previewed on PC
To err is.. artificial?
GRID is boasting 45 cars to its name, but not just any 45 cars. They are 45 of the best cars in the world of racing. Perhaps 45 cars is a fairly small number considering the amount of cars you can see in other games, but Codemasters went through a long selection process of choosing the best and only the best cars for their small line-up. The cars were judged on what requirements they would need to be classed as the best of that category, and how good they performed compared to others.
The AI that controls your opponents has some unique tricks up its sleeve. Instead of the AI just racing you, they will race each other, competing for pole position, instead of just aiming to overtake you like so many games. Along with that, the AI will have some imperfections, just as a real human would have. They may make mistakes, misjudge braking or even mess up while trying to overtake another racer. These little features offer a nice sense of realism and do a lot to create a very intense atmosphere.
Loading up the game, players are presented with three options. Grid World offers three events in which you race against the AI and get to grips with the controls. In this mode you can try out each style of racing, in each of the three areas where the game takes place. You have your classic rally type race, a muscle run through San Francisco and finally drifting around one of the Japan tracks. In Time Trial you compete for the best lap records in two different challenges and two different locations. Special cars are made available and you will race against a ‘ghost car’ that will drive at the current best time. Using the Xbox Live option, you guessed, will let you play against other people.
With the game offering both online leader boards and in-game rankings, there is no doubt that drivers will be competing in a murderously competitive driving arena. Drivers will have to perform at the best of their ability if they intend to get noticed.
It is not often that I run into a racing game that actually impresses me. They are a dime a dozen and creating something that stands out of the crowd is not easy. GRID clearly does and may well turn out to be this year’s top racer.