VideoWatch us play Grid 2 from 5pm BST

Lattice show you how it's done.

Grid 2 review

Off the grid.

VideoGRID 2 California Coast Head-To-Head Gameplay Footage

Winding through the gorgeous California Coast sections.

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UK chart: Fuse fizzles into 37th place

GRID 2 takes top spot, despite lower sales than the original.

Insomniac's new multiplatform shooter Fuse has failed to ignite the charts during its opening week - it arrived in a disappointing 37th place.

VideoWatch us play Grid 2 from 5pm BST

Lattice show you how it's done.

It's been five long years since the last Grid, Codemasters' bold and often brash reboot of its Race Driver series. So much has happened since then - including three separate Dirt games - that it's nice to have it back. Grid 2 may not have quite the impact of its predecessor - I liked it but didn't quite fall in love with it - but it's a solid, smart racer nevertheless.

Grid 2 review

Grid 2 review

Off the grid.

There's something excessively, charmingly melodramatic about American motorsports. When much-loved Brazilian Tony Kanaan took Sunday's Indy 500, it wasn't enough that he'd broken a 12-year duck in a race that saw 68 lead changes, nor that it was the fastest run in the event's 97-year history. Part of broadcaster ESPN's grand narrative revealed that, nine years earlier, Kanaan had given his good luck charm to an Indianapolis girl preparing for a life-and-death operation. On the eve of this year's race, he received a package that contained the charm and a simple note: "Here's your good luck charm back. You take it and win the Indianapolis 500."

When Kanaan, still soaked in the celebratory pint of milk as he stood in his cockpit, lifted the charm from the pocket of his overalls, it was an undoubtedly touching moment, and one that spoke of the pageantry and emotion that define US sport. Codemasters has been leaning on that attitude more and more heavily in its racing games - and with Grid 2, the UK studio's American accent has become so pronounced that it's screaming in your ear.

This is a racing game that's all about drama. It's there in the moody mist hanging over the Californian hills that house point-to-point races. It's there in the stirring soundtrack that kicks in during the last lap of a sprint around the streets of Chicago. It's there in the overstated rumble and roar of its garage, and it's absolutely explicit in the new partnership with ESPN, with its narrative that threads through all of Grid 2's disparate parts. The problem is, Codemasters' quest for the spectacular has left Grid losing more than it gains.

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Grid 2 Special Edition costs 125,000

But it does include a BAC Mono.

Codemasters has announced that it's releasing a special edition of its forthcoming racer, and that it's going to set you back some 125,000. A little on the pricey side, sure - but the package does include a BAC Mono for you to drive away.

Grid 2 preview: Storytelling returns to the racing genre

Any Formula One fan will tell you that not all of the entertainment the sport offers comes from the on-track action. The soap opera that plays out in the paddock provides vital context for these Sunday drives, offering pantomime heroes to root for and villains to despise. Of course Codemasters knows better than anyone that no matter how authentic you strive to be, you'll never get an officially licensed Formula One game that simulates pit lane slap-fights or Kimi Raikkonen passing out in a strip club.

Fortunately, the studio has other titles where it can reintroduce the human element into the genre. Grid 2's already demonstrated it can take care of the drama that occurs out on the asphalt, but it came as a bit of a surprise that Codemasters is tentatively poking the bleached bones of 'narrative in racing games' once again. After all, Grid's roots are in TOCA Race Driver, whose telenovela-grade storyline has the dubious honour of introducing the trope of the inexplicably evil, well-spoken Englishman to the driving genre. Spoiler alert: Of course he killed your father.

Nevertheless, after a hiatus in Race Driver: Grid, story is back in a big way in Grid 2. The difference is it's an altogether more mature and intriguing prospect. In a plot that perhaps inadvertently mirrors the sport's current crisis of relevance, you'll follow a dual story arc over the course of several seasons. Via the medium of race results, you're responsible for the fortunes not just of the player driver but also of a fledgling international racing series that attempts to unify all disciplines of motorsport into a single telly-friendly format.

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Grid 2 fires up for May 31st UK release date

Grid 2 fires up for May 31st UK release date

Get the Brands Hatch Edition by pre-ordering at GAME.

Racing sequel Grid 2 will thunder onto PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the UK on 31st May, publisher Codemasters has announced.

The game will have two special editions. The first is available to all who pre-order the game, and comes with as yet unspecified free DLC.

Then there's the GAME-exclusive Grid 2: Brands Hatch Edition, available for those who pre-order there (at GAME, not Brands Hatch).

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Codemasters confirms job losses, but doesn't expect Grid 2 and F1 series will be affected

UK publisher and developer Codemasters is currently in consultation with a number of staff who were told yesterday they were at risk of losing their jobs.

Codemasters confirmed to Eurogamer this morning that the proposed layoffs are not company wide, but internet reports suggest 80 people will be made redundant. A restructure of the business, with particular regard to publishing and digital, is ongoing.

A spokesperson for the company told us "it is not anticipated" that development of core PC and console games, such as Grid 2 and the annual F1 series, will be affected.

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GRID 2 gameplay footage shows off Eurogamer Expo hands-on content

EGXGRID 2 gameplay footage shows off Eurogamer Expo hands-on content

Chicago and California Coast sections of the game in action.

We've spent the last few months telling you about all the games you can expect to play at the Eurogamer Expo, which starts TOMORROW and runs until Sunday, but we haven't always been able to tell you exactly what bits of those games you'll be playing. That's because this sort of stuff gets locked down quite late in the day.

With that said, Codemasters Racing was keen for you to know about which bits of GRID 2 you'll be sampling over the next four days - so keen, in fact, that it's put together a couple of videos showing off the two sections of the game that are available for people to play, for the first time in the world, at the show.

The first is a Street Racing stage set in Chicago, where muscle cars including the Camaro SS (nobody tell Bertie), Z06 Corvette and Boss Mustang prance through the windy city's streets and tunnels. Have a look for yourself:

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EGXChallenge FIFA 13 developers on Virgin Media stand at Eurogamer Expo

Plus: Feature as a driver in GRID 2 and try Mists of Pandaria.

With around a fortnight to go until this year's Eurogamer Expo, our headline sponsor Virgin Media has announced what it's going to be doing on the show floor, and it's not just a bunch of variations on the Usain lightning Bolt gesture. (Although...)

Grid 2 Preview: No Assists Please, We're British

FeatureGrid 2 Preview: No Assists Please, We're British

Codemasters takes a couple of interesting risks with the return of its tarmac racer.

Grid 2 will be publicly playable for the first time anywhere in the world at this year's Eurogamer Expo, taking place at Earls Court, London, from 27th-30th September. Codemasters will also be presenting a developer session on the Saturday at 3pm called Grid 2: Total Race Day Immersion. Come!

Driving games usually sell themselves either on the dream or the reality - and in the eyes of many racing fans, never the twain shall meet. You're either in the blue corner with Need for Speed, tyres howling and sparks flying as you bend the laws of physics to your will in the service of thrillingly implausible drifts; or you're in the red corner with Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, resting the wish-fulfilling promise of virtual car ownership on the granite pedestal of simulation authenticity.

But there is a happy middle ground between simulation and arcade racing - the one occupied for years by the graceful power slides of the sadly departed Project Gotham Racing. Codemasters made a stab for it with 2008's Race Driver: Grid, a lively, grippy and credible motorsport fantasy that won as many fans with its dramatic intensity and trailblazing features (including the first appearance of a rewind button in a racer) as it alienated with its departure from the real-world circuit racing of its TOCA lineage.

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Grid 2 announced with debut trailer and screenshots

EGXGrid 2 announced with debut trailer and screenshots

Get world's first hands-on at Eurogamer Expo 2012.

Codemasters has announced Grid 2, for release on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2013 - and it will be playable first at Eurogamer Expo 2012.

In the debut trailer we get a glimpse of Chicago and Paris, the first of the game's new locations.

Grid 2 has been in development for two years, and is built using the latest version of Codemasters Racing's Ego engine.

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