GRID 2 - Chronicles of an Amateur Race Car Driver
Before I begin, this article is a preview of Grid 2, so some minor technical aspects, from gaming experience to other technicalities in general, may be subject to change. With that in mind, fasten your seatbelts - it will be a wild ride.
So being an amateur race car driver is suffering - you have nought but a racing car, a race engineer supporting you by the sidelines, and a passion for racing. All it took was a small-scale racing event, which you participated in out of boredom, and suddenly a guy with ambitions to create a world series of racing took notice of your driving skills in that race, and invited you to build this dream of his.
Nonetheless, it is just another day in the life of an amateur race car driver in Grid 2.
Developed by Codemasters Racing (the jolly good fellows behind F1 Race Stars), Grid 2 is a racing game which contains product placements, real cars, real damage and street racing - only that the races are actually legal. The premise is more than just racing and gaining prestige - as mentioned above, you are approached by a race organiser with big ambitions for a world series of racing and the onus is on you to gain some big names in amateur car racing to promote his dream of creating a world series of racing.
Apart from the standard "race around the track for a set number of laps" events, Grid 2 offers a few other racing modes, such as Drift events (where you slide cars around corners), Elimination events (cars stuck in last place when the timer hits zero will be out of the race) and also Live Route events, where the track dynamically changes as you race. Tracks that dynamically change mid-race... where have I heard of that before?
The handling of the cars is as realistic as they can be. For this preview, I started out with a Mustang, which is a rear-wheel drive, so over-steering was a constant gripe throughout my first race at the Chicago Riverside. So far, you may think that this sounds like another generic racing game... until the introduction of the Flashback system. For example, when you feel that you botched a turn during a corner (due to over-steer or you just plainly crashed at the corner), you can use the Flashback to undo the botch and redo the whole turning sequence all over again from an earlier point. Be careful, though; the Flashback ability has a set limit, so use it wisely!
Once you feel the need of a new challenge after taking on Career Mode, why not take on other racers online? In association with and powered by RaceNet, Grid 2's Online Mode allows you to put your driving skills to the test with other Grid 2 players all over the world through online racing or though global challenges. Got into the most epic crash in the game or performed the slickest overtaking move ever? You can upload video highlights on Youtube and share them on Facebook and Twitter!
Grid 2 will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on 31st May 2013, so brace yourselves and start your engines!
Special thanks to New Era Entertainment!