Preview: GRID 2 (WIN)

We got a shot at the preview build of Codemasters’ upcoming racer. Know how it feels like to be a deer behind the headlights?

The preview build (read “unfinished”) plays over Steam. A fan of arcade and smashy-crashy racers, I don’t usually have a go at realistic simulations of racing games, or racing games down to the fine details of tuning my car like Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport, but I guess this wasn’t on my weakness this time.

GRID 2 presented itself with a minimalist interface and opened with a little go-around in Chicago. Hands on my little muscle car, the numbers ticked down. 7th on the grid, the cars took off and soon shock took over on the first turn. At this point, I didn’t know if it was me handling a more realistic vehicle slamming itself into the side with a gentle tap of left steer, or an issue with the preview build. Parts do start flying when you do major damage on your car, and the crash physics please the Burnout fan in me.

Likely because it’s a preview build, my horrendous performance on the track was still met with cheer as someone clearly liked what I was doing. Career mode in GRID 2 gives sends you to a new series of racing some affluent person wants to kick off. After another abysmal performance in the little drifting tutorial in the Indianapolis race track, I was whisked away into my garage interface where I begin my career.


In Career Mode, you name yourself and tell the game what you want it to call you. Difficulty settings can be set here, but that really didn’t change anything. My vehicle handling issues were still prevalent. When I mean handling issues, it means slamming my Ford Mustang off the side of the road, or sometimes, flying off it, as seen when I got on my first actual race along the Californian coast. The weird handling issues also gave me a chance to show off my donut-spinning skills on the track, when I should’ve been racing to the finish line. It could also be a matter of using a keyboard, but hooking up an Xbox 360 controller didn’t improve the handling much.

Although the finer details of the game still need to be rectified before the final game in terms of audio and graphics, the track is still alive with spectators and a well-populated environment. Regardless, more racing series will be pulled in as you progress in the game (in the preview build, the different racing series belong to subsequent and later parts of the game) offering up circuit races, elimination races and events to prove your drifting mettle.

Codemasters has also announced a new kind of racing event not in the preview build. Known as LiveRoutes, these unique events summon track changes on racing events to challenge gamers’ reactions and skills on the road, while offering some severe variety in linear racing. LiveRoutes will be seen on career and online modes.

Whether it was indeed my control issues or GRID 2’s preview handling issues will all have to be seen when the game releases on May 31st.