Summary: This racer ends up with a more than respectable finish on the Grid
Pros: Pitch perfect controls with a weighty arcade feel; satisfying career mode; generally excellent graphics and presentation; very challenging gameplay despite the useful rewind feature; good selection of cars and tracks; excellent car damage model; aggressive AI.
Cons: Rather bland multiplayer; barely any music; some frame rate stutters in heavy action; no cockpit view;
Conclusion: While there are things Grid 2 does to surpass its predecessor, there are parts of me that just don’t seem as impressed or awe inspired by this title as I was with the first. Maybe it is because it’s not that breath of fresh air that once separated itself from the pack, or maybe it just tries too hard to outdo itself, but nothing here really stands out as something that will be as reminisced upon like the first Grid title was.
Excerpt: Off the grid. It's been a while since I played a fun racing game, and perhaps it owes something to the fact that Grid 2 feels bizarrely more like a combat or variety show-style racing game at times. Grid 2 's plot (yeah, a plot!) is that race entrepreneur Patrick Callahan sees promise in a street racer (yourself) and decides that you're his ticket to helping him build his World Series Racing franchise.
Excerpt: In 2008 Codemasters gave us GRID, an underrated little game that admirably straddled the line between arcade racer and simulation and first introduced the ‘rewind’ feature that’s now become commonplace; now, after five long years, Codemasters has returned to the well and finally released the long awaited follow up, the imaginatively titled GRID 2. Does this latest entry in the TOCA Touring Cars series have what it takes to break free and lead the pack?
Excerpt: The first few moments of Grid 2 should be a disaster. You're strapped into a bruising muscle car and immediately asked to negotiate the corners of downtown Chicago amid a cavalcade of roaring V8s. But rather than serving as a messy reminder of why so many driving games ease you in with something a bit more sensible , this opening race is a perfect example of what makes Grid 2 such a blast.
Pros: Handling strikes a great balance between arcade and simulation, Stellar audio and visual design, Broad selection of events reflect a variety of driving disciplines, Engrossing multiplayer
Cons: No driving assists to fine tune the difficulty, Occasional frame rate hitches during collisions
Conclusion: Last year’s Dirt Showdown never really knew what it was. Grid 2 does. Its continued shift away from its sim pedigree will still disappoint those of us who fondly recall the Race Driver games of old, but it still a great, modern package. A well-curated car list, a great sense of speed, and a well-thought out career mode combine in a racer that is a lot of fun to play through.
Pros: Great looking effects, Fun, aggressive racing, Clever career mode
Cons: Needed more circuits, May frustrate sim junkies
Conclusion: Yet another superlative racer to add to Codemasters' ever-expanding racing hall of fame, GRID 2 is an incredibly strong sequel. It may lack the initial 'wow factor' of the first game, but the handling is right on the money, the visuals are gorgeous and the hook provided by the story's WSR MacGuffin draws you right into the thick of the action, making for a more gratifying overall experience. GRID 2 steps on the gas from the get-go and doesn't let up.
Excerpt: The age-old question seemingly for every racing game that comes out is whether it is “sim” or “arcade” in its styling. Make no mistake here, while its foundations in the TOCA/Race Driver series were decidedly sim-oriented, GRID 2 offers a distinct arcade-styled experience. With the original GRID achieving a Metacritic average of 87 expectations for the sequel are naturally high. So how does GRID 2 fare? It isn’t perfect but it certainly is a fun, playable experience.
Excerpt: 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.