GRID 2 Preview: Release Date, Pre-Order Bonuses, DLC and New Features

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIMay 26, 2013

image from GRID 2 Facebook
image from GRID 2 Facebook

The original GRID video game from the UK based software developer Codemasters is one of the most underrated racing titles in history. The game was actually the eighth in the TOCA Race Driver series and it released for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 back in 2008.

Even though games such as Forza, Gran Turismo and even Codemasters' other racing titles: Dirt and F-1 have pushed the envelope visually, I still play the original GRID because of it's amazing gameplay.

It's not to say the other aforementioned titles aren't solid in that regard, but there is something about the handling and action in GRID that keeps me coming back.

The blend of arcade racer and simulation was what made the game so good. It wasn't too technical, but it wasn't too simplistic either.

Finally, after a five-year absence, the series is returning with GRID 2. The screenshots we've seen leading up to release have been stunning and the trailers have been equally exciting.

Here is a look at the specifics surrounding release and a full preview of the game.

Release Date: May 28 in North America and May 31 in the UK

Platforms: PC, Steam, Xbox 360 and PS3

Developer: Codemasters

The Theme

Be First, Be Fast and Be Famous

This is the tagline being spread across most promotional media for GRID 2.

What exactly does that mean?

Gamers will be challenged to race various world-renowned venues in the world's fastest vehicles. The objective of course is to win races; but gamers will also be out to gain notoriety on the fictional racing circuit created in the game's single-player mode, as well as online.

There is a new career mode designed to immerse gamers in a quest to be the world's best driver. A new online multiplayer setup will track various racing statistics for the community.

With rankings for various modes at your fingertips, knowing how good you are—or aren't—should be only seconds away.

GRID 2 blends simulation racing with competitions like drifting and street racing. If the formula is done correctly again, it will further establish the series as the perfect blend of realism and arcade action.


TrueFeel™ - Know Your Car

Per Toby Evan-Jones of Codemasters, making sure each car has an identity was a priority for developers in GRID 2. The team understands that every car in the game handles differently. No two cars break the exact same; no two vehicles will respond identically in the same situation.

Extensive preparations were performed and data was collected to ensure these details were as accurate as possible.

Data from real-world specifications for each vehicle were collected. Real-world drivers performed tests when possible. The handling and overall performance were considered when a car's likenesses was included in the game.

This may sound like a pure simulation, but Evan-Jones assures us GRID 2 still walks the line. He writes:

This process allows our handling team to accentuate the drivability of each car at a base level (simply getting it around the track) while retaining the core handling characteristics and subtleties which define the real-world car.

This leads to a real spectrum of performance based upon the player's level of familiarity with the vehicle. Once you learn how a car handles you can adjust your driving style accordingly; nailing the perfect line through every bend rather than simply making it to the finish line.

Basically, the vehicles' handling creates a separate world from pure simulation driving, though the specifications are based on the cars' real-life attributes.

Some of the hardcore aspects have been omitted to keep the game playable and fun for those who aren't vehicle tech freaks.

Career Mode - World Series of Racing

In the single-player career mode, fictional mogul and visionary Patrick Callahan constructed the World Series of Racing to find out who the world's greatest driver is.

Think of it as the Kumite of motorsports.

IndyCar-style drivers will be competing with street racers and others in several different formats to gain supremacy. Your custom character is brought into the fray by Callahan via cinematic scenes and exciting races.

It is almost as if the best elements of F-1, NASCAR and street racing have been included in an attempt to provide the most complete racing experience.

Judging by the video released thus far, the mode will tell a solid story along with providing exciting racing sequences. Here is a look at the first 30 minutes of gameplay.

Move ahead to the 11:52 mark of the video to see and hear the developer-guided feature.

Cars, Cars and More Cars

A plethora of cars will be available throughout the game. Per Codies blog, here are just a few examples of what gamers have to look forward to:

The BMW E30 M3 Sport Evolution, Ford Mustang Mach 1 and Chevrolet Camaro Z28 RS SS 1970 will all be options for gamers.

Racing packs and unlockables will grow the total list of vehicles available, but gamers will be able to take any car on any track at their own risk.

In addition to the enormous car lists, gamers will also be able to customize their vehicles with colors, sponsorships and more, per Segment Next's Liam Stanway and Codemasters' Clive Moody.

What good is customizing amazing virtual cars if you can't bask in the spectacle of realistic vehicle damage?

The damage system from the original GRID game was top-notch, and per Moody, the only changes made to this version have been improvements. He said:

Everything that was great about the original GRID damage we have kept, but also added some great new effects.

Carbon fibre bodywork now splinters and breaks rather than deforming in the way that metal parts do. You will now also have the choice between full visual only or visual and mechanical damage, which affects the performance of the car. 

It [damage system for GRID 2] is superior in every way. More deformation, more particle effects, carbon fibre which now splinters and shatters, instant replays and now the ability to share your greatest crashes with direct upload to YouTube straight from the replay.

Pardon me while I put on my driving gloves.

Tracks, Tracks and More Tracks

The full list of tracks in GRID 2 is startling. A varied amount of backdrops is important in any racing game, and the volume in this list shows Codemasters understands that.

  • Tenshi Way, Okutama [Day & Night]
  • Collins Park Ring, Miami [Day & Night]
  • Indy Circuit Reversed, Brands Hatch [Day]
  • GP Circuit Reversed, Red Bull Ring [Day]
  • Arc De Triomphe, Paris [Day & Night]
  • Le Trocadero, Paris [Sunset]
  • National Circuit, Algarve [Day]
  • Infield Circuit, Indianapolis [Day]
  • Columbus Pass, Barcelona [Day & Night]
  • South Circuit Reversed, Red Bull Ring [Day]
  • Memorial Gate, Barcelona [Day & Night]
  • Redwood Approach, California [Day & Night]
  • Tatsu Valley, Okutama [Day & Night]
  • Downtown Speedway, Miami [Day & Night]
  • Pacific Way, California [Sunset]
  • Big Sur, California [Day & Night]
  • GP Circuit, Algarve [Day]
  • Fountain Loop, Barcelona [Sunset]
  • Championship Circuit, Yas Marina [Day (Pre-order) & Night]
  • Shinto Shrine, Okutama [Day & Night]
  • Sport Circuit , Indianapolis [Day]
  • Saint-Laurent, Cote d’Azur [Day & Night]
  • LiveRoutes, Dubai [Day]
  • Al Sufouh Strip, Dubai [Day & Night]
  • International Circuit, Yas Marina [Day (Pre-order) & Night]
  • Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong [Sunset]
  • Riverside, Chicago [Sunset]
  • Kowloon Climb, Hong Kong [Day & Night]
  • Marine Gate, Barcelona [Day & Night]
  • Paddock Circuit, Yas Marina [Day (Pre-order) & Night]
  • Pont De L’alma, Paris [Day & Night]
  • Nakheel Vista, Dubai [Day & Night]
  • Hattan Way, Dubai [Sunset]
  • North Circuit, Red Bull Ring [Day]
  • Circuit De La Seine, Paris [Day & Night]
  • Wan Chai Gap, Hong Kong [Day & Night]
  • Causeway Approach, Miami [Day & Night]
  • Ocean Drive, Miami [Sunset]
  • Torii Rush, Okutama [Sunset]
  • GP Circuit Reversed (Pre-order) , Brands Hatch [Day]
  • The Loop, Chicago [Day & Night]
  • Leopolda, Cote d’Azur [Day & Night]
  • Cabrillo Highway, Cote d’Azur [Sunset]
  • Mizu Mountain, Okutama [Day & Night]
  • Gulf Approach, Dubai [Day & Night]
  • Wabash Run, Chicago [Day & Night]
  • LiveRoutes, Chicago [Day]
  • Route d’Azur, Cote d’Azur [Day & Night]
  • GP Circuit (Pre-order), Brands Hatch [Day]
  • La Turbie, Cote d’Azur [Day & Night]
  • Peak Road Descent, Hong Kong [Day & Night]
  • Champs Elysees, Paris [Sunset]
  • South Circuit, Red Bull Ring [Day]
  • Sakura Pass, Okutama [Sunset]
  • LiveRoutes, Miami [Day]
  • GP Circuit, Yas Marina [Day (Pre-order) & Night]
  • Pebble Beach Drive, California [Day & Night]
  • Route De Corniche, Cote d’Azur [Sunset]
  • North Circuit, Indianapolis [Pre-Order Bonus] [Day]
  • Sport Circuit, Algarve [Day]
  • Indy Circuit, Brands Hatch [Day]
  • Magazine Gap, Hong Kong [Day & Night]
  • Avenue De New-York, Paris [Day & Night]
  • Underpass Ring, Chicago [Day & Night]
  • Orra Quay Loop, Dubai [Sunset]
  • Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong [Sunset]
  • High Street, Barcelona [Day & Night]
  • Club Circuit, Algarve [Day]
  • Lake Shore Point, Chicago [Day & Night]
  • Bixby Pass, California [Day & Night]
  • GP Circuit, Indianapolis [Day]
  • Oval Circuit, Indianapolis [Pre-Order Bonus] [Day]
  • Columbus Bay, Barcelona [Sunset]
  • LiveRoutes, Paris [Day]
  • LiveRoutes, Barcelona [Day]
  • South Point Bay, Miami [Day / Night]
  • Art Deco Loop, Miami [Sunset]
  • GP Circuit, Red Bull Ring [Day]
  • South Circuit, Yas Marina [Day (Pre-order) & Night]
  • Marina City, Chicago [Sunset]
  • Jumeirah Beach, Dubai [Day & Night]
  • North Circuit Reversed, Red Bull Ring [Day]

Multiplayer - RaceNet and More

RaceNet is Huge. 

This online based ranking system and matchmaker will keep track of gamer's performance in every event and online mode. The system ranks your performances so you always know how you stack up against friends and others in the GRID 2 community.

Beyond that, RaceNet also links you with online Rivals to ensure you always have someone to compete against. RaceNet will supply gamers with a new set of Rivals every week to keep things fresh.

It is a unique approach to online matchmaking that could be fun.

In addition to the Rivals system, there will also be a new feature called Global Challenge. This is a set of live events that pit gamers against one another in various modes online. 

The live event is nothing new to sports video games, but it is nice to see GRID getting in on the concept.

Obtaining mini-goals known as objectives throughout online play add to your online reputation. The game will launch with 20 objectives, but more could be added after release. The concept should function as an internal achievement system.

Gamers will also accumulate followers with their successes online. It's not a representation of followers in the most common social-media sense, but it does essentially mean the same thing.

The follower system in GRID 2 is a status symbol that is designed to reflect how good you are at the game. 

Pre-Orders and DLC

Information per GRID 2 Official Facebook page

UK Pre-Order Offers

The GRID 2: Brands Hatch Edition will be available for pre-order in the United Kingdom for customers who pre-order from GAME online. This edition includes two additional packs of content. Here are the details:

McLaren Racing PackReceive the exclusive McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Special Edition car to race in single-player, multiplayer and a special online event; plus expand the game with two new routes around the Brands Hatch GP circuit.

Head Start Pack—Receive the exclusive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT car to race in single-player, multiplayer and enjoy discounts in the Car Upgrades Store in online game modes and a unique RaceNet bonus.

North American Pre-Order Offers

Gamers who pre-order the game in North America have even more options.

Gamestop is offering the McLaren pack and the GTR Racing pack. Here are the details on the latter:

GTR Racing Pack—Receive the exclusive Nissan GT-R SpecV road car to race in single-player, multiplayer and an exclusive online event; plus experience all five routes around the Yas Marina circuit by day.

Here are the details on Best Buy's offer:

IndyCar Pack—Receive the exclusive Dallara IndyCar and the IndyCar Pace car to race in single-player, multiplayer and an exclusive online event; plus expand the game with two new routes around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval Circuit.

and Amazon's:

Head Start Pack—Receive the exclusive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT car to race in single-player, multiplayer and enjoy discounts in the Car Upgrades Store in online game modes and a unique RaceNet bonus.

DLC Packs

Per Ben Walke of Codemasters, new DLC will be released every month through October. Details on the content hasn't been revealed beyond July, but here are the names of the first three DLCpacks planned:

  • Super Modified Car Pack – June
  • Drift Car Pack – July
  • Peak Performance Car Pack – July

Looking Ahead to Release

I will be putting together a full review for GRID 2 here as well as a video review on my YouTube channel. I'm looking forward to putting in some time with the game. A sequel to GRID has been a long time coming.

Follow me and Franchiseplay, my sports video game alter ego.


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