There is no doubt that the racing genre is alive and well on the Xbox 360, there have been enough great games that have really kept the hardcore racing fans on the platform pretty excited with its offerings. Today we are checking out the last Codemasters racing game that has undergone some changes as we saw in last years great game from Codemasters, Dirt. Now a year later Codemasters hopes to continue to improve upon the past success of Dirt with there latest release for the 360, Grid. Does Grid have what it takes to make it a worthy sucessor last years racing experience? Read our full review to find out!
Codemasters for all intensive purposes is one of the leading developers/publishers of great racing games in past years and although games like Forza and Gran Turismo have come out occasionally, Codemasters has year after year come out with good solid racing titles that may not be at the excellent category of the previously mentioned games but they have managed to make a name for themselves nonetheless.
Grid is a game that has been touted by Codemasters since the announcement claiming that this is the game that really brings a great “racing experience”, rather then go out of the box and do more then just that like other racing titles. Grids initial weakness is the lack of cars in the game, with less then 50 cars I think there will be a good number of people that might be a bit put off by the lack of cars, but like the countless press releases for Grid said this game was more about racing then anything else.
And when it comes to racing Grid does an extremely impressive job with really all different aspects of racing. The games career mode is where I would like to start which is broken down into three areas the US, Europe, and Japan. Based on these different areas will dictate not only the cars you drive but also how you drive. So like many other racing games set in Japan you will be doing a lot of drifting where in the US we are all about muscle cars. Not necessarily the most original idea however the implementation is where the game really steps up to the plate. The menu system in the game is a treat to look at and really brings the career mode to life, What is also interesting on the career mode is that the racing itself is not only challenging but it doesn’t make itself all about winning but also learning the tracks.
The reason I say this is that there is a new feature that allows you to rewind and then redo screwed up turns or portions of a race. So for example if you ram into a wall you can rewind and take the turn better. Now on the professional difficulty level there is none of this rewind, but on the lower difficulty levels it allows you to really just enjoy the game and not necessarily worry as much if you miss a turn or over compensante for a drift.
The racing can be taken online and all of the features from the offline game seem to have been taken online. The online racing to my delight actually ran really smooth, there were only a few races that really suffered from any lag, but for the ost part everything seemed to run smooth. Your going to run into a few occasional knuckleheads who want to just crash, but for the most part when you go online with Grid you will be in for a good ride.
More then anything Grid is a polished racing experience, everything from the opening credits to the tight controlling of your vehicles this game is as smooth as you could ever want. Grid is the type of game that you may not be expecting perfection, but you actually get far closer to it then you might imagine. I think what Grid shows more then anything is what it has been touting all along, bringing the racing to the foreront and I for one was a huge fan of what they accomplished.
Grid is not photorealistic as some say Gran Turismo 5: Prologue or GT5 will be, but its a darn good looking game. With a small car selection the developers have seamlessly woven together some beautiful licensed vehicles that look spectacular. Once again the style of Grid goes a long way and whether your looking at the menu’s, the loading screens, or the in game racing everything has this sense of polish that you don’t get from all games. Grid is not as strong visually as it is in the gameplay department but it does enough to leave me with very little to gripe about.
More then any other genre racing can’t be changed much in order to gain an audience, there are really only so many different variations of a racing game, and yet Grid manages to feel fresh and engaging. I truly admire the developers of this game, if you can’t tell already I had a fantastic time playing through this game and whether I was online or offline the experience managed to keep my interest and bring me back to days where racing wasn’t necessarily about polygons or car lists but instead just about the joy of racing and for that I commend Grid.
Grid is not going to be a game for everyone, if you don’t like racing games you will continue not to like them with Grid. Grid doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but instead builds around it and attempts to improve it, and in the end succeeds in making one of the most enjoyable racing games I have played in years.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.