As long as you understand that and you like racing games then I'd suggest you give it a try. I rank Grid 2 at an 8 out of 10.

And yes you can do donuts.

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