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Archive for June, 2013

GRID 2: Review – Codemasters Falls Inbetween

The latest and most anticipated simulation racer from the Codemasters stables falls flat on building the single-player career but makes up for it with some fast multiplayer action.  
44350_screenshots_2013-06-18_00016 When Codemasters first teased us with Grid 2 back in September 2012, I had only just wrapped up playing the original Grid and couldn’t wait for a sequel. Fast forward to the present day, and I am left somewhat disappointed. Grid 2 starts off with Patrick Callaghan, an eccentric millionaire looking to start his own racing series by hiring a novice driver (you), and nurturing him to stardom. Pretty good start I figured, but down the line there is no story, no competition and it simply gets boring. Sure, it features “rivals” and if you manage to navigate correctly through the labyrinth of menus, it even gives you a few tasks to accomplish. But it’s nothing challenging compared to the previous game. What’s happened to the teammate feature? Where’s the intense competition that they created between you and an AI driver, that’s right, AI.   44350_screenshots_2013-06-22_00007Sure, it features some intricate visuals and stunningly real crashes, but what makes a good game is the AI. Grid falters here. The AI challenge is half baked and almost always drives a good clean race void of mistakes. There’s no distinct racing style, no aggression, nothing that reminds you of the AI driver after a race or two. Remember Dirt? I still remember my races against Md. Bin Sulayem and coming out at the end thinking of him as a good guy who does good clean racing. And don’t even get me started on the missing cockpit view. The saving grace of this game comes in the form of multiplayer. Unlike the previous game, it’s been updated to prevent players from cutting corners and crashing into one another. Cutting corners attracts a 5-sec penalty and the new Impact Rating system which categorizes players based on how rough they play, have all contributed to a good MP experience. Endurance races and constantly changing tracks add a nice challenge to top it off.
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Sports Center integrated into the game to give it a bit of that “league” effect.

Codemasters choosing to create their own tracks (yeah, no Nurburgring) initially disappointed me, but after a while of racing these tracks begin to grow on you. The Yas Marina, Indianapolis and Red Bull Racing Circuit all have brought in their own distinct flavour of racing to the game. A sleuth of cars spread over four tiers only unlocked by earning experience points (by racing and beating rivals) adds to the excitement.  

 

 

TL;DR — All in all, beautiful graphics, excellent multiplayer racing; you can give this one a pass if you’re not going to be playing it over the Internet.

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