Last week, Team VVV were invited to Codemasters HQ to give the latest build of Grid 2 a spin around the three newly-announced tracks. As always, Alan was on-hand to film his findings and divulge his impressions.
Here's a handy round-up of our Grid 2 hands-on preview coverage for your viewing pleasure where we test a variety of cars on each new track and talk to the developers to find out more about the much-anticipated sequel.
Part 1 contains an interview with producer Toby Evan-Jones, who discusses the thinking behind the newly-unveiled World Series of Racing along with the development of Grid 2's assist-less TrueFeel handling and the steps that are being made to counter cheating in online multiplayer.
Our second video is the first of several no-comment laps around the newly-announced circuits to assess the development of Grid 2 since our first look during the Eurogamer Expo last year. Here, Alan has his first drive in a BC Mono around the fabulous Red Bull Ring. Note that these videos were filmed off-screen and therefore don't represent the quality of the final game.
Our third video sees Alan tackle the night time streets of Barcelona, a sumptuously-lit setting that effectively showcases Grid 2's graphical prowess. This was apparently taken from an early stage of the game during the WSR, which explains the sparsely-populated streets.
Part 4 includes a visit to Chicago as Alan battles for position in an early elimination race. In truth, we last saw this track at the Eurogamer Expo, and, apart from the new night time setting, little has really changed.
Our final part wraps things up swimmingly with a session on the swanky D-box seat setup, with added competition from fellow journos and a running commentary from motoring journalist and GP2 commentator Will Buxton. No pressure, Alan.
From Alan's hands-on, there seems to be surprisingly little evolution in Grid 2's handling since our last session at the Eurogamer Expo back in September. We're all for accessibility, but right now Grid 2 seems a tad too easy with little skill required to master the physics, and removing the ability to tweak the assists could prove to be detrimental to those craving for more challenge. Whether or not Codemasters' TrueHandling system can provide sufficient depth therefore remains to be seen.
Still, much like the original, Grid 2 is undeniably fun to play, and its sheer variety of racing disciplines and innovative features such as LiveRoutes should make it stand out from the current crop of racing games as we gear up for the next generation consoles.
And to those who still persistently moan about the lack of cockpit camera: get over it. It's not coming back.
Its the Official HQ of Marussia Fan Club too - should pop in there to watch a GP one day.
Yes a Team VVV investigation must happen!
The change in technical regulations was always going to be a challenge, even more so for the teams that are not directly working with other automotive brands or sales, both in developing technology, sharing resources or in generating additional income from that research. It's a changing face of motorsport and a shame that teams now seem more reliant on pay drivers than ever before. Let's hope...
We must help the Marussia sponsors by checking out Lets Race in Horley some time soon...!
Happy Chilton! Daddy paid up!