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GRID 2: The Verdict

By Stuart Andrews



Our Score:


GRID 2: Tracks

It has to be said that genuinely new ideas are few and far between. You’ll have seem variations on most of the tracks and most of the race types before, and the only major innovation – events that feature random tracks which change from lap to lap – isn’t actually that successful. GRID 2 doesn’t really reward a seat-of-the-pants style of driving, so when you’re denied any chance to learn the course and forced to adopt exactly that, it can get a bit annoying. Even if it does shake things up when you’re growing bored of the established layouts, it still doesn’t sit right with the rest of the game.


GRID 2: Graphics and Sound

Codemasters might not have the budgets to work with of the Forza team at Turn 10 or the Need for Speed team at Criterion, but you wouldn’t know it from the way GRID 2 looks and sounds. With the third-generation EGO engine at work, GRID 2 features some of the most beautifully rendered cars, luxuriously detailed tracks and stunning lighting we’ve seen in any racing game. Race through Paris, Barcelona or the coastal forests of California and you’ll be amazed at how incredible it looks, and at the incidental touches like the mists around the trees or the birds that throng around the urban tracks. The sound is equally impressive, with a fine repertoire of throaty engine noises and squealing breaks, all of which respond in real-time to the environments on the track.


GRID 2: Multiplayer

Multiplayer is another area where Codemasters seems out-of-step with current trends. Instead of integrating the multiplayer and single-player experiences, the two are entirely segregated, with the multiplayer side having its own level-based structure, its own cars and even an upgrade system. Beyond standard multiplayer races there are weekly global challenges where you can compete for high scores or best times, plus a rivals mode where you’re pitched against another player. Playing with mostly US players before release it’s certainly fun – and there’s plenty of twisted-metal mayhem to be found in the 12-player races – but whether GRID 2 has what it takes to compete with Need for Speed: Most Wanted or Forza 4 and Forza Horizon here remains to be seen. From first impressions, it’s a good online racer, but it doesn’t feel like a great one.


For a fan of racers – and a fan of GRID in particular – playing GRID 2 is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. In our case, first impressions were disappointing, and it’s only through gritting teeth and carrying on playing that we’ve learnt to love the game. Even then, we still find points at which it feels dull, obstructively difficult or just plain awkward. While you do get used to the handling, and even find cars where it all just clicks, it’s never quite as convincing and predictable from car to car as in the Forza games or Shift 2: Unleashed. Yet when it’s good, GRID 2 has the same magic as GRID and Shift 2: Unleashed, and delivers a challenge you can relish. If it’s not quite as awesome as GRID was back in the day, it’s still one that’s very much worth playing.


Where GRID grabbed you from the line, GRID2 is a bit of a slow starter. Give it time, though, and it blossoms into a worthy sequel, albeit one that feels out of step with what else has happened in the last few years of racing. Given the strength of rivals like Forza Horizon and Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Hot Pursuit, it’s hard to give GRID2 an all-out recommendation, but for fans of console racing it’s still a brilliant buy.

Overall Score



May 31, 2013, 9:24 am

I was excited about this game until I discovered there's no cockpit view, that's a deal breaker for me. A real shame as the original Grid was great fun.


May 31, 2013, 10:50 am

Greatly enjoying the game and the multiplayer component is fun. No mention of the Liveroute aspect for the career where the track is made as you drive? The lack of cockpit view doesn't really faze me but I presume for folks who have Eyefinity setups it can be quite a bummer. Overall it is currently the best racer released in 2013 thus far, especially if racing with friends in an online party.


May 31, 2013, 11:19 am

Use hood-view. Get used to it. The lack of cockpit view shouldn't ruin the entire game for you.


May 31, 2013, 12:43 pm

Bottom line, I think Grid 2 is good, but not nearly as good overall as Grid 1 is, even if you take them both side-by-side right now. Grid 2 wins out on graphics (but not by a massive amount), Grid wins out on pretty much everything else.


May 31, 2013, 12:45 pm

He mentions that in the review.


May 31, 2013, 12:46 pm

Some people enjoy racing games in cockpit view, and the lack of that option CAN ruin the game for them. Just because it is fine for you without that option doesn't mean it should be fine for everyone.


May 31, 2013, 3:19 pm

Whilst I appreciate your suggestion...I don't have to get used to it, that's the whole point in having choices. I can be disappointed it's been omitted, not buy the game and express said opinion.
You're right there Jeff, the fact they excluded the interior view is a shame because I did enjoy/prefer it, I know several people that feel the same.

John Shewbrook

June 1, 2013, 1:23 pm

Codemasters took the decision to drop the in car views because their behavior analysis of gamers who had bought Grid 1 revealed only 5% of them used this view. However, the volume of criticism that I've read over the last 6 months regarding Grid 2's lack of a cockpit view has been huge. Far more than you would expect from a group of people representing 5% of previous Grid owners.

The method of capturing the behavior data Codemasters used can't be as accurate as they think it is, as this one topic alone has dominated the development of the game ever since. They took a gamble and only time will tell when the sales figures are revealed whether that decision was the right one. I think they underestimated the amount of negative feedback and the strength of feelings it ended up generating.


June 1, 2013, 2:57 pm

I do ofc agree that the lack of cockpit view is a big kick in the nuts. It would've really made the game that little extra special. Oh and also if you would be able to buy cars whenever you wanted, and not just given a couple to choose from whenever the game shows them to you. Last but not least: My SRW-S1 steeringwheel is impossible to configure for this game. Good thing I got my XBox360 gamepad. Ok now I made the game sound really bad... But it's not! I swear! :D


June 1, 2013, 7:26 pm

I really wanted this game, don't get me wrong...Hence why I'm gutted about the [lack of] cockpit view.
I have the xbox wireless wheel (the old, half decent one) and I remember it wasn't as good with the original Grid as compared to say F1 or Forza. I could never get it feeling right despite endless tweaking.
I'm hoping they demo this game for xbox, I would certainly have a look.


June 1, 2013, 8:05 pm

Good news, there's a mod.


Not very polished, but it's there in the game - but disabled.


June 1, 2013, 8:06 pm

Good news, there's a mod. Look it up on youtube.

Not very polished, but it's there in the game - but disabled.


June 2, 2013, 2:52 am

Am I alone in having a completely opposite first impressions to the difficulty of grid 2 than this reviewer has had ?. Given my general awfulness at the first grid game I was fully expecting to have a really hard time in grid 2 (though still prepared to try and stick with losing race after race instead of giving up).. much to my surprise I found I was coming 1st in pretty much every race right through season one and into season 2.

It was suspiciously easy, I would love to say that I am a better driver now (hah!) but after rattling across the line yet again in first place after one particularly bad race I got the feeling there was a bit of mario kart type silliness going on: In that race I had slammed into a few corners at 100mph+ on the first lap and kept going with 2 blown front tires, which had a bit of an impact on my ability to steer, and my engine making slightly unhealthy noises limiting my top speed to somewhere in the 90mph range it was still relatively easy. Strangely it was like my damage had been applied to every other car since they could barely overtake me even as I trundled around the course making good use of the barriers on every corner to keep me on track for the remaining 3 or so laps.

Changing the difficulty to hard has helped me feel a bit less like I have an unfair advantage, though in reality it just seems to mean I come in 2nd place most races instead of 1st. Ho hum!, I shouldn't complain.. it is more fun than coming in last every race I guess hehe, must be hard for game developers to dumb down AI to the point that its fun even for useless drivers like me :)

Maybe the pc version is a different experience, but if anyone is finding this difficult at the start and feel the AIs are too aggressive like this reviewer..hmm, maybe you are driving too nicely ?. Much like the original grid game you can easily get into the top 3 or 4 (sometimes even 1st, lol) on the first couple of corners on a track by going down the inside of a corner - the opposite side of the road that everyone is slowing down to get a decent racing line into the corner - and then breaking a lot later than everyone else :).. Normally without other cars to help you would crash, but 99% of the time you can use the cars turning the corner to stop you going off road. With the right timing you should hardly damage your car since it is just a helpful kiss you are aiming for, enabling you to take the corner too hot and from the wrong line without suffering massive under steer or spinning out hehe. At least after starting a race like this you won't feel the other drivers AIs are unjustifiably aggressive ! :)

As for the score in this review... hmm.. personally I'd have marked it a bit higher, though from my experience with grid 1 I realise if you feel like the ai is destroying you in every race it isn't much fun. The lack of cockpit view I can only assume is due to the devs trying to get as much performance out of exactly the same console hardware the original grid was released on 5 years ago so it actually looks like the graphics have improved, lol. Leaving it out for the PC port I feel is a bit insane since it's the one platform where people have head tracking / monitor surround / even some VR headset devices coming out that actually might not suck, never mind the fact that a lot of PC gamers have enjoyed cockpit views since the birth of 3d racing - years before there were even dedicated 3d cards! :) . That being said, it would hardly be the first time a multi platform release has had a crippled PC version so that console gamers don't feel left out. Sadly looking at the specs of the xbox one and ps4 this is likely going to be something that we will be stuck with for the long haul :(.


June 2, 2013, 3:05 am

5% is not a small amount of people to be honest, how many copies do they plan on selling ?. For every 1mil copies sold, 5% would be 50,000 people that are upset.. if 5% out of that 50,000 decide to complain online, that'd be 2500 people badmouthing the game ;)

Call me crazy but I feel any game company in their right mind should be aiming for 0 disgruntled fans. What kind of idiot would think that alienating even 0.01% of the people that keep you in a job (not to mention all the people working for you) would be an acceptable thing.. lol.

John Shewbrook

June 2, 2013, 9:05 am

Good points. Although, the forum debates seemed to be heavily in favor of cockpit views with few (95% of grid 1 players don't forget) arguing against. Which is why I wondered about the accuracy of their analysis.

Another thing that came to mind - when you consider Grid 1 had cockpit views, you can't help but feel the sequel is diminished by dropping them entirely. Clearly, many potential customers expected them to be included. Sequels are supposed to be better in all aspects and Codemasters have had plenty of time since the previous version was released.

I think part of the problem is when a developer has to create a title for three different platforms instead of exclusively for one. Unless they outsourced some of the work, I don't know. If their team worked on all three, then all three versions may have been effected in terms of content and quality.

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