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F1 2016 photo
F1 2016

F1 2016 is going to have some 'new and exciting features'

Goodness knows what they will be
Nov 11
// Laura Kate Dale
Good news for you F1 video game fans, F1 2016 is apparently going to have some "new and exciting features" for you. What are they? We have no idea. According to a blog post on the Codemasters' website, we were told that these...
Dizzy photo

After 23 years, a new and official Dizzy game has been released for free

Made in the 90s, but never quite hatched
Oct 26
// Joe Parlock
Way, way back in the dark, unknown past of the 1980s, Codemasters published the Oliver Twins’ hit series Dizzy for platforms like the Sinclaire ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, and Amstrad CPC. Starring a sentient egg who ha...
Overlord photo

Overlord puts on a clinic in being evil

Despicable You
Oct 12
// Brett Makedonski
The Overlord series again makes a trip to Hell in little more than a week. Kind of sudden, eh? Extended stays in the Underworld aren't things that get rigorously planned out and marked on calendars for months to come. O...
New Overlord photo
New Overlord

Overlord: Fellowship of Evil still looks fairly meh

The trailer is kind of amusing though
Aug 10
// Chris Carter
This new Overlord: Fellowship of Evil trailer highlights some of the co-operative elements of the game, as well as the trolly "kill each other" mechanics similar to Magicka. Yes, it's still a Gauntlet-like romp, and any...

Overlord spinoff photo
Overlord spinoff

Codemasters: 'You might be pleasantly surprised' by the new Overlord

It's going to be a hard sell
Jul 23
// Jordan Devore
I don't know where I was on April 23, but I missed the first footage of Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Until today, I was under the impression the new game was going to be Overlord III. Damn. Codemasters has a Q&A up on it...

Review: F1 2015

Jul 23 // Brett Makedonski
F1 2015 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Codemasters BirminghamPublisher: Bandai NamcoMSRP: $54.99 (PC), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One)Released: July 10, 2015 (Europe), July 21, 2015 (North America) Most of F1 2015's missing horsepower comes in the form of features. Only the barest of essentials are to be found, and even those feel further stripped-down. The mode that everyone will get the most mileage out of is a single season of play (either 2014 or 2015). Pick a driver from the pre-set list of real racers, practice, qualify, and race. Repeat 18 more times, and F1 2015's longest goal has been completed. There's no career mode, creation tools, or management simulator present, so season play has to carry a strong sense of progression. Unfortunately, that's almost completely absent apart from watching you and your teammate earn points after each race. There are no contracts to chase or sponsors to keep happy. Your crew assigns goals, but they are absolutely pointless. After they're achieved or failed, they're never spoken of again and they don't affect anything. There isn't even a calendar to keep track of how many races are left; I had to look it up on F1's official site. [embed]296540:59670:0[/embed] Compounding matters is the race length. The shortest possible race in season mode is 25 percent of a real race. This usually works out to about half an hour. If you add in practice and qualifying, it's upward of an hour. That's quite the time commitment to a game that doesn't adequately reward you for playing. It becomes a slog before long. Other modes offer little reprieve from the tedium. Time trial puts you on a track alone. Quick race is a better suit for seeing the different tracks than anything else. Multiplayer is plagued by a litany of bugs -- one of my first races there saw a player finish last by more than 30 seconds only for the game to award him first place by more than a minute, with a best lap time of 457 minutes. This lack of polish isn't isolated to the netcode. F1 2015 is an uninspired-looking game. Driver models are almost offensively bland. Several of the tracks are adorned by blocky, blurry backdrops. Crowds are completely static. The screen tears regularly, which thankfully isn't always easily noticed due to concentrating on racing. There are exceptions to this, though. Codemasters put in care in the most obvious spots -- where it knew players would look for it. Iconic courses in Monaco, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi are absolutely fantastic. The claustrophobic streets of Monaco almost feel like an entirely different game given the attention to detail on all the close-quarters buildings. And, like in real life, it's where F1 is at its most exciting. Strangely, for a title that's supposed to simulate the highest tier of performance racing, F1 2015's cars handle remarkably easily. There's a disconcerting disconnect to the road. The pavement offers little in the way of challenge, as simply steering in the correct direction at full throttle works flawlessly. Brake for those tight corners and then slam the gas back down. It's nowhere near as nuanced as one would expect, and it takes a lot of skill out of what should be the most skilled driving in the world. The saving grace for the driving mechanics -- and I say this without an iota of sarcasm or irony -- is the tire wear. Over the course of a race, the tires degrade to the point of being nearly useless. The turns you once took efficiently suddenly have you pointing in the wrong direction. It adds a sense of tension around the midway point and final laps. You'll know that you have to pit as you're losing time on each circuit, but when's the best time? Have your opponents pitted yet? Can you squeeze out one more lap? Similarly, rain adds a lot to the driving. While it's visually unimpressive, it certainly negates the problem of cars being too easy to steer. All of a sudden, these vehicles might as well be on ice. If it starts pouring, it's paramount to tell the crew to switch to a different style of tire and hit the pits as soon as possible. Otherwise, drivers who have already adjusted will overtake you in no time at all. One last mode in F1 2015 also takes care of the "too easy to drive" issue. Pro Season is the most simulation-like the game has to offer, and it's only for the most hardcore of players. It ramps the difficulty up to the highest degree, turns off all assists, locks the view to cockpit, and sets everything to full length. It's intense. Realistically, only a small percentage of people will care enough to attempt this, and those are the ones dedicated enough to the genre that they have much better offerings with way more options in several other games. But, it's not only those racing enthusiasts who will see F1 2015 as lacking. Everyone who tries it will. Its development was short-sighted, and its appeal is thusly short-lived. This is a game that excels in a very small handful of areas -- imagine how thrilling it is when your tires wear away in Monaco! -- but is mediocre or bad almost everywhere else. As centuries of racing have taught us, no one remembers the guy who finishes toward the back of the pack. That will be F1 2015's legacy: a forgotten one.  [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
F1 review photo
Caution's out
No matter the length of race chosen, F1 2015 mandates at least one pit stop per outing. When pulling into the pits, control of the car is seized from the player and the steering wheel displays the words "pit limiter." Th...

Dirt Rally photo
Dirt Rally

DiRT Rally gets a bunch of new tracks and cars

Woooo, car stuff
Jul 01
// Laura Kate Dale
If you're a fan of Codemasters' racing game DiRT Rally, then you'll probably be excited to learn a new handful of cars and tracks has been added to the game. Vroooooooooooom!!!!! So, what's been added to the game? Twelve new ...
Overlord photo

Codemasters confirms Overlord: Fellowship of Evil with a meh trailer

Hitting PC, PS4, and Xbox One this year
Apr 23
// Chris Carter
Codemasters has just announced a brand new chapter in the Overlord Saga after a six-year hiatus -- Fellowship of Evil. It's set to arrive on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One later this year for $19.99 as a digital download. Rh...
Overlord photo

Codemasters drops another Overlord III tease

Evil always finds a way
Apr 23
// Vikki Blake
Those sexy beasts at Codemasters have dangled another Overlord III teaser in our faces. It's less than three minutes long, but the new trailer -- entitled "Previously on Overlord" -- brings newbies up to speed with the happe...
F1 2015 photo
F1 2015

F1 2015 feels mostly the same as last year, with incremental improvements

How do you pronounce Cote d'Azur?
Apr 16
// Chris Carter
It's only been a six months since UK-based Codemasters released F1 2014, and the studio is in the process of prepping 2015 for launch in June. It's not hard to see where the inspiration for that rapid iterative model comes fr...
F1 photo

F1 2015 coming this June, but only on current gen

Yes, this is a good thing
Mar 26
// Robert Summa
Fans of F1 and actual racing can breathe a sigh of relief regarding two facts about the upcoming F1 2015. One, it will be out this June. And two, it's only going to be on current gen consoles and PC -- that's right, no dumbin...
Overlord III photo
Overlord III

Codemasters teases Overlord III

UK Studio teases sequel
Mar 20
// Laura Kate Dale
Written by Tomb Raider's Rhianna Pratchett, Overlord and Overlord II were a pair of last-generation action adventure games in which you played a huge hulking armor-clad warrior in control of an army of small minions. If ...
Colin McRae Rally photo
Colin McRae Rally

Codemasters offering refunds for Colin McRae Rally on Steam

Some customers felt misled
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
Colin McRae Rally popped up on Steam last week and if you had only glanced at the trailer or about-the-game blurb, you might've thought it was an HD re-release of the PlayStation and PC title Colin McRae Rally 2.0. It's not. ...

Preview: Grid Autosport's San Francisco needs steeper hills

Apr 22 // Steven Hansen
Grid Autosport (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)Developers: CodemastersPublisher: Bandai NamcoRelease: June 24, 2014 I don't know a lot about the finer points of racing games. That's Dale's wheelhouse. Har har. But I do know San Francisco, so I had to put the San Francisco street course through its paces. What you have is an admirable representation of downtown -- specifically, the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge -- that bleeds into a more forced, inaccurate version of Chinatown with race-appropriate wide streets. And San Francisco's endless hills are represented, but they are not as steep as they should be. The result is what Grid Autosport is going for in being "not an arcade racer," but not a "clinical" sim racer, either. The landmark-pocked pastiche of San Francisco is a fun course to race on in a racing game. It's homage without being slavishly realistic. [embed]273531:53534:0[/embed] Grid Autosport's menu is minimal, mostly black and white. There are five race styles to partake in. Touring Cars is a battle with aggressive AI on typical racetrack. Street Racing plops you down in places like San Francisco and Washington D.C. Endurance Competitions are long (around 10 minutes) night races where you have to weigh things like tire wear into your play style decisions. Tuner has drifting and time attacks. Open-wheel puts you behind powerful, delicate machines that will see you fishtail if you take corners badly. In career mode, you choose a discipline to race in, which can be changed at the end of each season. You join a team and worry about hitting objectives while your team AI handles things like car upgrades and your racing partner (though you can set their AI in-race). The idea is to race well and get picked up by better teams. If you decide to try (and do well in) all the disciplines, you'll be invited to a lengthy competition that includes them all together. This is a pared down departure from Grid 2, but "without ripping the fun out of the experience." There are difficulty settings (if you are capable of playing at higher difficulty, you get more rewards and can advance through the career faster) and the Flashback rewind button for taking a mulligan on mistakes. If only that was a thing in real life. I had to use it a lot when I played. I kept taking corners just too fast or accidentally barreling into other cars while trying out Touring. I don't think I placed in the top five once. But it didn't feel insurmountable, and I think I would, as someone not well-versed, still enjoy playing and feeling out the finer points of handling and other race strategies. All the jostling was a pain when I was getting knocked about, but when I got a good handle at jostling back, it felt darn good. I'll definitely need more practice at finding the right speeds to take different corners in open-wheel racing. I was fishtailing like crazy. Autosport, which came about from a lot of dedicated fan feedback and collaboration with professional racers, is also doing a lot of community-focused things with Codemasters' RaceNet site. Social clubs are clan equivalents and clubs gain experience from member performance, ranking up collectively, along with custom livery and their own pages to check out the club's collective stats. In online play, your cars earn experience used to unlock tuning options, but they also accumulate wear and tear. The cars you've been racing well with are better, but maintaining a newer car not put through its paces costs less. To go with the 12 player online play, there's also 2 player local splitscreen. Now I'm going to go drive my real car like a real man to a real grocery store to buy some real cookies. 
Autosport preview photo
Be a good autosport and fetch daddy's carburetor so he can make his joke
Hot on the heels of last year's GRID 2, Codemasters is coming back with GRID Autosport, a "celebration of pure, unadulterated motorsport." This is going to be less of an arcade racer than GRID 2 ended up being, but without d...

Deals photo

Humble Weekly Sale bundles Overlord and DiRT

Jan 30
// Jordan Devore
Codemasters is the latest publisher to participate in a Humble Weekly Sale and it's another one worth recommending if for no other reason than Overlord (and DiRT!). Name your price for the first Overlord and its Raising Hell ...
DiRT 3 photo
DiRT 3

Games for Windows Live is gone from DiRT 3

Codemasters' racing title will switch to Steamworks
Nov 11
// Alasdair Duncan
As we bid farewell to the Games For Windows Live service, like we would an unwelcome and bossy relative that you feel compelled to put up with, Codemasters has taken the step of removing the GFWL client from its racing title ...
Reviews photo

The best and worst games of the week

Review Round-up: Week ending 11/9
Nov 09
// Wesley Ruscher
November is here and the holidays are just around the corner. And while most of this year's major blockbusters have already hit, as we gear up for the inevitable onslaught of the next generation, there are still some surprise...

Review: F1 2013

Nov 03 // Dale North
F1 2013 (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PS3, PC)Developer: CodemastersPublisher: CodemastersRelease Date: October 8, 2013MSRP: $59.99 If anything, F1 2012 taught me that squeezing full-down on the right trigger was not the best way to have a good time in a Formula 1 game, so I was fully prepared for that as well as whatever F1 2013 had to throw my way. I'd like to think of Codemasters as teachers that are working to broaden my racing game horizons beyond just street and rally racing.  F1 2013's Young Drivers' Test is somewhat successful at teaching new (or not-great) drivers the F1 ropes. While it runs through everything you'd need to know, from basics like braking and cornering to more advanced bits like energy return systems, it's not exactly exciting stuff all the time. It does do a good job of hitting home one underlying theme: go fast and don't mess up. Learning the ropes for a racing simulation can take a lot out of you if you're not the patient type. [embed]264208:51147:0[/embed] After learning the basics, Career Mode has you working your way up the ranks. This is the meat of the game, and it's where you'll spend most of your time. While your time on the track is rarely dull, the presentation and menu-based navigation for this and other modes are a bit of a drag as they're dry and lacking in excitement. If it wasn't for the first-person pre-race pit scenes, the dull presentation would have had me feeling completely disconnected to my racing career. This lack of personality isn't a huge concern, though, as you'll be too busy racing to get hung up on it. Again, patience is the name of the game. Events have you watching everything from tire wear to fuel levels while trying to keep your racing lines clean. I found myself so wrapped up in trying not to screw up that I noticed I was holding my breath and sweating. That patience and concentration pays off in a big way for a win, but I think it also makes mistakes more frustrating. I found myself more comfortable in the Grand Prix mode, where jumping into a race is easy, and endurance is less of a requirement. This mode is more about minding your opponents than it is your car. If you don't have the patience for trials, or the stamina for long races, you'll get the most out of this mode. This kind of player might also dig Scenario mode. In what is the closest you'll get to a mission mode in a racing game, Scenarios take bits from other races and asks you to run through them. These are fun little nuggets of racing that you can take on at your own pace. New for this outing, F1 Classics lets you hop into the cockpit of some famous cars from racing past to hit some famous tracks. Fans of F1 racing will get more out of the mode than I did, though I will say that it was fun to go a few rounds in some of the monsters this mode provides. Finally, on the online side, F1 2013 offers two-player splitscreen and 16-player online multiplayer modes.  I don't know that the Xbox 360 controller's analog sticks do F1 full justice. Codemasters' handling has your cars staying fully obedient under careful play; they go where you want them to go as long as you mind that balance between power and control. But, lose your concentration for even a split second, and you're spinning, or are off in the gravel. The dead zone for the Xbox 360 controller saw the bulk of my blame when I ended up off the track. A racing wheel would be ideal for F1 2013. To be fair, the thrill of F1 racing is closely tied to moving incredibly fast, and it's a given that, at these speeds, you can easily loose control. It's just that I never felt fully in control with F1 2013. There's room for error -- if you need it -- in the handling control settings. On full assist, you don't have to do anything but steer, keeping the gas pedal down fully, as everything else is handled for you. If you're having a hard time getting the feel down, these assists are a life saver. But well-versed racers may be surprised at how the assists fight them for control of the car, which is why I recommend shutting them off.  Where there isn't room for error is around other cars in a race, which is sad as this is where you'll spend most of your time. There are times that F1 2013 felt just like state-fair bumper cars when up against CPU opponents. Getting stuck with penalties for something I felt like I didn't do was frustrating. There were times where I'd end up on the side of the track from one of these situations, and more than once I felt like I should take a walk to calm down before I broke a controller. On a more positive note, F1 2013 looks and sounds great. While we'll give the tracks a polite nod for their clean and glossy, there real attraction is the crazy level of detail in the car models. They're all shiny, sharp, and fantastic looking. F1 2013's weather effects are also very impressive. My first race in the rain was a memorable one with its splashing, sliding, and super realistic windshield raindrops. The rain looked great in the Xbox 360 version, but it was stunning on a PC with graphics settings on high. I've never had the pleasure of taking an F1 car for a spin, but it seems that the sound design for F1 2013 has at least brought my ears really close to the actual experience. These vehicles make all manner of noises when you push them, from mumbles to screams. It's thrilling to hear the different ways these cars sing out in the heat of the race. Somehow, even with some of the criticisms I had, I enjoyed F1 2013. For me, it was less about the technical side, like managing tire wear, or learning the kinectic energy return system, and more about just going really fast. That said, there were times that I was somehow able to hone in and sort of fall into the zone, which made it feel like I was going even faster. F1 2013 is rewarding in a way that an arcade racer could never be.  While I'd have a hard time recommending this game to casual fans of racing, those that like steep, technical challenges will be thrilled, as will fans of the sport. I want to be clear, though. You will have to have a lot of patience and time on your hands to make F1 2013 a rewarding experience. It's tough.
F1 2013 review photo
Furiously fast
Look, you're never going to get to drive a Formula 1 car, so you should be grateful that these simulations exist. And if you (virtually) drive like I do, you should be glad that you'll never drive a F1 car -- we'd all be dead...

Review: Grid 2

Jul 02 // Casey B
GRID 2 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Codemasters SouthamPublisher: CodemastersReleased:  May 28, 2013 (NA) / May 31, 2013 (EU) / July 25, 2013 (JP)MSRP: $59.99 On the surface, Grid 2 is still a beautiful race for the finish line with hot cars and plenty of thrilling matches against aggressive AI opponents that will give as good as they take. Unfortunately, beyond these surface details, the actual game suffers deeply from sequel-itis. Ignoring the glaring issue of a complete lack of cockpit view for the time being, there are many other smaller problems with Grid 2 that surmount to something that falls way short of what the first game even aspired to be. The first thing one has to understand about this game is that it follows more closely in the footsteps of Dirt 3 -- or even the series spin-off Dirt Showdown -- with all pomp and circumstance, and then notches up the douchiness just a bit more to really get on any gamer's nerves. Instead of having the game narrated by managers who give constructive criticism and generally have a positive vibe, you're left with a middle manager of your promoter, the mysterious Patrick Callahan, who might as well be the Illusive Man for all of his underling's dickishness. Your narrator relishes in taking credit for your wins, talks creepily about how he can't wait to get into your new car, and admonishes you for a 'mistake' even when it has actually helped you out in your race. The biggest issue with this new narrator is that he is implemented sloppily -- he's inconsistent and unhelpful throughout. In one race, he told me more than three times that my front wheel was damaged and thus I would have performance issues, even as I crossed the finish line in first. In the next race as I drove my vehicle like a bumper car against guard rails, he was mysteriously silent until he spouted a generic line about getting ahead of the pack early. In fact, the narrator will even spout lines more suitable to a completely different event, such as telling you to get ahead of the pack when you're the only one in a time trial race. Between this shitty, inconsistent narrator and lazy interface issues that show all of your opponent drivers saying the exact same thing about the next race, the game reeks of a certain kind of laziness that its predecessor would not dream of attempting. [embed]256980:49413:0[/embed] Another example of how Grid 2 seems to want to destroy your enjoyment of it comes from the fans in each race except for the World Series Race events. I can't count the number of times I took a sharp turn and noticed that the cardboard cutout fans all seemed to be incredibly bored with anything around them, at times not even facing the track and on their cell phones. I guess this was supposed to be a nod towards realism, but it's the wrong kind of realism as it destroys the whole idea of playing games for escapism where you're supposed to be the rising star, not some asshole on a race track that's being promoted by an even bigger asshole. The noises from the fans themselves are outright bizarre, and I could swear that around just about every other curve was the drunk chick from Family Guy, yelling out a very inebriated "WOOOooOoooo!" I'm not really sure why the fans are as terrible as they are besides a certain kind of cynicism, as the game doesn't rely on winning actual currency but instead garnering social currency, and even at beyond four million fans it seemed like many of my races still had a lot of bored, terrible people. Before the game was released, the new "Liveroutes" system was touted as something fresh and original, an idea that had never been introduced in racing games before. The thought behind this new system of randomized turns in the tracks of certain races was that it would truly test your reflexes and skills as a racer. While I actually did enjoy the Liveroutes racing during my time with Grid 2, I found it to be the easiest event to complete throughout. Even up until the late game I was able to get several seconds ahead of the second-place opponent long before the race ended. At first, I figured it was because I've gotten relatively skilled behind the virtual wheel -- but as I lost tragically to events in other disciplines, I started to get a feeling that the whole Liveroutes thing was still a bit undercooked. I'm not sure whether it was Codemasters' intention to make the AI during these races become dumber to appear to be more 'real' or whether they actually do struggle more with randomized tracks, but in any case, the biggest disappointment I had with the new system was that it didn't really challenge me in the same way other events did. And speaking of the other events, while the one big positive I can say about Grid 2 is that the races are generally still pretty solid and fun, the difficulty curve is all over the place, even within the same discipline. This was also present in the first game, but with so many choices then, the player had a lot of agency to practice or skip certain events altogether until he or she was skilled enough to move on. Here, the first three seasons of races move in a very linear fashion, forcing you to beat a race in a certain discipline before opening up the series. This becomes a barrier to entry for races that aren't even necessarily as challenging as the first race in the first discipline. When the game introduces Togue, that first race is a complete shift in difficulty from earlier races and I nearly threw my controller through the TV screen in frustration at the sudden change. Imagine my surprise when I finally mastered it and decided to try the next Togue event for shits and giggles, only to realize that it was a cake-walk compared to that first one, and not because of my own improved abilities. Further expounding this issue is the unfairness of the AI drivers. While I actually love aggressive driving and really dug the first Grid for the way it was implemented within the spectacle-filled races, I really hate what they've done with it in this game. The drivers now find the absolute cheapest moments to take you out, and their vehicles are ALWAYS heavier than yours, even when you're driving a muscle car and they're in a dinky formula one-type go-kart. I spent hours in several races attempting to repeat the exact same move that a driver pulled on me to destroy my race, only to see myself ping-ponging off the other car's tank-like exterior. I believe it was only once that I actually managed to take down another car, though I took myself down in the process. The car even flipped and as I watched him disappear helplessly in my rear-view mirror, through some black magic he got back on the track and caught up to me, only to take me out of the race completely just before the finish line. Of course, I have to also mention the lack of cockpit view and how it affects the game, because no matter what Codemasters might argue, it changes everything in a fundamental way. The lack of that view from behind the steering wheel really kills the realism of the first game. While hood view is a tolerable enough substitution, for some reason the developers decided to make just about every car hood incredibly shiny and reflective (despite whatever paint job the car has), so that EVERY LITTLE THING is reflected on the car hood. While it's a very pretty idea for a tech demo, in an actual race it is incredibly distracting and doesn't really add anything useful to the game. Added to this is a much floatier handling in just about every vehicle, whether they're balanced or drift vehicles. The game plays a lot more like a Need For Speed/Ridge Racer hybrid than its own roots, and though it makes for a more accessible game, it also disappoints with its further lack of simulation. When the dust settles, Grid 2 serves as a solid enough racing game with generally strong opponent AI. What it does not serve as is a worthy successor to the first game -- instead offering a stripped-down version of itself that is filled with lazy design, unfair AI opponents, special ESPN 'live' broadcasts that no one really asked for, and to top it all off, its bizarrely irritating narrator and loudly drunk or completely apathetic fans. If this is what racing in the modern age is, maybe it's time to hang up the helmet and find another hobby.
Grid 2 review photo
Less cockpit, more douchiness
Codemasters' original Race Driver: Grid was -- and still is -- a pinnacle of automobile racing games. Back when it was released in 2008, I spent literally hundreds of hours with the game trying to rack up cars, medals, sponso...

GRID 2 photo

Codemasters introducing LiveRoute system in GRID 2

Round and round they go, where they stop...
May 03
// Jason Cabral
Since the dawn of racing, man has asked himself but one simple question: "How can we mess with the drivers during the course of a race?" Codemasters has listened and pondered over this question for many restless nights, and ...
GRID 2 photo

Indianapolis Motor Speedway makes its way into GRID 2

Suspenseful commenting music still a thing
Apr 26
// Jason Cabral
Codemasters has dropped another multiplayer trailer for the upcoming GRID 2. This one focuses more on the cars and customization than the social network aspect. While Codemasters' RaceNet is still featured prominently in the...
GRID 2 photo

On the grid: GRID 2 multiplayer integrates RaceNet

Now with suspenseful music as you receive comments!
Apr 16
// Jason Cabral
Integrated statistic tracking and social networking features with videogames is no new concept, even in the racing genre, but the road warriors at Codematers look to be adding a lot more to their RaceNet with the upcoming re...
GRID 2 photo

GRID 2 lifts the hood on its multiplayer system

It's all based around a deep progression scheme
Apr 11
// Brett Makedonski
Like any proud owner, Codemasters is parking its car, popping the hood, and letting jealous bystanders take a peek at its baby. Today, the multiplayer modes are in the spotlight. GRID 2's multiplayer features will be entirely...
GRID 2 photo

Developer outlines plans for GRID 2 in new video

Learn more about Codemasters' latest driving game
Mar 15
// Chris Carter
Codemasters talks a bit about their creative vision for GRID 2 in this newest trailer for the game, set to launch this May. The developer is going for something called "TrueFeel" with their physics engine, which supposedly w...
Codemasters on PS4 photo
Codemasters on PS4

Codemasters dev talks PS4, racing games going social

New hardware leads to innovation
Feb 28
// Jordan Devore
Speaking to Edge, Codemasters senior executive producer Clive Moody has given his two cents regarding the PlayStation 4 and what the future holds for racing games. Despite the obvious improvements to visual fidelity that come...
GRID 2 photo

Here's some shiny gameplay footage of GRID 2

So shiny it hurts
Feb 15
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Not including downloadable content, ports, and offbeat racers like Mario Kart, there's really no major racing games slated for this year from a major publisher or pre-existing brand other than GRID 2 here. That puts Codemast...

Preview: The four major gameplay tweaks in GRID 2

Feb 14 // Casey B
GRID 2 (PC [previewed], PlayStation 3,  Xbox 360)Developer: Codemasters Southam Publisher: CodemastersRelease: August 20, 2013 My hands-on preview involved three separate styles of races. These included an elimination-style street race in Barcelona, a BAC Mono car Red Bull Ring track race in Europe, and a checkpoint street race in Chicago. I spent a good deal of time with each race, as I was determined to come in first each time. It took quite a while to get back into the feel of the GRID series with its realistic physics modelling and aggressive A.I. opponents, but once I got back into the swing of things, I felt right at home. The races felt very familiar to those found in GRID in terms of high-speed tension and careful maneuvering around hairpin turns. In fact, the biggest and most exciting notable difference that I found throughout the races came in the opponents' artificial intelligence. If you thought the other drivers were aggressive in the first game, be ready for some very clever moves by other drivers. In both of the street races, I was knocked out a few times by a well-aimed nudge while taking on a turn. You can bet that I used every hairpin to my advantage for this exact same purpose. Beyond this, much of GRID 2 remains incredibly faithful to its predecessor. However, some important tweaks to the formula have been made, and whether these work for or against the game really may depend on your own preferences. The new Liveroutes system As Clive Moody puts it, "Liveroutes is a mechanism by which we can -- in real time -- dynamically and seamlessly change the route that you're driving. The corners change [so] as you're going around a circuit you come back to what may have been a left turn, now it goes straight on, or now goes right -- so you get a real unpredictability with the racing." The core principle behind Liveroutes is that it keeps the "unpredictability of open-world races" while still focusing on the close and aggressive nature of the GRID series. During my playtime, I didn't notice the Liveroutes system in action though I did notice that there were a lot of points in streetbound races (Chicago and Barcelona) where I could choose between two lanes that broke up the drivers. At the same time, this caused the tension to ramp up even more as the drivers that I faced off against now scraped my bumper into some pretty hairy turns. Sponsorships remain, Teammates are gone The structure of GRID 2 differs greatly from GRID primarily in its focus on a fictional character known as Patrick Callahan who is a self-made multimillionaire looking to kick off an exciting new Motorsports series. With help from the player and sponsorships, the idea is that you're the star being promoted by Callahan as you make your way (thanks in part to broadcasting by ESPN) to becoming world famous. Due to this structure, GRID 2 will not have the same focus on teammates. In fact, teammates have been taken out completely, so gaining money through a teammate's better driving skills is no longer an option. In my discussion with Moody about how sponsorships work, it became increasingly clear that GRID 2's structure seems to be aping the structure found in the DiRT series, most notably in DiRT 2 and 3. Much like in that franchise, as you gain prestige, you also gain access to better sponsors with higher payouts and better liveries to flaunt on your chosen vehicle. Personally, I don't mind this structural change too much. While I did enjoy the process of hiring and firing teammates based on their skills and how much money they made me when I failed to do well in a particular race, I trust in Codemasters to still retain a similar sponsorship model that doesn't focus primarily on winning. As Moody reassured me later, sponsorship challenges focus once again on a variety of goals, from taking no damage to overtaking a specific opponent within the race regardless of final standings. I also asked about whether 24 Hour Le Mans would be making an appearance, and Moody told me that it was something the team was still tossing around, dependent on fan reaction. Personally, I wouldn't miss its absence. As much as endurance races are great for hardcore racing fans, GRID is the most enjoyable when taking on different styles of racing with tough opponents. More Realistic Damage Modeling In a European Red Bull Ring race that featured small, lightweight, and barely street-legal vehicles known as BAC Mono cars (think Formula 1 meets go-kart), I took a few misjudged turns and really smashed up my vehicle. Moody took the opportunity to demonstrate how the damage modelling system in GRID 2 has really advanced since the first game. In the first GRID, a lot of emphasis in damage modeling was focused on body deformation. However, the developers came to the realization that not all vehicles are made of the same material and therefore they won't fall apart in the same way. In the carbon-fiber vehicle I was racing in, I witnessed large chunks and smaller pieces of the vehicle simply break away and fly off. I asked Moody if the damage modeling would be only cosmetic or if it would be internal as well, and he explained that unlike the first game, GRID 2's internal damaging would be entirely optional, though he suggested the best experience involved putting full damage modeling on. No Cockpit View One of the biggest draws of the first GRID that really appealed to hardcore racing fans was the excellent cockpit/driver's seat view that allowed you to see from directly behind the driver's eyes, rather than out on the hood of the car or as some floating viewpoint in front of the car. Though this view had been implemented in racing games before, GRID really brought it home with the way the driver reacted and certain camera tricks to make you really feel the impact of collision or an awkward turn. Sadly, GRID 2 is lacking this feature and it is certainly no accident. As Moody told me, "We knew we'd get fan backlash ...they need to just get their hands on the game and play it...the core principles of GRID 2 are still there, and we're sticking by it." In the preview of the three different race types (road, street, track) I was able to check out, I couldn't argue this fact. The racing is still aggressive with improved A.I. and the game still straddles that perfect line between all-out arcade racer and pinpoint precise simulation. I spent a good 20 minutes just racing before I even realized that I hadn't switched between views to get an idea of what was there. I have to admit that I will miss having that amazing driver's seat view and I find its absence a little curious. I just hope that the developers really have focused great effort into the thrill of the races themselves in lieu of designing a cockpit view for each and every car, and that this isn't just an excuse for focusing efforts on more onerous ideas, such as a future deluge of DLC that would've already been on the disc in GRID. From an overall impression, I'm optimistic about GRID 2 and can't wait to get back into some thrilling races all over the country, including my own favorite place to drive: the California coastline. The first GRID provided a racing dream for me, as I absolutely loved a game where being an aggressive driver is not just encouraged but essential as the A.I. reacts realistically and will take you out on a hairpin turn. From what I previewed in GRID 2, this same core element remains perfectly intact, with even smarter A.I. opponents.
GRID 2 preview photo
If it ain't broke...
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GRID 2 photo

GRID 2 gets a new gameplay teaser trailer

Drive cars real fast and stuff
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Some time ago, we got a nondescript trailer for GRID 2 that showed nothing more than cars doing car-like things. As of today however, a new trailer has surfaced, showing a bit of gameplay. When asked about the drifting aspec...
GRID returns in May photo
GRID returns in May

Decisions: GRID 2 has retailer-exclusive preorder bonuses

Release date set for May
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Codemasters has slapped a release date on GRID 2: May 28 in North America, and May 31 in Europe. This will once again be a multiplatform game, hitting up the usual PlayStation 3, PC, and Xbox 360 trio. Maybe we'll see a Wii U...

GRID 2 travels to Chicago and California in latest videos

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