GRID Xbox One X Review

October 24, 2019 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Features, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: Codemasters  Developer: Codemasters  Genre: Racing  Players: 1-16  

Age Rating: 3+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4

It’s been half a decade since the previous GRID game, GRID Autosport, so it’s very welcome to finally have a fourth instalment in the series. Simply titled GRID, this is once again an arcade/simulation hybrid, which means it’s nowhere near as easy to control as, say, Burnout, but not as difficult to control as something like Gran Turismo or Forza.

The vehicle handling is a lot of fun, and can be customised to your liking. You can turn off three assists, giving you full control and potential mastery over your vehicle, but if you prefer an easier time then the assists will allow for this. The vehicles feel weighty, but also glide around corners if you can guide them to. Vehicle handling is obviously one of the most important things to get right in a racing game, and Codemasters definitely impresses with GRID’s model.

There’s a good range of vehicles split over a number of different disciplines. There are touring cars, American Stock cars, pick-up trucks, tuners, and more, with each feeling distinct in the way that they handle when out on the track. What they have in common though is they each offer the type of wheel-to-wheel action and drama that Codemasters is famous for.

Another thing that Codemasters are renowned for in their racing games is the AI, and GRID doesn’t disappoint on this front either. On the tougher difficulty levels, AI opponents really do put up a fight, and like a real person are even prone to mistakes. There’s also a brand new nemesis system included in the game, with too many shoves from yourself angering an opponent, giving them a slight stats boost as well as making them a little more aggressive towards you. This aggression doesn’t last, however, with their stance being reset to neutral after each race series.

The Flashback rewind feature of course makes its return, with Codemasters being one of the early pioneers of a now much used racing game feature.

The career mode has around 100 events, with you working your way through different series‘, and not necessarily in a linear fashion. As you purchase vehicles for different events, you may find yourself having to grind to earn enough money for some of the more expensive motors. Each series is topped with a showdown event, and eventually you’ll find yourself racing in the GRID World Series. With a rather slight career mode and few options and only 13 racing locations, GRID is definitely a little lacking in content, and this is easily its biggest issue. In better news, the game is set to receive some free DLC in the future, which will surely add some value. 

There’s a mixture of fictional tracks alongside famous ones such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and Indianapolis, with some returning from previous GRID games. Many of the tracks have differing routes and can also be played in reverse, but the game could have definitely done with more tracks from launch, particularly as the career mode wouldn’t have felt as stretched out then. I can already hear the collective cry of “we want more” from players.

The game sadly doesn’t have any split-screen options, but it does have online multiplayer. If games are not full, AI racers will fill-in for real life players. At the time of writing, the player community seems rather small, so here’s hoping that it will build up over time, allowing for races to have more than a handful of players in them.

GRID looks absolutely stunning, at least on the Xbox One X. Running at a close to perfect 60fps, there’s much beauty to be seen in the immensely detailed vehicles, the soggy weather conditions, the blinding sun, and the dazzling lights and fireworks during many of the night races. It also must be said that Codemasters have done an amazing job in making everything feel so important, with the aforementioned fireworks, as well as balloons filling the sky above the enthusiastic crowds.

While the lack of content is something that can’t easily be ignored, GRID is still a very accomplished racing game in the way that it both looks and feels. There’s much action to be found out on the track, and this along with the in-game presentation, gives the game so much personality that you can almost smell the fumes and the burning rubber.