Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
In 2008 I jumped into the 7th gen consoles, buying an Xbox 360. The first game I ever bought was Racedriver: Grid, as soon as the disc went in my relationship with Codemasters begun. (except that I later learned that Toca series was developed by the same studio) Which ironically I didn’t find out until just recently that the Grid series is a part of the Toca franchise. But forget that, the important part is that Racedriver: Grid was the bomb. I just loved the tracks, cars and different modes it had, and also it was the first racing game I played where you could rewind if you messed up. Which made it so much easier to keep calm if I screwed up in races. Later Grid had some sequels that simply couldn’t recapture the same feelings, so I was really excited when it was announced a reboot of the series. But did it deliver and bring back the same feeling? Let’s find out.
Grid delivers pretty solid visuals, with much love been given to the cars. Details, colors, and lighting shine through giving a really good impression. Driving in the rain or at night is a treat with how water effect splashes on your screen or window making it difficult to see what is happening further down the track. Or fireworks illuminating the night sky, giving you the feeling of the nightlife around the track. One thing that did disappoint was the dips in frame rates and stuttering, being played on PS4 Slim you only drive in 30fps. It then becomes so much more noticeable when the framerate stutters. I’ve might have become a snob after playing so many racing games on a PC, but 30fps is not very impressive in 2019 even though I play on a regular PS4. PlayStation 4 Pro fixes many of the problems, but some of it is present there too. Audio is simply great, engine, exhaust, and tire sounds are pornographic for your ears. If not having a good sound system, play with a headset to get a great experience. If you have time, take notice of the environments around the track also, many of the locations have some great scenery.
Grid, as it’s predecessors, aims to deliver a pick-up and play style, being a jack of all trades delivering races that ranges from old American muscle to open-wheel racing. To progress through your campaign, you can start from the vehicle class you want at any given time, all you need is the money to buy a new car. Every car class has a unique feeling, some are glued to the trach while others are a bit more tail-happy. What is mostly consistent through them all is fast action-packed racing. The new Nemesis system also helps to provide more of that, what that does is if you drive like an as$h#%@ they will end up having a grudge against you. Suddenly they will ram you from behind, or try to push you out of track. It gives character to your competitors and can make some interesting situations. One thing that isn’t as interesting is variation in race modes. While the different classes deliver something different, nothing is changed you still have only circuit race and time trials. Mix that with a lean selection of tracks and it can feel repetitive at times. When it comes to the cars, the number of cars from each manufacturer isn’t as huge as might have guessed. But, they do a good job to represent every car class. Physics mixes between Sim and Arcade, more on Arcade just like its predecessors. Damage model looks great you can really mess up your car, and it can affect its driveability on higher difficulty. Luckily you can always rewind time if you mess it up to bad, while it can’t always save you, I like to have the option if a minor mistake could end up to be fatal.
Then there is the most important thing, how do the cars handle? Well….
It is simple and intuitive, the steering feels responsive and you don’t need anything more than accelerate, brake, e-brake, and rewind. In the beginning, I struggled so much with keeping the cars stable. It always oversteered even with traction and stability help on, I usually like to turn those off but it made everything worse. Either I oversteered with no way to correct the car, or it rebounded and spun out. I thought it maybe had something to do with that I mostly have used a steering wheel to play racing games. So I moved my sim rig to the living room and started to test it with my T300 RS, but with no difference. Or a difference it was, but not better, it made me afraid of breaking the wheel. Because the default force feedback is so strong, and the car kept behaving like previously I ended up fighting with the wheel from every action. I turned down the force and it became a bit better but no, there was no way to make it comfortable to play. So I ended up going back to a controller, and rather tweak the settings a bit. The end result was to dial the sensitivity to something between 80-100 and set the linearity to 0, which helped immensely. Finally, if oversteered it was possible to correct the slide, and it didn’t bounce from side to side. I don’t know if the controls and physics don’t cooperate too well, or what it is but there was no way I could play with the default settings.
There is a lot of races to compete in the campaign itself, and the quick race is always an option. But it is nothing different from the races that take place through the campaign, so online is the only option to change it up. I really missed the different types of races I’ve had in previous games. No drift, drag or derby which was truly missed and would have given it so much more replay value.
Graphics - 7/10
Gameplay - 7/10
Controls - 7/10
Replay Value - 5/10
Grid felt like a reboot that didn’t deliver on it’s potential, with so many things seen before removed it really removes much of the fun. The racing itself is great and the A.I brings even more action when playing alone, but the struggles with controls and low framerate on base consoles don’t help with the impression.
- Looks great
- Great A.I
- Good selection of cars
- Thin Campaign
- A small selection of modes
- Difficult handling physics