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GRID – Off Grid

REVIEW – Codemasters is now following that stupid trend that instead of continuing an IP, they instead reboot it, so the game that originally was called Race Driver: GRID a decade ago got reimagined. This time, it went slightly more arcade, and – gee, what a shock – I believe it’s nowhere near the original.

 

Codemasters doesn’t seem to know what to do with Grid. After Grid 2, they made Grid Autosport, which itself felt like an expanded Grid 2, although dropping the cockpit view, how clever. Although that was brought back, the situation is that the „masters of code” (yeah, give me a break – they needed one and a half months to fix an engine swap glitch in F1 2019) want you to outright buy the more expensive Ultimate Edition. Mistake pro primo: a little over a hundred events on twenty-two locations (from Barcelona to Havana to the imaginary Okutama circuit). They will make the career mode pretty repetitive and boring, and the online also takes a hit because of it.

Where’s the rest that is nearly the same amount? Oh, they will come in the next six or so months, did you buy the Ultimate Edition? (No.) Mistake pro secundo: there is no local multiplayer. Congratulations! You can only race others online. Mistake pro tertio: team management as a whole has been dumbed down significantly. Your team isn’t even involved in most of your racing. You can choose your teammate, though, who will take a percentage of your income per race, and they have four categories (skill, attack, defence, and loyalty). Sponsors are out the window as well: you don’t have to worry about those either.

Because of these things, GRID can easily forget a nine, or even an eight out of time, as these aspects are effectively a downgrade in the new game. There’s not a lot of content (I hate this word), and while there are about a hundred cards (from touring cars to race cars to some American stock cars – some variety is present here), the game has fallen into the same hole that Wreckfest fell into back in the day: there was not a lot to do when the game came out, even though it had brilliant physics and a driving experience. Same here: handling seems to be outstanding, and yes, beginners can find their ways to fine-tune the game’s AI level, as well as the driving aids, to their level.

There’s also the rewind, which reminded me of a person on YouTube who played Grid 2 and kept rewinding effectively every corner. There’s also the damage that I need to mention, which was kept from the TOCA series (TOCA > TOCA Race Driver > Race Driver: Grid > Grid series…), even if it doesn’t feel that visually impressive when you knock say, your Volkswagen Golf’s front; your engine might be near to giving up the ghost, and due to the faulty suspension, taking turns would be about Mission Impossible altogether.

AnGri driver

The AI pilots might be mad at you, as there’s this Nemesis system (no, not the one from Middle-Earth), which means if you knock into each other too many times, then you might quickly find yourself in a situation where half the grid wants you to be knocked off the circuit, and if that happens, you can take a look around the solid visuals, even though I believe the environments feel a bit empty here and there.

The sounds are also spot on, and together with the forgiving driving mechanics, these are the reasons why GRID doesn’t end up getting a fairly low score at the end of the day. Racing feels pretty good in Codemasters’ newest game, although in the longer run, I don’t see much chance to stay alive, as this I update the game later in a pseudo live service garbage approach means you don’t have much to do in the base game, as you must jump between the disciplines….

Back of the grid

GRID gets a seven out of ten from me. The reason why it gets just a seven is that there is no offline multiplayer, the career mode feels shoddy, and you effectively have to wait until Spring when the game gets completed. It has a varied car line-up, yes (and the same goes for the circuits, albeit there are less of them than before…), and the level of challenge can be easily fine-tuned to your liking. The ambience is also pretty solid, as it’s entertaining to listen to the cars on the track as they drive around the streets (forget about customization, you can only set your vehicle up). But once again, we have a reboot which isn’t on the same level as the original title was, and it is one of the big issues of the gaming industry. If you played a lot of the previous Grid games, then I can only recommend it to you if you have a friend that also bought the game. Then, you can somewhat try to keep Codemasters’ game alive online. But don’t buy the Ultimate Edition – don’t give extra money for the developers to NOT add the content to the game that should have been right there from the start. So GRID is good, but that’s about it. It can give you an appetite, but your hunger will remain.

-V-

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Pro:

+ Decent driving model
+ Ambientful races
+ Varied car line-up

Against:

– Shoddy, lazy, repetitive career mode
– No local multiplayer, online feels bad
– Devolution in comparison to previous games


Publisher: Codemasters

Developer: Codemasters

Genre: racing

Release date: October 10, 2019

REVIEW - Codemasters is now following that stupid trend that instead of continuing an IP, they instead reboot it, so the game that originally was called Race Driver: GRID a decade ago got reimagined. This time, it went slightly more arcade, and - gee, what a shock - I believe it's nowhere near the original.   Codemasters doesn't seem to know what to do with Grid. After Grid 2, they made Grid Autosport, which itself felt like an expanded Grid 2, although dropping the cockpit view, how clever. Although that was brought back, the situation is that the „masters of…
Reboot curse

GRID

Gameplay - 4.7
Graphics - 7.8
Physics - 8.2
Music/Audio - 7.8
Ambience - 8

7.3

GOOD

Reboot curse

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