Race Driver Grid

RDGps3DiskCover

Intro
When I first saw the Grid game trailer I thought “this is it!”. We can finally have a proper racing game to keep us flat out, while GranTurismo5 eventually comes out. Because waiting for GT5 has been such a long and frustrating time for all of us.RDGcarviews The Prologue just couldn’t keep us satisfied for all these years. Almost two years now if I am not wrong. So Race Driver Grid was like the illumination we all needed in these difficult racing times. Especially for PlayStation3 racers. Xbox users had their Project Gotham Racing series. But there wasn’t much happening for the rest.

Game Interface and Handling
So there I am full of great expectations. Had it all set up for a new era of my racing days. My race seat was dusted, my steering wheel polished, perfect room location picked… RDGgamePlayI was going to be a race driver again.
First thing I noticed was the menu similarity with Colin McRae Dirt. Same data log boards floating around showing driver’s statistics: miles driven, highest speeds, wins etc. Even the time keeper was the same. TagHeuer, an institution in motor sport for almost a decade. And I started to feel a little bit uncertain. What if the game play and car handling was the same? Well, there was only one way to find out….

The Plot
Race driver starts you as a rookie with only one old Mustang in the garage. With lots of repairs and upgrades needed to be done. And for this you will need money. And to earn the money you will need to race for other teams. Once you’ve earned enough you can fix your car and start racing for yourself and winning more cash and reputation. Then you get offers from sponsors and respectively more cash. You can even recruit other drivers to drive for your team. It sounds a bit confusing but don’t worry, once you start things can only get better and easier
It takes some time to get used with the car handling though. Having played GT5 Prologue for so long, makes me a little bit unsure with the noticeably lighter and bouncier cars in Grid. They feel much more aggressive and easier for spin outs that GT5P. Braking wasn’t an easy job as well. I had to learn to be more careful on the pedals.

Game Play
You race with 19 other cars. 20 in total. And they are all determined to leave you behind. The AI is fierce. Your opponents will block, bash and even knock you out if they have to. Which is something really thrilling and live, but can be quite frustrating sometimes. RDGinCarDetailsRDGraceStartAnd also the car damage. It is so realistic that you’ll think twice before planning a brave overtaking manoeuvre again. You can’t take chances with the opponents AI. You can’t just make your way through the pack bumping the car in front like we probably all do in GT. No, not in this game. You will suffer if you don’t adapt to the Grid style of driving.
Races are divided in three territories – Europe, USA and Japan. And several different types of racing – from straight to destruction stages. And drifting of course.

Flashback
One thing I was ignoring at the beginning but lately found irreplaceable was the Flashback. A little feature that can make your race even more inspiring. A simple press of a button, after you’ve had a spin or a crash, takes you back to the point before the wrong move that caused you troubles. Its like fast backwarding the live race. Really the most helpful feature. It must become a standard for racing games I think.RDGraceReplay

Controls
Yet again, I couldn’t actually find using the steering wheel a very easy thing. I mean, the force feedback was again feeling a bit unreal. Same as the Dirt, it was just too vibrating or not at all. Steering wasn’t the easiest thing to get used to straight away. But with a little bit of time spent on training with the different wheel settings, you’ll find it astonishing. I tried several Logitech wheels on my race seat simulator but they were all acting almost the same. It was just a matter of getting used to the handling. And once you manage, you and your cockpit become one on the track.

The upshot
Yes, Grid is a racing game. A real one. It’s live and vivid. RDGscreenShotCar damage effects are so detailed and realistic. Races feel so fast and nimble. Without doubt the best racing game for PlayStation at the moment. A must have title for every racer’s collection. No racing simulation is complete without it.
The game has earned every right to be on the top. Where it belongs.
For now….

Developer: Codemasters

Publisher: Codemasters

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS;

Release Dates: May 30, 2008