Today is a big day for fans of racing games. Codemasters finally let the cat out of the bag and we now have some serious information on their new racing game, Grid 2. Before I get into the meat of everything different in the sequel, let's get one thing out of the way first. Cockpit view? Yeah, it is gone. I know that will upset a few people because a lot of you enjoy that camera angle. But there is plenty for you to be happy about, as Codemasters changed some things for the better in Grid 2.
Liveroutes: This new mechanic allows Codemasters to change the course in real time, seamlessly. This allows the courses to never become stale or predictable in nature. Now, after completing one lap on a track, the next time around it might be drastically changed. Now, this won't be in every single race. When talking to Joystiq, they specifically said "we're going to save it and make sure it's a special showcase bit."
New Career Mode: In Grid 2 you can expect some drastic changes to the single player portion of the game. Teammates are now gone, while sponsors stay. The way the sponsors are handed out and how you will complete their challenges will look familiar to most players. That is because they are handled pretty much the same way they were previously.
Story is somewhat included, but it is not as integrated into the gameplay as, let's say, Need for Speed: The Run. This time around, a guy named Patrick Callahan, who is a self-made millionaire, wants to start his own racing series (called WSR). That is where you come in, you are the upstart driver who he thinks can help make his new racing league one of the best. It was also revealed that ESPN is a partner and their broadcasting will be seen during certain races. Those certain races include F1, drift, drag, street, and many more. So there will be no shortage of races to compete in once May 28 gets here.
As for the 24 Hour Le Mans, Destructoid asked Codemasters if that would be returning and they simply stated "that it was something the team was still tossing around, dependent on fan reaction." So if you were a fan of this in the original game, hold out hope, it is still possible it makes a return.
Damage Modeling: From Grid to Grid 2, Codemasters really improved the damage modeling. Still utilizing their EGO engine, they have really perfected the way cars crumple when driving into a wall or just bumping into other cars on the track. Obviously racing in the Formula 1 style cars, you are more likely to completely destroy your car than you are a Mitsubishi or Toyota.
Improved A.I. and handling: Most people will remember how aggressive the A.I. were in the original Grid. Well, that will still be the case this time around, but they made them react more like actual drivers. So they will still try to cut you off from passing them, but they all won't just try to run you over when going into every corner.
As for the handling, or as they are calling it, "TrueFeel," they made sure that everything feels right in whatever race type you are participating in. The handling might feel different when in a drift race than a street race, and that is great. This new model also makes driving those F1 cars a whole lot easier. Codemasters really wanted to focus on making the handling model in Grid 2 straddle the line between arcade and simulation -- and they did just that.
That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Grid 2. Codemasters has made their name as being one of the best developers in the racing genre. They iterate extremely well with their games and it looks like they are taking Grid 2 to the next level with all new features and the improvements to the damage and handling models.
Grid 2 releases on May 28 for the PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360.