GRID 2 preview – “players are going to feel as immersed as a real driver”

It’s been four years since GRID showed us how immersive, energised and beautiful a PS3 racer could be, and though the following years offered the occasional glimmer of motorsport magnificence, fans of the genre have hardly been so snowed under by quality titles that they’ve forgotten all about Codemasters’ masterpiece.

GRID 2 Developer Interview

There’s not a gamer out there with an incling for nailing apexes who wouldn’t relish the prospect of GRID 2, but after such a strong debut what can the sequel really do to blow us away? Executive producer Clive Moody has the answers: “every aspect of it has been built around pulling the player into an experience- into the world of being a racing driver, and that encompasses every aspect, and there’s a lot of excitement which we can draw just from race day.”

Codemasters’ commitment to immersion goes beyond the original GRID’s scope, says Moody: “it’s the build-up to the race days: people arriving at the event, the spectators, the anticipation, that tension, pulling up to the start line when you’re going to kick off, waiting for the lights to go green, that bolt down to that first corner.”

But as associate producer Iain Smith rightly says, “Grid 1 was BAFTA award-winning.” It’s a formidable benchmark to set yourself, but both producers agree it’s a strong foundation that can only be improved upon: “We got some of that into the first game, but we’re absolutely going to nail it with this title and I think it’s going to be a racing experience like no other out there… it means that that experience in itself is going to be crystal clear and players are going to feel every bit as immersed as a real driver.”

The other piece of the puzzle that might help GRID 2 attain even loftier heights is technology. The EGO engine’s well-seasoned now having powered not just GRID but several DiRTS, F1 titles and even an Operation Flashpoint.

The team certainly know their way around the engine, and that’s going to have a positive impact on GRID 2, says Moody: “our technology has matured over the last four years since that first iteration came out… and it’s only now that we’ve got to that point where our ambitions can be completely met by the knowledge and the technology we’ve built over the last four years.”

Four years. An enormous development cycle in modern terms. Today’s climate considers annual reiterations commonplace, so all that extra breathing room has put GRID 2 in an extremely advantageous position. “I think that’s one of the cool things about Codemasters – they really understand what we do within the development studio, so there was absolutely no pressure on us to rush the game,” explains Moody.