independent

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Grid reboot is pretty but lacking in substance

Game review: Grid, PS4/Xbox One/PC, 7/10

Grid thrills and excites as no other game in the series has done before, which makes it all the more a shame that Codemasters have given us a rather half-baked project
Grid thrills and excites as no other game in the series has done before, which makes it all the more a shame that Codemasters have given us a rather half-baked project

Chris Hayes

Rather bizarrely, Codemasters have opted to join the growing trend of developers signalling a series reboot by giving the newest game in a series the same title belonging to the very first game. Just 11 meagre years after the release of Grid, welcome... Grid.

Much like its 2008 namesake, the latest Grid hovers somewhere between fiery Arcade thrills and weighty driving simulator mechanics. Alongside the modern facelift, Grid now feels a class above predecessors in the series, delivering an exciting - if not a touch uncomplicated and shallow - racing experience.

Though Codemasters have rightfully earned a reputation among the sim racing community for their more realistic efforts in the F1 and Dirt Rally series, the latest instalment in the Grid franchise is not nearly as punishing. Nor, unfortunately, is it nearly as deep as the aforementioned games.

Outside of the tightly packed track racing that can be somewhat reminiscent of overpowered bumper cars, Grid feels lacking in content.

At first, Grid feels impressively fleshed out. Dumping you almost immediately into career mode, Grid presents you with a gargantuan amount of races and events, with a "Fernando Alonso" branded category even making a surprise appearance.

Unfortunately, Grid shows its full hand way too early into the 30-odd hour career mode, dumping virtually every track in the game almost immediately and then recycling those paltry few circuits ad nauseum throughout the remainder of the game.

Fortunately, the tracks are extremely detailed and brimming with life. Paired with the stunning weather effects they are probably some of the prettiest circuits in video gaming but the meagre selection and arbitrary length of the career mode can't help but to leave a bad taste in one's mouth.

Elsewhere, Grid suffers further with some curious design choices. As a quick illustration, you can actually hire new teammates to drive with, but the option is never pointed out to you and is hidden amongst nonconsequential settings on your profile page.

Grid thrills and excites as no other game in the series has done before. It may also be one of the prettiest racing games ever devised, which makes it all the more a shame that Codemasters have given us a rather half-baked project, brimming with style but lacking greatly in substance.

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