- Title: GRID
- Platform: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Codemasters
- Developer: Codemasters
- ESRB Rating: “E” For Everyone
- Genre: Racing
- Pros: Great graphics and sound; great career mode; fun gameplay with multiple racing disciplines
- Cons: No upgrades or tuning; longer car list would have been nice
GRID features 40+ licensed cars, which include most of the big names, but not everyone’s favorites made the list. Not a huge problem, but a longer car list would have been nice. Also, you can’t tune the cars at all. This puts more focus on the pure racing, but takes away some of the satisfaction you get from building a monster and annihilating everyone like you can do with Forza. The races are usually pretty close and the A.I. actually does a fairly good job of racing clean and not wrecking you.
The track list is a nice mix of real circuits from Europe, street racing tracks in cities in the US, and a combination of drifting, circuits, and street racing tracks from Japan. Between all of these different track types, the game offers up several different race variations from open wheel race cars to drifting to circuit races to Touge races in Japan and even demolition derbies. There is a lot to do here and a ton of variety in GRID.
The single-player career mode is split into three tiers that are also split between the US, Europe, and Japan. As you race, you earn reputation, which allows you to move up to the next tier in that region. As I mentioned above, each region offers different cars and different racing styles, so there is always something new to see and do in GRID.
One gameplay aspect that is a bit hit or miss depending on how much of a purist you are is that you can pause the game and rewind the race so you can redo a tricky section or avoid a brutal crash. You are rewarded with extra money if you don’t abuse the rewind feature, so it is in your best interest to just drive the right way and not wreck. Sometimes, though, when the A.I. gives you a bump and spins you out or there is a big wreck ahead of you that you can’t avoid, it sure is nice to be able to rewind and take another crack at it.
GRID also offers online multiplayer for up to 12 players across several different race types. The host can also adjust damage and handicaps to keep races fun and even. The game runs quite smoothly online with very little lag.
Graphically, GRID is very impressive. The cars are very detailed and the tracks look absolutely amazing. The lighting is also outstanding and the shadows and reflections on the cars and glint of shiny metal has a lot to do with why the game looks so great. The game also does a good job with night races, and going through the day/night cycle during the 24 Hours (minutes) of Le Mans really shows you just how hard racing at night is. It also has to be said that GRID has an excellent in-car camera angle that puts you right in the driver’s seat. Which is definitely our preferred way to play.
The sound is also very good. Sound effects for all of the different cars are spot on, and the squeal of metal when you get in a wreck is simply awesome. A nice touch is that you can choose what you want the game to call you, and hearing your teammates or manager talking to you by name is surprisingly cool.