By: Jeff Cater
GRID Autosport has been released by Codemasters, the guys and gals famous for creating some of the more tense and detailed racers in gaming history. While GRID Autosport has a few questionable omissions, there is still a solid race experience to partake in this year.
It doesn’t break the mold or anything, but GRID Autosport is immediately accessible to anyone. It controls in the same ways many racers do; the triggers handle gas and braking while the left stick steers your car. Keeping their racing experience constant throughout titles is a specialty of Codemasters, and GRID Autosport is another great example of a racer you can pick right up and play. Each of the selectable vehicles handles a bit differently and has its own little nuances, with only a few of them that are difficult to handle even given the super friendly controls.
GRID Autosport looks pretty damn slick where it really counts, and truly the only gripes I had about the visuals is the lackluster crowd (which is usually where racing titles suffer) and the in-car camera where you can see all your gauges and meter in their full, non-functional glory. Other than that, the frame rate is consistent throughout the various weather effects, and the cars look gorgeous and feature great amounts of detail. You can’t really ask for more than pretty cars moving cleanly and quickly.
The co-drivers and announcers are also believable, and they don’t have the cut-up feel that some racing games try to get away with. The soundtrack sounds like a mix of James Bond themes and Darude tracks, and the races are full of “BRRRRRRAPS” and squealing tires so it can be a pretty excitable aural experience during heated laps.
GRID Autosport lets you perform any of five activities at any time during your career, letting you decide when to partake in an event that you maybe aren’t particularly fond of, or if you like to save the best for last. Of the five selectable, Touring is the most fun. Touring races are generally a very claustrophobic experience; the tracks are very tight and filled with “OH SHIT” braking moments.
Amongst the other modes like Tuner, Open Wheel and Street mode, Endurance is the other stand out. Mostly due to the very questionable decision to leave out pit crews, so on any given Endurance race you can flatten a tire early or bend up an axle, but you’re screwed at that point because there is literally no way fix your vehicle. The tracks found in each mode are well thought out and warrant the play through of each in order to progress to Grand Slam Events which is basically a set of races spanning the five modes.
On the multiplayer side of things, you can race up to 11 real life opponents, but you may fill in the gaps with computer drivers if you don’t find or want a full match. You get to have your very own garage this time around, and get to fill it with any assortment of cars you can acquire.
GRID Autosport is a damn fine racer that should not be overlooked by any casual or hardcore racing fan. There’s something for everyone here, and it’s so easy to get started and pulled into its universe.