We decided to take on Codemasters at their own game - quite literally, in fact. We raced several of the development team around three different modes in GRID 2's multiplayer mode. Here's how that went down...
The cars' 'TrueFeel' handling is designed to be simple enough to pick up and play, while being deep enough to reward those who seek to make the most of each car's nuances. We're happy to admit we spent quite a lot of time hopping across the grass and even on two wheels, but crucially we were able to keep the car pointing the right way for most of the time. It's forgiving without ever feeling too simplified - but feels nothing like an all-out sim such as Forza 4.
The three game variations we played were a straight race over three laps, an elimination event around Paris and, perhaps most excitingly, an ‘Endurance’ race around Chicago. This is notable for featuring ‘LiveRoutes’ - a constantly-changing track layout with no track map to drive by.
The winner is simply the driver who is in front after five minutes, although the layout of the circuit changes from one lap to the next meaning being in first place might not be the best place to be. It work really well as there’s always scope for catching the car ahead through being a bit braver than them going into a blind corner. As you can see in the video, however, there isn't always room for two. Many barriers in GRID 2 yield slightly when hit, cushioning the impact but also enveloping you in a time-sapping hug.
Although we didn’t see it in action, we are told that you’ll be able to upload highlights of your multiplayer races to YouTube, which should make for some interesting viewing. Especially as the car damage model can be switched from 'off’, through ‘cosmetic only’ all the way to ‘full’ depending on how dicey you want things to get.
As you can see in the video, the races can suffer a little from the usual ‘other people using you as the brakes’, but that’s the same in any racing game. Griefers will be made to race against each other according to the devs, and of course if you find a decent room you should fare much better.
Even though we didn’t quite beat Codies at their own game (in fairness they have had a lot more practice), this is looking like being one of the generation’s finest online racers. Also, look out for some spectacular GRID 2 coverage on GamesRadar soon. You’ll know what we mean when you see it…
The game is due out on May 31 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. If you're keen to learn more about the development of GRID 2, we recommend you meet the man who smashes cars for GRID 2's sound effects.