There’s nothing like a live root, as they would say. In ‘Live Route’ races, the route changes dynamically as the race progresses, the idea being that no-one can gain an advantage simply by memorising the track; you need to drive well too.
In theory, at least.
The thing is, though, in practice, the driver AI in grid hasn’t really improved from the last game.
You get the same unlikely jet-powered starts from your opponents and you’re almost always – actually always, in our experience – going to come worst off in any collision. They’ll slam into you around a corner and bodyparts go flying but those bodyparts are invariably yours, forcing a restart if you want to have any chance at all of placing in a race.
This is easily the most frustrating aspect of Grid 2 and very nearly a complete game stopper for us, because the AI drivers often drive like maniacs, and knowing that you never come off better in a collision, it can be teeth-gridingly annoying to be flung around the joint while the guy who hits you blissfully carries on his way around the track, utterly unaffected.
Despite Grid 2 being a very good racing game, there are problems.
The CPU-intensive cockpit view has been left in the pits with this sequel – a shame, but apparently a result of Codies gathering real player data and realising that only a tiny, brave minority actually used it – and the non-player AI, as we’ve said, is both dumb and nasty.
There’s a really poor vehicle selection interface, with thin white lines detailing attributes like speed and acceleration, but there’s no scale on the lines and no ‘quick-comparison’ assistance that you see in other racing games, so it’s really difficult to compare vehicles.
Added to the pain is really minimal information on your next event, so you’re never quite sure you’re choosing the right type of vehicle in the first place.
And yet Grid 2 is fun, but much more so for multiple players than those tackling the game alone.
Racenet, and the inclusion of split-screen this time round, both make racing against others the main attraction and Codies even promises that their technology pits like-minded players against each other, so you can turn events into demolition derbys if you want, but if you like to race clean, you should find others online who feel the same way.