Grid 2 Preview: A First Look

Codemasters have kept the development of Grid 2 under wraps for over 2 years since it was announced. This sequel to the critically acclaimed racing simulation game, Grid is all set to hit the Xbox, PlayStation and PC sometime in the first half of 2013. While the game has been in pre-production for 2 years, it has taken almost 4 years for the game to reach this point in its development life cycle. Codemasters has taken every effort to ensure that this is the most accurate racing simulator game ever deigned. The codeword for the development of this game seems to be hyper-realism.

Currently three playable demo versions have been shown to the world. One demo features street racing in a photo realistically rendered version of Chicago. This is a step-up from the game worlds created for other racing games. The other world’s released include the ‘Californian Coast’ and Paris. Codemasters are focusing on three major types of racing, street racing, road racing and track racing.

This game is meant to be played by using the extremely expensive D-Box racing controller rig. No other game comes close to simulating the feel of real racing as this game played using the D-Box rig. The realistic speakers, steering, accelerator and motors designed to simulate vibrations that occur in the car contribute to the feel of driving a real car. Even while using a normal controller like 85% of game users do, the realism is preserved.

Some of the things that are notably absent in this version of the game include the driver view from the helmet cam, assisted braking and assisted traction control. Codemasters are right in pointing out that most racers prefer a chase cam or bonnet cam, and so dropping that option makes sense. The absence of assisted braking makes for a much more realistic driving experience, forcing you to choose between power slides and a more cautious style of driving.

A major omission from this game is the Destruction Derby mode. While this particular mode was the most fun for multiplayer parties, Codemasters defends this decision by pointing out that you get the same fun from the street racing mode. Still, it does feel bad to see this option absent.

One of the most notable features of this game is the incorporation of actual world damage to the car which affects the way the car handles in real time. None of the interactions are scripted; rather the game designates around 30 crash zones for the car and replicates damage using real world crash data. The EDGE physics engine has been applied to an altogether new level. For example, damage to the under chassis does make a significant impact to handling and is reflected in the sound effects.

Another notable point of this game is the realistic AI that remembers the way you drive. At no point do you feel like you are racing against super perfect computer drivers. In fact the computer drivers react very similar to the way real drivers would. If you drive aggressively, then you would face aggressive driving tactics in return, while if you drive a bit more carefully, you get the same from the other drivers.

When you play this game online, you will use the recent community. A good feature of this game is the delinking of your offline XP and online career. The idea is to allow the user to choose exactly how he wants the online mode to be played by allowing him to control the settings. Some of the cool cars that you can expect to play in this game include the Ford Mustang Mach 1, Pagani Huayra and Koenigsegg Agera R. The last two cars are the most advanced supercars on the market today. All in all Codemasters have dedicated to making this game the best ever racing simulator.


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