What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Grid 2 is a realistic racing game featuring authentic cars and manufacturers. Vehicles frequently get into accidents and suffer serious damages, but drivers are never depicted being hurt. All races take place on closed courses, meaning there's no risk of striking bystanders or crashing into civilian traffic. However, by glossing over the dangers of high-speed racing, younger players -- especially those just learning or about to learn how to drive -- may come away without an appreciation for the tragic consequences that can come with driving recklessly.
What's it about?
It's taken half a decade but Codemasters' critically acclaimed 2008 racer finally has a sequel in GRID 2. Players embark on a series of events that eventually spans the globe, with closed circuit track locations ranging from cities throughout the United Stated to the United Arab Emirates. The goal: race well to earn fans, increasing your popularity and by extension public awareness of the World Series Racing championships. You'll slowly unlock access to different types of cars as you race through a variety of events, including time-trials, head-to-head face-offs, checkpoint runs, and overtaking contests. There's a wealth of online and local split-screen race modes as well, plus full integration with Racenet, an online statistics system that tracks players' performance across multiple Codemasters racing games.
Is it any good?
If you're looking for a revolutionary racing experience you won't find it here. But you will find a competent one. Grid 2 offers a nice balance between arcade and simulation racing physics. Cars are weighty and stick to the track probably a little more than they should, but this lets one attack corners with satisfying aggression. Add in a broad range of race types and a career mode that puts an emphasis on rapid forward progression and it's easy to get sucked in for the opening races.
However, play a little longer and you may find yourself starting to pine for more innovation. Vehicles look great but are no prettier than those of other recent racers. The ability to rewind time and escape crashes returns, but without any significant tweaks to enhance it. And while the career mode is well planned, it holds few surprises. It's racing by the numbers. That doesn't mean it's not fun. It's just not particularly daring.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about online safety. What precautions do you take when playing games with strangers over the Internet? How can you tell if they mean you harm? Have you considered playing online with voice communication disabled?
Families can also discuss responsible driving. Parents who have teens learning to drive may want to consider studies that suggest playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life, and share this information with their children.