I know I’ve said this at least several times before, but I’m gonna have to say it again — Codemasters has a long resume when it comes to racing games. Whether it be rallying, Formula 1, or even over-the-top off-roading, the British publisher has done it all. But while Dirt and F1 have still been going strong, fans had been wondering if/when the Grid series would return to the track. Well, after five years, we don’t have to wonder anymore. This self-titled reboot is the series’ debut on current-gen hardware, and I’m here to give you the full synopsis on everything it brings to the table. So with that out of the way, let’s drop the green flag and get this review started.
Turn the car into the wind
Like other established series such as Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport, Grid tasks you with making a name for yourself in a variety of racing disciplines. You won’t find rally racing or modern Formula 1 in here, but you get to race sports cars, open-wheelers, touring cars, tuner cars, and stock cars from different eras of the sport. During your career, you must not only place high in the standings, but also manage your race team properly. It’s your job to collect prize money, buy (And paint) the cars you want, and hire teammates. No virtual racing career would be complete without a diverse track roster, and this game delivers a hefty number of road-course, street-course, and oval configurations. There are only 13 locations at the moment, but more will be added in free updates.
Of course, all of the above would be meaningless if the racing itself wasn’t solid, and the folks at Codemasters have once again delivered solid racing in spades. While not an arcade racer like Need for Speed or Burnout, Grid tries to be a little more accessible than Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport. Despite the car-setup functionality being quite simplified, the driving does have weight and realism on both gamepad and wheel. Flags and pit stops are non-existent, but you still have to drive carefully to avoid crashing out or being penalized. If you race an opponent too aggressively, they’ll become a Nemesis and try to give you a taste of your own medicine. Like the previous game in the series, you have the ability to ask your teammate to charge through the pack or play defense, not that they’ll always be able/willing to do what you ask them to do.
Online multiplayer is a bit shallow in this game, as you only have quick-match and private-match options. Without any search options for public lobbies, you basically jump into public races hoping that the events found are to your liking. If you want an online race that can be run the way you want it, you have no other alternative but to invite 1-15 friends who have the game. It’s not a dealbreaker, but I do hope this online-mode drawback can be sorted out.
Pedal to the floor, lap is runnin’ faster
After sitting in its garage for the last five years, the long-running Grid series has made a satisfactory comeback in the form of this reboot. It may occasionally bust a flat or drop some horsepower, but it still belongs on the shelf of any type of racing-game junkie. Checkered flag, here I come!