5 years ago Codemasters released a racing game that redefined arcade racers, the BAFTA-award winning, critically acclaimed Race Driver: GRID™ took the world by storm, and now they're at it again with GRID 2.
A lot of the focus has been centralised around Europe, with new tracks such as Brands Hatch (Track Racing), Barcelona (Street Racing) and the Red Bull Ring (Track Racing). There have also been a lot of new European based cars introduced to the game such as the Volvo s60 BTCS, one of the high performers in the Belgian Touring Car Series. The rest of the cars are as follows;
BMW E30 M3 Sport Evolution (Evo3)
BMW Motorsport 320 TC
Ford Focus ST 2013
Gomez Competition GC 10.1
McLaren F1 GT
Mercedes Benz 190E 2.5 Evo 2
Mercedes Benz SLS GT3
Volvo S60 BTCS
More cars will be announced nearer to release.
TrueFeel handling has been added to the games engine, making the handling of cars a lot more realistic and responsive, examples of this can be seen at GRID's twitch.tv channel. The handling in the original GRID was great, but an upgrade to an already good engine can't be a bad thing, especially an aspect this crucial.
The career mode has also undergone some improvements, it uses the usual rank hierarchy which we've come to expect from racing games, but the 'World Series of Racing' (WSR) is a positive step forward. GRID 1 had a similar system, you start off in a small team, racing across three continents, and by winning each race and tournament you rise up the ranks, you then buy new cars, which grants you access to bigger tournaments. GRID 2 will follow this closely, but with a new media aspect, the races you compete in may be televised by ESPN. Yeah that's right, ESPN will feature in the game as the main coverage for the WSR which will gain you more attention from the fans. Another neat feature of the new career mode is vehicle upgrades. Along with the new paint jobs, which we will talk more about later, vehicle upgrades will allow the user to beef up their cars and get the edge over the opponents, and the possibility of competing in a higher class.
The new customisation options available include 54 livery designs, some classics from GRID but a lot of new ones to wet your appetite with such as dragons and shark teeth. There are also 5 paint types to choose from such as gloss, matte and flip, with a ton of customisation options as colours now have their own individual tone sliders. A brand new option in GRID 2 is the wheel customisations, with 51 wheel types available and colours to match.
Multiplayer is the focal point for Codemasters with GRID 2's new version of RaceNet, the social 'beating heart' of the game, which will be available not only on the console, but on web browsers and eventually a mobile application. The first of two main online game types is playlist, this is a version of the quick match we're so used to, it will find you a game in a chosen discipline, simple as can be. The other is custom modes, which I would assume is fairly self explanatory, you choose the game settings to fit your fancy.
A new competitive game mode has also made it's way into the game, Global Challenge will pit you against players from around the world as you compete against each others times, however each week a new car, setup, track etc will be chosen to give every player an equal chance to win. In addition there is RaceNet Rivals, you can choose a known friend or let the game pick an opponent for you. The game will match you up with an equally ranked opponent, based on XP and cash, it will even make sure your playing times coincide so you are available to race together. If you beat your rival you will achieve an extra XP and cash boost.
I am really looking forward to this game, I loved Race Driver: GRID and I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Grid 2 will be released for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and pc on the 31st May, with a price of £35 (depending on location).
What do you think about GRID 2? Are you looking forward to it or are you not really bothered about the prospect of another racing game? Let us know in the comments section below.