Codemasters has always been one of my favorite developers especially when it comes to racing games. GRID was a title I enjoyed on the Xbox 360 and I even enjoyed Autosport, but it never seemed to gain the traction other driving games had. And honestly, I was more into the rally scene with Codemasters as well as their F1 franchise. Well, GRID is back and rebooted for the current Gen and let me tell you that this game is just fun to play. From the moment you fire it up to the final race, you’ll find yourself enjoying a fantastic gaming experience as well as visual and audio experience.

Visually, GRID looks absolutely fantastic. The tracks and environments are right up there with the likes of Forza in lighting, detail and overall feel. I especially enjoyed the night races where the lighting and shadows just seemed to add to a realism despite GRID being more of an arcade experience. The car models are top notch and eve the damage done to cars look fantastic and not cookie cutter like some games. You’ll see cars flipping and barrel rolling down the track and there are times when you need to be quick on the throttle or brakes to avoid collisions with the other wrecks. It just looks stunning. The menus are also clean and can be navigated with ease.

In the audio department, the game does not disappoint. You’ll have realistic car engines screaming at red line speeds paired with exhaust backfires and hydraulic shifting sounds. You’ll hear the rumble of other cars rolling around the track as well, especially when running through valleys, tunnels or mountainsides. You literally will here the pack of engines echoing off rock walls. Let’s just say you get what you should expect from a car racing game when it comes to sound effects. Top quality throughout.

The game offers up single player and multiplayer options. In single player, you can select the Career mode which will have you running a marathon of races from 5 different disciplines and multiple car classes. There are also invitational events that put you behind the wheel of some classic cars like the Mini Cooper, Ferraris, Hillclimbers, and more. There is no shortage of races and car types for you to drive. One of the achievements in the game is to drive 25,000 miles. There is plenty of content here to get you to that milestone.

For many of the events in Career you will need to purchase cars from that specific class. You’ll earn money from winning races and having your teammate perform well also. You can command your teammate in races to push forward through the pack or hold a position. Be sure to do this as it helps you level up and earn more money. This is completed by using the D-Pad and pushing Up for advancing positions or pushing Down for holding a position. In the invitational races you’ll be granted a car to drive for that series.

There are various types of events too. Each event consists of multiple rounds which can be standard races or time attacks. You’ll earn points for your position and money. As I mentioned your teammate will also earn money and XP for you. Each discipline also has a Showdown event to compete once you have completed all the events. Once you have completed four Showdown events, you’ll be invited to the GRID World Series. Trust me when I say there is no shortage of races in career mode. The event list may look large and intimidating at first, but honestly it goes along pretty quick.

On the main menu you’ll also have some options outside of the Career and Multiplayer modes. Free Play allows you to set up races to your specific desires. You can adjust the Event Name, Discipline, Category, Class, Grid Size and Number of Rounds. The Player Profile tab lets you go in and edit driver specifics as well as look at your garage, scroll through objectives and even hire new teammates. The teammates will require a signing fee, they’ll have a per race fee they charge and each driver will have a specialization like being good at certain class of car. You’ll unlock new drivers as you level up. Be sure to check out the list often and hire new drivers accordingly. Multiplayer gives you the options of joining a quick match or opening up your own private match. You’ll have various options at your fingertips once again for setting up the races such as Category, Class, AI drivers, damage level, qualifying and more.

The races are quick to jump into and you’ll have the option to qualify for each race prior to the event. You just do this by hitting X rather than A to start the event. Now I love how easy it is to jump into the races, but many times I always forgot to qualify which would then start me back in the pack and it would be tough to overtake the competition at times and get into first. So be sure you hit that qualify button every time before the main race. I wish it would give you a heads up that you forgot to qualify before starting the actual race.

You can tune, but tuning is very limited in the game. It’s an arcade game so everyone is pretty much on a level playing field for the most part. To tune a car, you just hit the Y button prior to a race or qualifying and then adjust the sliders for 5 different categories. Once you have tuned a car, it will always have that tune until you change it or reset it to default. You must tune a car at least once if you desire to have a custom setup. You do not have to go back in and keep setting up the tune once you have completed it. As with most Codemasters racing games there is a flashback system that allows you to rewind those moments where you might have zigged when you should have zagged. It definitely comes in handy from time to time.

GRID is an arcade style racer with some simulation aspect mixed in. But it is definitely more arcade oriented which makes this a fun game to just hop in and go. Regardless of your skill level you should find some success with the game as you play it. There are plenty of licensed cars to drive and you’ll find a discipline you enjoy racing the most. I found the game to be very inviting and very user friendly to just get racing quickly. I cannot wait to see what they do next with this franchise and I can see it only getting better. This is one solid racing game for everyone to enjoy. DO yourself a huge favor and pick up GRID today because it’s worth every penny and then some. Keep in mind, this is a reboot and not a remaster.  And its fantastic, period.

Score: 95 out of 100

*** A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

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