Regular followers of my humble ramblings will have noticed of late that I am obsessed with Race Driver: GRID. I just thought I’d post some of my initial impressions and experiences of the game, along with my reasoning for getting the game in the first place.
Quite simply, it all started with the demo for Race Driver: GRID. The handling of the cars was a bit tricky, but once I had mastered the controls it was good. Real good. I wanted more. I suppose the GRID demo has been one of the rare few demos that I have hammered. Then the reviews started coming in; 9/10 and 10/10 from most magazines and online publications. I was getting good vibes, and so I swiftly placed my order with Play.com and got a bonus Aston Martin DBR9 as well!
Initially you race for other teams in order to scrape a bit of cash together to repair your first ride, and to finance your own racing team. You’ll compete in a mixture of varied racing environments from racing muscle cars in the USA, to drifting high performance cars in Japan. There’s so much to do. The game starts to ‘kick up a gear’ (pardon my pun) when you get your own team together; from choosing your team colours and sponsors, to climbing the ranks of world teams and drivers. What’s very refreshing is that your objective isn’t always to come first. A team or sponsor may only want you to come at least 3rd or 5th, and some only want you to finish the race!
The difficulty is adjustable. Keep coming last in a racing style you’re not comfortable with? Kick it down a notch. Conversely if you’re wiping the floor with all the other drivers in one of your best events, then kick it up a notch to spice things up a bit and give yourself a real challenge. For me, what really distinguishes Race Driver: GRID from Gran Turismo 5 Prologue is your other drivers. Here, they are (depending on the difficulty level) just as likely as you to clip a corner, spin out of control or brake too late. The damage is fully realistic and very satisfying when you scream past another driver who clips the side and totals their car.
Whilst the behaviour of your competitors (mentioned above) certainly adds to the atmosphere, your pit crew communicates important information to you, such as the state your car is in and who you need to beat in order to secure the current objective. The most amazing feeling I have ever experienced in a racing game has been compteting in Le Mans 24 Hour on GRID. It’s just epic. Unlike racing for hours on Gran Turismo (boring, tedious) time is speeded up dramatically, allowing you to experience the full day and night cycle.
So what do I think after my initial hands-on with Race Driver: GRID? It’s racing- as it should be. In a way, it’s all I had hoped for and more. Codemasters really deserve credit for a fantastic job. I’ve not mentioned everything, such as licences, reputation, the art of touge etc., but I never intended to (also I’ve not tried out multiplayer yet, but when I do, I might provide an update further down the line). Hopefully this has just given you a brief overview of my thoughts and experiences on this game, and a taster of what awaits you, should you decide to take the wallet for a walk. Highly recommended for both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners.