a review by Daniel Haynes
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release date: 2008
GRID is a high-octane racing game developed by Codemasters in which the player creates, manages and leads their own racing team in various events and leagues. GRID boasts 43 cars (with limited customisation ability), and contrasting event types including Touge, Open wheel, GT championships, Drifting and Demolition Derby.
GRID doesn’t have a story, which I was personally thankful for. After playing through some really awful racing game stories, ala recent Need For Speed’s, I was actually worried that GRID might have something similar, but soon after beginning the game my fears faded quickly. GRID simply throws the player in a world of competitive racing, and focuses purely on managing the team and racing in events.
In GRID, the player has freedom to choose between a range of events in three different regions of the world, the U.S., Europe and Japan. The game has ‘seasons’, which trigger after completing a certain number of events. At the end of each season, the player can participate in a version of the world-famous ‘24 hours of Le Mans’ event (albeit drastically shortened). The ultimate goal of the game is to earn more money and prestige.
Handling in GRID is smooth and controlled. While not overly realistic, the controls are highly enjoyable and manageable, making racing a whole lot of fun. The implementation of ‘Flashback’ was done very well. ‘Flashback’ allows the player to rewind a short amount of time in a race and continue from a previous point (e.g. after a crash or missed corner). The player gets a limited amount of ‘flashbacks’ each race, and higher difficulties further limit it’s usage.
The premise is simple, the developing team chose to forgoe any inkling of a story, and the cars/events handle well and are highly enjoyable. GRID succeeds where many other racing games don’t – it focuses purely on tuning the racing gameplay so that the actual process of driving cars fast is fun. Many other current AAA (top-end) racing developers can learn a lesson from Codemasters on this one.
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Music: 3
- Sound: 8
- Voice-acting: n/a
- Overall: 8.5/10
This article was previously published in Dark Matter issue 3, April 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.