Since I got into gaming back in my childhood I have loved racing games. And obviously as each generation of game console have been released, they have got much more realistic. Codemasters have had great success with their games, having just launched the latest instalment in the F1 franchise of games. Besides the F1 they are also known for the fun GRID series. I have enjoyed the previous titles, so naturally I was happy to be able to give some playtime to the latest game. Below we will find out if they can keep pace or if they fall to the back of the pack.
Release Date: 11 October 2019
Thanks to the publishers for the review code.
Fans of the GRID series will be very aware that the history of the series is very deep. Having seen a few incarnations over the years which include the TOCA series, which was popular in the 2000’s, Racer Driver: GRID and then as they were including more styles of racing genres, so they finally decided to put it under one brand, GRID. This is being classed as a reboot, but to be fair it is more like a new game than a reboot. There are a few things carried over from the previous Race Driver: GRID game and also a few of the tracks have been included in this 2019 version.
Let us take a look at a few features of this 2019 version. The career mode is very different. You get the fun racing very classes which include Stock Cars, Muscle Cars, Tuners, and also a championship called FA (Fernando Alonso) which features the great man’s F1 championship winning car and a chance to race against him. Your main aim is to complete events so that you can unlock the games finales and the good thing with GRID is that you don’t need to win every event to unlock the finales.
When it comes to the gameplay Codemasters have taken the route of an arcade type feel to the racing. They have incorporated a flashback system so that if you make a rookie mistake or don’t like you just hit a wall, you can go back a few seconds and correct what went wrong. This gives it a Forza feel which can be turned off if you want it slightly more realistic.
Handling of the cars is interesting and fun, depending on what style you choose. The more iconic cars have their traditional little quirks, like the Sierra Cosworth…if you don’t keep the revs up you get the turbo lag. The A.I is quite impressive and unlike some games it will actually try to win a race and provide interesting wheel to wheel racing as you try and make the all-important overtake to make it stick and gain that position.
Despite the positive of the A.I it is not perfect. You will find sometimes that the aggressiveness can be a bit much. They do like to crash into you and take you out of the race, but at least you ain’t got any rubber band effect which is quite annoying in some racing games. Luckily this is where the flashback comes to the rescue if you have it enabled and you get a chance to avoid it.
As with all new titles there are a few glitches in the version that I played but these will be fixed with a day one patch. The game is runs smooth with stunning graphics and handling is a good balance between arcade and realism. I didn’t get to try the online mode, but overall it looks and sounds pretty interesting and only time will tell once the game gets released and the lobbies begin to fill up.
Codemasters have rebooted a successful franchise well. While it brings a few things from the original Race Driver: GRID, there is enough new stuff to give it a modern feel. There are a few niggles, like the A.I can be a little odd at times but generally this is a great game and you will get about 25 – 30 hours out of it playing the career mode.