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GRID2 offers new spin of the globe

Independent News & Media

THOSE motor sport maestros at Codemasters have been busy again with their latest game to leave the garage. GRID2 is a decent driving game, even though it tries to have a bet each way and offers sim inspired seriousness, while keeping the arcade style racers happy too.

Visually the game is one of the best you will see on the 360, with some stunning looking cars and cool effects, like reflections on the glass of your chosen ride.

The game has an interesting career mode with a narrative powering it. You have been picked by an ambitious "want to be Ecclestone' "character, who is starting a totally new racing series called WSR (World Series Racing). He wants you as his gun driver and key recruiter.

The idea behind WSR is that it will recruit the best saloon drivers from around the globe and attract them to its formula, so then the fans will come. So, in order to help attract other drivers you have to travel the world, meet these successful champions and beat them.

Along the way you will also attract fans and interest in the WSR too. The idea might seem a little flawed, but it works as well as any in providing a rationalisation for a globe trotting extravaganza that sees you taking on other drivers from around the world.

Thus the game kicks off with you firstly driving outside the WSR and then once you have attracted enough opponents, you begin the WSR properly. It is an interesting idea as your progression feels more meaningful than other similar games, as there is a concrete goal.

That said, GRID2 is still all about plenty of street racing in varied locations, and in this sense the game will be both familiar to fans of the original GRID, while offering plenty that is new.

The various places you get to drive through are often so spectacular you'll want to stop your car and marvel at the scenery. There are the desert vistas of Dubai, American cityscapes and rolling hills in the Japanese countryside just to name a few. The game also serves up some terrific solar flare and night time effects and the crowds that line the track also are as impressive as you'll see in any racing game. The spectacular crashes are the icing on the cake, presentation wise, as your car will be often hurled in the air with parts flying in all directions after a particularly heavy shunt.

Naturally GRID2 lets you get behind the wheel of some seriously hot hardware too. There are sleek Aston Martins, menacing Mercedes and a smattering of good Japanese cars thrown in for good measure. The game serves up just under 50 cars and the only real gap in the roster is the absence of Aussie heavy metal.

GRID2 is an easy game to play. The cars look realistic and there is some skill to driving them, but sim fans will feel the game tips the scales more in the direction of the arcade crowd. You can engage in some really impressive lurid slides and catch the cars before the spin quite often. Some cars are harder to drive than others, and the most challenging are the big American muscle machines. If you are unsure of your skills, you will be well served by a 4WD pocket rocket like the Subaru WRX.

GRID 2

Format: 360 / PS3

Price: $99.95

Score: 7/10

Topics:  games and gadgets racer xbox 360



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