previewed on PC
Codemasters are set to release a new arcade style racer named GRID later this year. Codemasters have had a fairly good history in this genre, with many titles spanning from the Toca Touring Cars Series to more recent titles such as DiRT. When I first laid eyes on the game, I uttered a simple but all-revealing “Wow”. I was overwhelmed to say the least. The amazing graphics are some of the most impressive you and I will see in this particular era of gaming. Needless to say, my interest was piqued.
Powering the game is the Ego Engine. This engine is an evolved and updated version of the Neon Engine that was previously used for DiRT. A comparison between the graphics of DiRT and GRID shows a real improvement that was achieved in a very short time, yet the changes aren’t restricted to the visuals alone. With all the work put into the development of the engine, Codemasters have managed to produce some fantastic results. They range from a realistic crash damage model that calculates the damage that happens when cars even so much as scrape the side of each other, to being shunted in the rear and having your bumper dangling behind your car for the remainder of the race.
The gameplay sees a change from the likes of DIRT, taking it back to the style of Toca Touring Cars and offering that classic racing feel again. The world of GRID has been split up into three areas where events take place; Europe, The United States and Japan. Each of these has a different style and ambiance. The European races features more classic racing circuits and touring. The U.S. boast large city circuits and bigger cars to race in, including famous cities such as Washington, San Francisco, Detroit and Long Beach. Japan offers city drifting around tracks with corners that any drifter could only dream of.
The guys at Codemasters have been talking to real drivers and experts of the sport to help make the game feel more realistic and intense. While working close with these experts, it has helped them to reach a tremendous amount of realism, reflecting circuits down to nearly a perfect recreation, along with real race drivers being able to feel under- and oversteer while playing the game.