Codemasters best racing franchise returns, but what will it entail?
After literally years worth of speculation, Codemasters finally let the world have a sniff of what exactly GRID 2 may all be all about last week, via a glitzy teaser trailer. Sure the minute long footage featured a revving super car, fat tyres and enough smoke to make Need for Speed: ProStreet blush, but really there wasn’t much information to decipher what the sequel, which has been in development since before July 2010, is all about.
Thankfully the big reveal is right on schedule to take place tomorrow, but before we get too excited about what may or may not feature in the multi-disciplined racer, let’s take a closer look at what the original game did so well and perhaps what Codemasters will be looking to include second time around. No pressure Codies, this is what we want from GRID 2.
Less Simulation, More Fun -
Codemasters has never focused on producing an accurate simulation of motor-racing in any of their games. Sure they attempt to take the best of whatever discipline they’re focusing on, be it Formula One, British Touring Cars or Rally, but when compared to the simulation heavyweights like iRacing and rFactor they’re always going to come up short. In GRID that was never an issue due to the abundance of different racing disciplines on offer including Drift, Touge, 24 Hours of Le Mans, GT and even destruction derby and we expect the sequel to include even more. Sure the handling will still have that unique ‘Codies’ feel with power-slides usually manageable regardless of the car, but we have a feeling that there will be such a breadth of different events on offer that really you won’t care.
GRID got a lot right when it came to online infrastructure. The lobby system allowed players to create their own 12 person events in any discipline they wanted with a really effective voting system to govern which event they competed in next. We expect the sequel to do the same only this time with the aid of RaceNet, Codemasters new multiplayer racing platform, which offers players incentives like new liveries and in-game cash to take part in weekly events. This system should enable the GRID community to seem closer than ever before with lots of information to back it up, like how many laps have been completed this week, cars written off, amount of players online etc.
Improved Damage Modelling -
GRID 2 will utilise the EGO 2.0 tech and thus far that engine has been guilty of some really odd collision detection issues, as seen in F1 2010 and F1 2011. We have our fingers crossed that those issues won’t affect the sequel as that would be a crying shame. Sure GRID’s damage system wasn’t the most complex or accurate, but boy was it great to watch and rewind some of the world’s most sought after cars get written off in spectacular fashion, with wheels propelled across the track and chassis’ rebounding off tyre barriers high into the air. More of the same please Codemasters, only this time involving more debris and higher fidelity.
More Destruction Derby -
Here’s a fun fact for you; destruction derby was the most popular gametype played online in GRID. That’s absolutely bonkers; of all the different disciplines on offer, of all the different real-world tracks available – most folks who played GRID multiplayer were happy just tooling around on two different Michigan track layouts with the ever-reliable Jupiter Eagleray MK5. Knocking competitors out of a race in the first corner is actually encouraged in this online version of banger racing and it proved fantastic aggressive fun.
Most surprising of all is that the destruction derby game mode is still commonly played online today, albeit just on Xbox Live due to Codemasters shutting off game servers on PlayStation 3 and PC. The reason so many folks are being entertained by that limited mode is due to the fundamental truth that smashing up cars virtually is ridiculously enjoyable and when you have a responsive damage model to back it up, it’s even more electrifying. Here’s hoping we get more banger cars and track layouts in the sequel, as two frankly isn’t enough. We know what you’re thinking, “Wasn’t DIRT Showdown supposed to offer more racing of that ilk?” Well, yes it did but we want more of it and it would be daft for Codemasters to ignore those gamers who are still playing GRID online even today – over five years after it was released.
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