Codemasters has revealed the first details about GRID 2's single-player campaign, detailing the story-based narrative players will experience as they progress through the career.
The single-player career follows the player as they progress through the World Series Racing, a fictional tournament established by 'multi-millionaire sports junkie' Patrick Callahan that combines a series of racing disciplines into a single competition to determine the world's greatest race driver.
Starting out in local car clubs before moving onto international events, players will compete in multiple disciplines, including street racing, track racing, open-wheel formula and more to prove themselves as the "ultimate racing superstar".
"This quest to find the ultimate racing superstar is our inspiration for GRID 2," said James Nicholls, chief games designer at Codemasters.
"Who's the greatest in the world? If there's lots of different disciplines within that sport, how do you settle that score?"
Nicholls compares Callahan and his intentions for the WSR to Dana White and the UFC.
"There's been examples of this kind of thing done in the sports world before. Examples that spring to mind might be Donovan Bailey versus Michael Johnson in the 150 metre race, or perhaps a more contemporary example would be UFC in the way that it's brought together all the mixed martial arts under one tele-visable format.
"We absolutely love this idea, so for GRID 2's narrative we've taken this concept and exploded it in every direction for the single-player narrative."
To progress through the career, players will need to earn Fame, GRID 2's take on XP, granting them access to new events, sponsors and cars. And as the player moves up the ranks and the WSR swells in popularity, events will become even more spectacular, with pyrotechnics and greater crowds populating later races.
"This [feeling of progression] doesn't just run alongside the racing experience, this is something you're going to see propagating into the races themselves, keeping that believability going," continues Nicholls. "What we love about this is we're driving the player forward, they're wanting to become this legend behind the wheel and push on to be a global racing superstar."
Codemasters has also teamed up with ESPN SportsCenter to provide live-action cut scenes hosted by ESPN anchor Kevin Connors and motorsports analyst Toby Moody between races, who will report on the player's progress and the growth of the WSR throughout the campaign.
"ESPN are crucial to provide that believability," says Nicholls. "We want players to feel like this is something that could really happen in the real world, so that they feel like they really are that person becoming that new superstar."
Five tracks across three continents have been revealed so far, including tracks set across the backdrop of a Californian coast, Chicago, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona and the Austrian Red Bull Ring.
"The core design philosophy that runs through GRID 2 is to consider the race as a character, not a consequence of simply putting cars on tracks," adds Clive Moody, executive producer. "Everything that goes into the game impacts that second-to-second, in the moment drama - the feel and personality of the race.
"This approach runs through everything, from AI, to the crowd, to creating the right conditions for 'wow' moments in game and the handling of the cars themselves."
GRID 2 launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on May 31.
Source: GRID 2 media day attended by VideoGamer.com.