GRID review: Codemasters reboots a racing classic
GRID is the fourth title in the series to be released and it is intended to be a reboot of the original game which arrived way back in 2008, more than a decade ago!
The range of cars on offer in the title is vast, ranging from the original Mini Cooper, TCR Touring Cars, GTE Pro WEC cars, through to one of most powerful cars ever to grace motorsport - the monstrous 1200hp 5.7L Flat 12 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am.
With so much vehicular weaponry at the player's disposal, the enjoyment levels of being able to play with whatever you want is very fun, especially with the range of circuits on offer, such as the traditional motorsport mecca’s of Indianapolis and Silverstone, plus more obscure locations such as Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit and some fictional circuits too.
Along with all the variety this title has to offer, is a solid single-player mode with plenty to sink your teeth into.
The game doesn't take itself too seriously as it tries to nestle itself in-between being something of an arcade racer with the ability to please almost anyone looking for a bit of fun, though it also has a more serious side with some sim racer touches, for those who enjoy the thrill of digging into their racing and understanding the cars they’re driving.
Set-up options are fairly limited; dampers, anti-roll bars, springs, as well as gear ratios. Nothing too in-depth.
You're given a series of various disciplines to progress through, battling against the AI to come out on top. There are varying levels of difficulty for the AI to suit the player's skill level to boot.
You'll even notice a very familiar name amongst the field of racers with a certain double Formula 1 World Champion gracing the circuits. That is of course the multi-talented Fernando Alonso. The Spanish driver was a consultant during the games development.
You're given the choice to buy and sell the cars you use during the game as well as changing up their liveries to suit the look you so desire.
As you make your way through the disciplines, you'll eventually be able to take to the GRID World Series and eventually take on Alonso as the game's final antagonist…the big boss, if you will.
You can also name your own team as well as hire and fire team-mates amongst the various drivers on offer within the game, in order to help you get the best results possible.
One other aspect players ought to watch out for is the 'Nemesis' system. Should another AI get rubbed up the wrong way during a race by the player, said AI driver will note you down and react, defending harder, becoming more aggressive. With over 400 different AI characters within the game, there are plenty of different rivals to watch out for as they all have different traits.
There are limited options when it comes to this arena via a quick match option or setting up your own private lobby should you wish to play with friends.
With the quick match option, you're dropped into the lobby where in between races there is something akin to a destruction derby to keep players occupied before a new race gets underway.
The host - whoever it may be - can set the next set of races and the discipline and then all the players will head off to race, if the lobby is not full of human players, AI will fill the remaining slots.
With the private match options, it's fairly simple when organising a lobby with friends in a similar manner as most other games.
The EGO engine does a superb job at allowing the player to immerse themselves within the game with its visuals, whilst maintaining the fine balance between arcade and sim – I have to say the level of detail is right on the money and what you’d expect these days.
From changing the camera angle of which you want to race with, whether it's from the outside, the front or even inside the car, the feeling of immersion does the game justice and can really make you feel integrated with whatever beast you're throwing around the circuit.
No matter what it is you're behind the wheel of, it gives off the right feel with the looks and sounds to match, completely taking you in – this is of course by the same same developers as the official Formula 1 game, which Codemasters really nailed.
The real-life circuits look spectacular while the fictional venues also pull you in and make you want to get stuck into learning the new tracks.
Things To Improve
With regards to the multiplayer option, it feels very bare and minimalistic. The destruction derby idea to keep players occupied between races is a fun idea, but the lack of server options and the choice of rooms people wish to partake in is non-existent, this leaves the player with a lack of options and just a random choice of what may come up next.
Most other racing games which make their way to our screens come with a photo option and this game could well have done with it. With the vast range of cars, liveries and circuits on offer with the different conditions you can race in and the joy of being able to share visual media is left severely lacking by this title.
Lots of thought has been put into this game and it delivers on the content contained within, however, it does lack some presentation and feels a little hollow in the way it's been delivered.
There is room to perhaps improve these areas with updates in the future should they choose to do so.
This review was conducted on the Playstation 4.