Grid 2 brings to the racing genre more Grid, but not necessarily better Grid. With the improvements also came the disappointments.
Grid 2 has more event types than Grid like extreme overtake, live routes and point-to-point races that are not Touge races.
There are more tracks than Grid. They include real race tracks as well as fictional ones. Some are just different configurations of a track, going in reverse or have a day/night option. It still adds a good variety. Notably missing though is the Circuit de la Sarthe track and the 12 minutes of Le Mans event.
Graphics have improved since Grid. Among the general improvements to cars and tracks, debris can be seen flying around now.
Flashback is back. It sure keeps the fun rolling for longer to be able to just rewind the few seconds to prevent a bad crash.
There is split-screen play! Pro point just for having the option even though I have not tried it out. The game prevents two people from using the same keyboard, so at minimum another controller is needed.
Driving with a keyboard is worse in Grid 2 than in Grid. Driving assists have also been removed from Grid 2. It made me wish I didn’t complain about the driving assists in Grid, because now I wish it was there. It did not help much, but it was still better than nothing. As bad as Grid 2’s keyboard driving is, winning races is still possible on the easiest difficulty.
There is no in-car view! Very disappointing considering that it was in Grid.
The single-race mode in Grid 2 only allows you to use cars that you have unlocked in career mode. With Grid, you could select cars that you don’t own in career mode. It sure reduces the fun when you just want to quickly try out some cars.
The replays look worse than Grid. Sure the graphics have improved, and the annoying shaky camera has been removed, but there are more things that ruin the replay viewing. First, the number of drive by camera views have been reduced. I love drive-by/fly-by cameras. Crashes just don’t look as good without drive by cameras. Second, most of the camera angles are close to the ground. You hardly get to see the top of the car. Thirdly, there are some annoying shots of scenery without a car in sight that interrupts the race viewing. Here is a replay comparison video.
Just like its predecessor, Grid 2 strikes a good balance between realism and fun. The cars handle fairly realistically and damage will reduce performance, but at the same time there is no tire wear, fuel management or pit stops.
The music is not spectacular, but it has definitely improved since Grid. It is not annoying any more.
There is no damage indicator. The car’s performance will degrade, so that is the only damage indicator.
In Grid 2’s career mode, you must complete objectives to open up more events. You do not always have to come first. This also means you cannot grind to open up events and get more cars like in Grid. There is no money or car purchasing. When new events that require a certain car type appear, you are given the option to choose one car. The other can be won by completing challenges.
The opponent AI drivers are almost infallible. I hardly see them lose control, let alone crash. Other than this point, they seem to behave much the same as in Grid.
Some events are governed by stricter rules than in the first Grid. There are now penalties for cutting corners in circuit races and drift points are removed if you spin-out, even if you did not hit anything.
The online part of the game has a separate career mode. You must win money from racing other people or completing challenges, then use the money to buy more cars. Hardly anyone plays Grid 2 online, so unless you really like the challenges, the online part is pretty pointless.
Grid 2 and its DLCs are no longer available on Steam. At the time of writing, the following stores are still selling Grid 2. Buying means paying a premium for a very old game without any DLCs though. I also don’t know how reliable they are when officially the game is not for sale anymore.
I got Grid 2 for free along with the Bathurst Track Pack and Spa-Francorchamps Track Pack DLCs. Thank you Humble Bundle.
Despite the difficult keyboard handling, I love playing the first Grid.
I have not completed the single-player career mode for Grid 2.