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Published on May 6th, 2013 | by IceCube

GLiTCH plays: GRID 2

Hi, I’m GLiTCH!

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Namco Bandai offices to get my hands on the upcoming racing car game, GRID 2. Please remember that these are early impressions based on an unfinished product.

I got to play through the first 30 minutes of the single player modes, as well as another 30 minutes on multiplayer.

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Just like the last game, the menus and user interface were pleasant to navigate. It’s amazing how few racing games take this side of things seriously, but it adds a huge level of appeal to the game.

First up was a single-player speed around the streets of Chicago in my Mustang Mach 1 Twister Special. I was given updates and advice via radio from my race engineer, who not only proved very helpful, but made me feel better about my terrible driving!

From what I can tell so far, this is not a super-serious racing game nor overly-arcade. It sits somewhere in between. If I had to compare, it sits closely to Need for Speed in terms of gamer appeal, which can only be considered a good thing.

Visually it looks smart, not on the pristine level of Forza motorsport, but it’s not trying to be that kind of hardcore racing game. It takes racing seriously but makes it accessible for all players.

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If you enjoy drifting, you’ll leave plenty of tire marks in this game, as it’s almost impossible not to slide on every corner. This takes a bit of getting used to, and feels a bit forced, but hitting perfect drifts makes racing fun and for a non-racing fan, it’s good that drifts aren’t a nightmare to do. The real trick is not hitting the walls midway through!

Finishing 4th on my first race, my engineer told me I was a Youtube hit. Small things like this in between races are nice little gimmicks that add personality to the game. It’s well placed and didn’t get irritating.

After this I got to practice my skills alone on a tutorial track known as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Again, my race engineer guided me through and his voice is useful out there.

I was still the most careless driver out there (sorry drivers). I took out so many racers on my ramming rampage to the front of the pack, that I should have been forever banned. However, the Y button became my best friend, as it rewinds time when I screwed up.

Races became events, and events had different challenges, like circuit laps, sprint to the finish line, drift challenges, you name it. The more you race, the more points you earn to level up and unlock new vehicles and vehicle mods.

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Then came multiplayer modes, including: Race, Endurance, Drift, Touge, Checkpoint, Face Off and Time Attack.

With the numbers I could have raced against 12-players online, but there were only three players present to challenge me today. My first race featured something called LiveRoutes, which is a feature that randomly changes the course of the track with every lap. This way the turns won’t get predictable, and experienced players familiar with the tracks have to remain alert.

I came 3rd in my first street race, dead-last in my second race (circuit laps), but finished off 1st on my final go on the Checkpoint challenge, where you keep racing until you no longer reach the checkpoints in time.

Overall my experience with GRID 2 was fun. Compared to the previous game, it’s feels slightly more accessible to casual gamers, but still a tough challenge for all racing fans. The game has a lot more features to show than I had time to see, but this early showing had me looking forward to the final product when it hits our shelves on May 30th.

For everything else about GRID 2, check in regularly with Gamebug.com.au!

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