Grid 2 for PC: A Welcome Hybrid Worth Playing
Although Grid 2 has now been out for a decent amount of time, I think that it's certainly worth bringing to light, especially with the Steam summer sale finally here. Too often in racing titles developers work to cater to one demographic or another with different mechanics or lack of mechanics. Thankfully a new, but not necessarily fresh, take on racing has come out of Codemasters.
Drive Like The Pros
When console gamers think about racing games, many of them typically think of arcade racers or racing simulators. After all, the racing community typically has cart-style racing like Mario Kart and Blur. On the flip side of the coin, diehard fans of the simulation titles like Forza Motorsports and Gran Turismo know only these. The level of community segregation has been surprisingly high for such a simple concept. PC players experience the most extreme forms as many of the typical arcade racers are available, but they have access to a whole new beast. That beast is iRacing and it's the software professional drivers use to train. Talk about the extreme side of the spectrum.
Thankfully Codemasters has given us Grid 2, the clear sequel to Grid. Grid 2 does a wonderful job of polishing many of the issues found in Grid while also giving a very welcome bridge between the arcade and simulation gap. While the physics engine of the game does sport a very realistic feel, it isn't unforgiving. While "under steer" and "over steer" are very common themes as they add to the strategy of driving, the ability to drift is not a foreign concept. While drifting in games like iRacing is nearly impossible to control for an amateur, drifting in Mario Kart is almost child's play. Grid 2 has brought drifting in as a very vital mechanic that does take some time to master, yet isn't out of reach for even the newest players.
Crashes and damage are also highlighted features as the game sports a wonderful (though sometimes exploitable) rewind feature in the event of a serious crash (it's GREAT). Car damage is present and punishing if driving isn't corrected, yet it doesn't feel in any way unfair. The level of realism is almost a feat; the game almost feels like an arcade racer and it doesn't seem like a nail-biting chore to win. However, underestimate the cars you are given (and they all handle differently) and they will bite back until you learn all the important nuances.
I won't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say this racing title is one to check out. The single player campaign is sufficient though not groundbreaking, but the gameplay is absolutely stellar. For some of the hardcore simulation fans, there may be a disappointing lack of features, however these are not game breaking. For arcade racers, this game is easy enough, despite lacking many driver assists, that even the newest to the genre can jump in and enjoy some of the casual races.
With the Steam summer sale here, this title is one to keep your eye on. Even at full price, the game is worth every penny, but given how awesome the Steam sale is, you can expect to see this title being sold en masse at a lower price, which helps to increase the already expansive online community.