GRID REVIEW

When GRID was announced I was looking forward to dropping back in to the TOCA/GRID series again and hoping that they kept some of the essence that made the previous games fun.

When you start the game, you are dropped into a few races to ease you into how the different events work in your career. After the intro, you are taken into the home screen, which is basic and straight to the point. When you start the game, you are dropped into a few races to ease you into how the different events work in your career. After the intro, you are taken into the home screen, which is basic and straight to the point.

The Career mode is the meat and potatoes of GRID and probably where you will spend most of your time playing to grab some cars for online play. In your Career you have 6 race classes, with Touring, Stock, and Super-modified cars in each, which sees you racing on the streets and on circuits. The cars are all based on real life models like the Aston Martin Vantage, Ford Mustang and Subaru Impreza.  

You race in 13 different events, with the aim to reach the Showdown events. In all…. there is over 100+ races for you to do, that could see you sink plenty of hours into the game.  

GRiD Review

However, for me, I found it got extremely tedious after a while. It starts off with a lot of events and enough variety to keep you entertained and wanting you to push on, but for me, it didn’t grab me as much as I hoped like in the previous titles. With the amount of different car classes on offer in GRID, you would think they would offer up more in the way of different events, instead we have only 2 types of races, which is an out and out race or a time trial. It’s a shame as you would hope that the team would have offered up more and really flesh out the Career mode, but this is not the case. 

The other modes on offer are Free Play and Multiplayer, with Free Play let you setup your own events. You can choose what vehicles you want and what tracks plus the weather etc… I never really dip my toes in Free play modes of racers as I think of them more as a practise mode than anything else really.  

The online modes in Multiplayer are not much to shout about either, with just two on offer. Public and Private Matches. The Public matches are just quick matches and throws you into a random lobby and event, where the Private matches sees you setting up your own events and choosing the track and the AI difficulty and damage to your cars and few more bits and bobs.

Speaking of damage, the cars in GRID have a somewhat realistic look when it comes to them receiving damage, whether it’s from you slamming into other cars or parts of the track. Your bonnet and bumpers will get dented and crushed as you receive damage until you get banged up enough that they will hang on until they fly off by the speed of your car and either slide across the track or hit other oncoming cars. Also, with enough damage, your engine will smoke, and your tyres will burst and rip off leaving your car driving on metal rims causing sparks to fly from them.  

If you do find yourself about to hit a wall head on, you can choose to use a flashback, which lets you rewind your gameplay and start from a safe point. It’s a standard feature in a Codemasters racer these days and you will use it most times, or not at all.

If you do find yourself about to hit a wall head on, you can choose to use a flashback, which lets you rewind your gameplay and start from a safe point. It’s a standard feature in a Codemasters racer these days and you will use it most times, or not at all.

If you want to go all realistic you can have the flashbacks turned off completely and even have full damage on the cars and ramp up the AI difficult of the drivers and see them battle it out. The AI are a bit rough at times too with them rubbing your car up as you try to move up to first position and they will even push you up against the barriers and off the track. I played GRID on normal and they were still aggressive, pushing and bumping me off the track, but not only me, they would bang into one another too. There are times where you may see them flip and toss one another off the tracks. 

There are also driving aids you can choose to use or not, with a racing line and braking etc… the norm that you will find in most racers nowadays and since GRID is an arcade slash sim racer, you can tune your car too with changing your gear ratios, brakes distribution and more.

On top of tuning your chosen car, you can also add some pre-made patterns or liveries… you can get to choose some cool designs, but I would have loved if they let us customise our cars much in the same way that the FORZA series does.

When you are finished messing about with all the settings and sprucing up your car, you need to start racing and earn some cash. This is another bit of a disappointment. Everytime you race and win or achieve a high enough position you can earn points to level up. When you level up you get to unlock more patterns for your cars but also cash so you can buy faster cars and more powerful ones. 

Other than that, that’s really it. I wish they would have let us unlock some cars so that we can feel like we achieved something everytime we level up, but again, no, nada, that’s it. To be honest, half the time you level up, you skip it and don’t bother checking out what was offered.

Other than that, that’s really it. I wish they would have let us unlock some cars so that we can feel like we achieved something everytime we level up, but again, no, nada, that’s it. To be honest, half the time you level up, you skip it and don’t bother checking out what was offered.

There is one aspect of GRID that I think works well and that is the Nemesis system, now what this means is that if you ram too hard into another racer on the track, they will seek you out to get revenge on you. It will be their goal to take you out. While in theory it sounds good, its not always executed correctly and you seem to go unnoticed. The only real time you will feel anything is if you finish above them, you will receive a tiny bonus.   

When it comes to GRIDs visuals and sound, it’s a hit and miss! Visually at times the game looks amazing, with the sun glare on the chosen camera you are using when the sun hits your camera just right and as it hits the track surface it really shines, this is also true when you are driving in the rain. Rain drops onto the camera in rear view and you can see the spray and water effects come into play when you are speeding around the tracks. When driving at night, the lights of the cars light up the tracks with their headlights as you pass through darker parts of the tracks, when you come into the grandstand areas, everything is bright and colourful and lights up the track around you.  

Online, it seems that the games visuals take a hit, which is a shame, but is expected in some racers you might play. The visuals also leak into the crowd where you will see them taking photos and their cameras flash rapidly as you fly by. There are also those tracks set on the coast that will see waves crash against the barriers and spray up water on the crowd, it’s not an awe inspiring effect, but it does add a little something while you are driving by. I was hoping for more on the visuals on the tracks and the cars themselves, as Codemasters devs are always at the top of their game with the racers and visuals, but when you compare GRID to their other driving titles and their visuals, it’s a shame this time they don’t match up.

When it comes to the sound in the game, I found that most of the cars do sound kind of similar, and I feel that they could have put in a bit more time and effort in to making them sound a bit more distinctive was needed. The team chatter over the radio is also a bit of a let-down and you wish they could feel a bit less robotic and not to mention the annoying tannoy that pops up over the course of the race. It’s probably just me, but it kind of irritates me at times, it’s probably just me. 

Overall

So, GRID, is it worth a place in your collection then? Well it really depends on yourself and if you can add another racer to your ever-growing list. While it’s not as fun as Wreckfest and lacks the depth and longevity of the FORZA series, there are probably those among you that feel it’s a game for you. For me at least, I just think that there is something missing in the game, I really enjoyed playing GRID back in the 360 days, but sadly not so much this and I really had high hopes for this one. What are your thoughts?

GoG Rating: 8/10

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