Review: GRID (PS4) – Old school racing at its best

Codemasters are leaders in the gaming market when it comes to racing – especially simulations such as Formula 1 or the DIRT series. However, in the arcade racing segment, the British still have a lot to improve in their portfolio. Do you remember OnRush? this is the title that combined MotorStorm with Overwatch. Unfortunately, the combination of races with the modes known from FPS games did not turn out to be good for Codemasters. The game was terribly boring and offered a funnier number of vehicles and tracks.

After many months, another attempt was made to conquer the arcade racing market. This time it was not new ideas, but a proven brand, although already a bit forgotten. The last part of GRID was released in 2014 for PS3 and Xbox 360. It is worth recalling that GRID is the heir to the famous racing series TOCA Race Driver, which at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century was very popular on consoles and personal computers.

But sentiments aside, because today is the premiere of GRID. After many years, one of the best racing series is back on consoles. If I had to compare GRID to other games, two titles come to mind first: Project Gotham Racing and Forza Motorsport. However, GRID is a Forza Motorsport 7 in a very truncated version. If the title of Turn 10 Studios were to include advanced tuning (both mechanical and visual), winning cars in the form of a reward and micropayments, then we would have GRID, only with fewer cars and tracks.

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GRID should be of particular interest to PS4 owners, because on this console we do not have races where you can race on sports and city tracks. On the other hand, Xbox One owners may say that they don’t need a GRID like this, which is a lighter version of Forza Motorsport 7.

However, both PS4 and Xbox One fans should give GRID a chance, as Codemasters in my opinion threw a brilliant arcade driving model into the game. The cars stick to the road, sometimes they let you get too carried away and we want to drift each corner. In my opinion, it makes no difference whether you drift into every corner or brake harder before starting the turn. Regardless of your approach to the turns, you’ll have just as much fun.

GRID is a typical racing game from the beginning of the 21st century in the newest audiovisual setting. This can be considered a plus as well as a minus. If you just want to race, without fiddling with the engine or miraculously with visual tuning, this production is for you. On the other hand, fans of Forzy or Gran Turismo may feel a bit disappointed with the modest possibilities of adjusting the car, or even the not very high level of difficulty in the races themselves.

There is simply a career at GRID. This menu tab could as well be called “races” or “competitions”, because our job is simply to move from race to race. The weak point in the career is that we can only take part in two types of competition: the race or the time trial, with the latter taking place with all the cars on the track, but not the place taken, but the best lap time. As I wrote in the title, GRID is old school racing at its best. We jump from race to race, just changing the car every now and then.

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Competitions often consist of several rounds. Sometimes we only take part in two races, and other times we have to play even four. Before each race, we can do a qualifying lap to have a chance to start in a better position than the end of the grid where we are placed without qualifying. Before qualifying and the race, we can apply a little tuning to our car. Unfortunately, with the help of sliders, we can only change the gear ratio, set the hardness of the shock absorbers, springs and stabilizers, and the division of the braking force between the front and rear.

The number of cars in GRID is not that impressive, but it is quite sufficient, looking at how many different racing categories we have. Codemasters has prepared 60 cars for the premiere, including many classics such as Mini Cooper, Ford Sierra RS500, Ford GT40 or Ferrari 365. There are five racing categories alone: ​​Touring, Stock, Tuner, GT and Invitation. The main categories are still divided into subcategories and so in GT we will find GT1, GT2 and Prototypes cars, and Tuners are divided into modified and super-modified vehicles.

There are 13 routes (in 80 variants), and many of them are refreshed versions of the tracks known from previous parts of GRID. We have sports tracks here, we will also find several city tracks, and even quick sprints from start to finish with many serpentines, on which you can drift the spectacle. The great thing is that we can race both at sunrise and sunset, and even at night – with rainfall which has a significant impact on the car’s braking distance.

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Interestingly, we take part in each race as a team, on the same basis as, for example, in Formula 1. Our teammate is a bot, but using commands (issued with D-Pad) we can order our companion to attack and gain a better position or defend the current one . We can change the partner at any time. If we want to hire a better one, we must take into account that the profits from the race will be smaller for us and that he will compete with us for the victory.

Whatever to write about Codemasters games, you can’t deny them one thing – car models are pampered in every detail. All 60 vehicles look phenomenal – not only outside, but also inside. The cars have two cameras from the inside. One is with the nose in the windshield, and the other shows us the entire interior with the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. You can only stick to the mirrors or the monitor that shows the image from the camera mounted on the rear bumper. The image in it is terribly pixelated.

GRID is one of the best arcade racing games I’ve played on PS4. All in all, I haven’t had so much fun since Driveclub, and it’s been a long time since the game’s premiere. Although the content of the latest Codemasters game is not impressive – I mean the modest number of competitions in which we can participate and only the basic career mode – the brilliant arcade driving model and fantastically made car models encourage you to restart the game. In GRID we can play on the steering wheel, but as I mentioned, the driving model is so pleasant that even the gameplay on the pad gives a lot of satisfaction and joy.

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The game was provided for review by the distributor Koch Media Poland