Once again I return to the GRID series, after reviewing GRID 2 on the Xbox 360 last year. I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed GRID 2, awarding it an impressive 8.5 score. A year on, GRID is back with GRID Autosport. This time, I had high expectations, and jumped straight into the driving seat for my GRID Autosport career. Did GRID Autosport take the GRID series to new heights? Read my full review to find out!
Game: GRID Autosport
Developer: Codemasters Racing
Publisher: Codemasters/Bandai Namco
Reviewed on: PlayStation 3 (Thanks to Bandai Namco for providing a review copy)
Many people, including myself, were quite bewildered to the fact that Codemasters decided NOT to release GRID Autosport as a next-gen title. I have to say now that I feel that the decision made by the developers was a mistake. I am sure that the team had their reasoning for doing so but with the next-gen consoles being out for a good few months now, I did expect Codemasters to fully realise the visual power that GRID could bring to next-gen consoles.
I may be speaking in a negative tone but that’s not to say that GRID Autosport doesn’t look nice, because it does. Cars, tracks, and surroundings all look decent enough, but it always comes down to comparing the visuals to the likes of Forza Motorsport 5, which lets face it, looks absolutely stunning. One thing I did like, was the simple enough menu system. Simple, yes but it was easy to navigate through and had everything you needed in a simple layered settings system. Visually simple, yet effective.
GRID Autosport certainly has quite a decent soundtrack attached to it, giving out an enjoyable experience along the way. A nice touch is also having the ability to use the directional buttons in order to get audio indicators from your engineers on the status of your race. If you want to know where your teammate is, status of your car in terms of damage, or how much in front you are from the rest of the pack, all is available within the directional buttons. The overall audio mechanics for the cars you are racing in is also represented well, with cars from each discipline differentiating audio wise from each other well.
Whilst GRID 2 certainly attracted more of a casual gamer, it is clear to see that Codemasters have gone down the more simulation route when it comes down to GRID Autosport, which I approve of greatly!. There are five disciplines available, which offer variety in a racing title that you rarely see. If your up for some street racing, or fancy trying your hand out at drifting, maybe even enter the F1 style scene, it is all available at your very fingertips in GRID Autosport. What was my favorite discipline I hear you ask? Well that is quite simply the drifting (Tuner) events. They were absolutely fantastic, with so much fun.You can change the difficulty, depending how realistic you much simulation/aid you want in terms of your driving.
I had it on very easy (Ok I admit it, I may not be the best driver) and I even felt that a challenge, especially trying to drift around corners. You really have to figure out when is the best time to brake and accelerate. Another one of the disciplines that I have to give a mention to is the Endurance. These races are set at night time, with a specific time given ( 7 minutes onwards, depending on event) that let you race, trying to get in front, and indeed stay in front until the time elapses. I made the mistake of bumping up the difficulty to hard on these, you know, just to try them out and all…. Yup, I shouldn’t of!. It was a brutal, yet thoroughly enjoyable experience. Tip: on harder difficulties, try not to get much damage to your car. This can lead to a very frustrating race, but then again, it is testament to the work done by Codemasters in giving out a realistic approach in this latest GRID title. Handling felt completely satisfying with my time with the game, and you had to change your approach for each racing discipline, but again, this gives the game a lot of depth, and each of the five disciplines felt like a new experience completely.
The main pull for longevity in GRID Autosport is the Career Mode offering. Unlike the big, bold approach that GRID 2 offers out, this is a more simple and fun approach. You work your way through seasons, building your experience and skill in each of the five disciplines available, to eventually make your way into the main GRID Series tournaments. You certainly don’t have to be fantastic at all disciplines, you can choose to focus on a couple, and make your way up the career ladder in those. Of course, there is the option to go all out on each discipline, giving out longer events as you progress etc. All that, will certainly keep you occupied for the long term, and that is not even bringing in the online side, powered by RaceNet. With the ability to form Racing Clubs, racing against other clubs in the massive GRID community, the potential there is huge, and will keep you entertained in GRID Autosport for the foreseeable future.
GRID Autosport is a racing title that offers the key elements of any racing title, fun and realism. With over 100 routes across 22 locations, GRID Autosport offers a deep and very competitive racing experience. Yes, the visuals are a let down, considering the exclusive of the PS4 and Xbox One, but I very much look forward to Codemasters first foray into the world of next-gen. GRID Autosport is one racing title I very much recommend you get, even on the last-gen consoles. Miss it, and you will miss out on a truly fantastic experience.