Codemasters’ vaunted racer returns but what makes it special? Find out here.
Codemasters’ GRID is out on October 11th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC and will even be releasing for Google Stadia. It’s a return to the original game in more ways than one and looks to cater to all kinds of racing fans. Let’s take a look at the 15 things you should know about GRID before buying.
Reboot of the Series
Originally, the series started out as Race Driver: Grid, which itself was a new title in the TOCA series (namely TOCA Race Driver). Overtime, it’s taken on its own moniker with Grid 2 and Grid Autosport. However, since the 2019 sequel acts as a reboot (despite being the fourth Grid game), it’s simply called GRID. The overall idea, as per game director Christopher Smith, is to bring it back “where it should’ve been in the two sequels” with a focus on racing and motor sport.
It wouldn’t be a Grid game without Flashback. This feature allows players to rewind back several seconds and possibly take a turn differently or avoid a crash. Of course, if the new GRID is anything like the older games, expect there to be a limit to how often Flashback can be used at higher difficulties.
Tracks and Routes
In terms of tracks, GRID will sport 12 overall with eight circuits in four cities. This makes for a total of 92 routes and some of the locations range from Havana and Shanghai to San Francisco. Eurogamer did note that the number of routes is around 82 with a good amount of repetition but courses will be mixed up with different weather conditions like dry and rainy or different times of day.
Car Types and Current Number
Thus far, based on screenshots, videos and impressions, GRID is confirmed to have 69 cars overall. We expect that number to grow when the actual game is released but the sheer range of cars is impressive. You have touring cars like the Audi RS 3 LMS, prototypes like the McLaren M8D, the good ol’ Chevrolet Camaro GTR.R and even some fictional stock cars like the Dumont Type 37, Jupiter Eagleray Mk5 and Jupiter San Marino Oval.
Career Mode Changes
You’ve probably looked back on the Career Mode of Grid: Autosport with some trepidation but the new GRID will be changing things up quite a bit. Six disciplines are offered with 104 events in total but you no longer have to finish on top in each event or complete each discipline. Some require completing different objectives to unlock subsequent events instead of finishing first. Eventually, the discipline culminates in a Showdown, a 2v2 race between your team and the leading team. Finish four of the Showdowns and you go to the GRID World Series. If you really want to finish first in everything though, there will be corresponding rewards and Achievements for doing so.
New to GRID are Rivalries, which are formed with cars that finish above you or narrowly face defeat at your hands. It’s a good way to measure progress since your rival will be looking to one-up you so staying ahead means personal growth in its own way. Of course, on the opposite side of the competitive coin you have…
Get on a driver’s bad side – usually by trading paint with the same racer again and again – and they’ll eventually turn into a Nemesis. These are unique AI that have fairly aggressive racing styles and won’t think twice about blocking or colliding with you. A Nemesis will also have their skills improved so be careful who becomes your enemy (especially since up to five Nemeses can be created per race).
Racing brings enemies but there are also teammates who will have your back. Or not, depending on a myriad of factors. There are 72 potential teammates, each with their own loyalty stat, and it’s even possible for a Nemesis to become your teammate. This leads to some interesting dynamics – do you choose the teammate with a high loyalty stat that will hang on your every word, even if you have to carry the team? Or do you opt for someone who dislikes you but has the skills to boost the overall team up? It’s up to you.
400 AI Drivers
In total, there are 400 AI drivers in the game that possess unique personalities, loyalty ratings, skill levels, tolerance and so on. So not only do they race differently but they’ll also react to your actions in their own unique ways. Interestingly, there’s also an AI choreographer in play that will determine spin-outs and collisions that drivers can suffer.
This further plays into the game’s damage model. GRID has it all as cars start out scratched and only escalates things as more damage is accumulated. You may lose parts or experience rattling, which can affect overall performance. It’s even possible for car doors to suddenly open up. Can they be dislodged entirely? We can’t wait to find out.
Fernando Diaz, a two-time Formula One World Champion, is a racing consultant on GRID and as per director Chris Smith while speaking to Autosport.com, “His experience and knowledge has enabled us to make improvements to both the performance and handling of our cars.” Perhaps more important is the fact that Diaz is an in-game boss with his own special AI and the Renault R26. He must be defeated to close out Career Mode so while you won’t necessarily need to complete all the events, there’s still a massive challenge awaiting at the end.
No Dynamic Weather
As mentioned earlier, some tracks will have rainy weather, wet roads and dry roads. You can also opt to choose these conditions in races. However, there’s no dynamic weather so don’t expect something like Forza Motorsport 7 where a track starts out with overcast skies and sees rain a minute or so later, altering your handling mid-race.
GRID will have its share of multiplayer modes though Codemasters hasn’t revealed too much. What we do know is that there will be Quick Play for immediately hopping into a race. Track selection is on a rotating basis here and matchmaking will account for different skill levels. But there are also Custom Multiplayer Events where you can invite friends and customize everything from the courses and vehicle classes to the time of day and number of races.
Customizing Difficulty, Assists and More
Another thing that GRID has in common with Forza is the ability to customize the difficulty, available assists and so on. The game will have assists enabled from the start but you can disable all of these and jack the difficulty up all the way for a hardcore racing experience. The idea is to cater to all kinds of players and allow them to tune the experience as they see fit.
DLC and No Microtransactions
Perhaps one of the most refreshing things about GRID is Codemasters’ stance towards microtransactions. Which is to say there are none. Post-launch tracks will be made available to everyone. Downloadable content will be sold but it will include new cars and careers, and if one player owns DLC, then everyone else can play it as well.