It’s been a little over a year since the last GRID game was released, and GRID Autosport has driven in a new direction and promises five different styles of racing and takes on all of the community feedback from the prior releases to give us one of their best racing games to date, but can it live up to the expectations?
GRID Autosport throws you directly into the deep end from the get go. You begin a race almost as soon as you start the game, with only the knowledge that the left stick allows you to steer and the R2 and L2 buttons accelerate and brake respectively. The race isn’t easy, but let’s you know what to expect from the rest of the game and gives you an inclination as to whether or not you’d like to adjust the difficulty. Customising the difficulty is where GRID Autosport really excels in catering to all levels of players; if you’d like corner assisted braking and infinite “rewind time” then you can do that, or if you want no assists at all, you can do that also. The amount of changes you can make allow you to choose the correct level of difficulty for you.
There are 100 routes spread over 22 locations, and the level selection appears to be vast, but you have to take into consideration that you can almost half this number as most tracks can be played in reverse. In some cases these laps can feel drastically different, and in others not so much. GRID Autosport also boasts five different racing disciplines; Touring, Endurance, Open Wheel, Drift / Tuning, and Street, which is a huge departure from previous games in the series.
In the “Career” mode you are given the choice of the five race types listed above. Each one can be taken on in any order, or if you’d like you could simply follow one discipline through to the end at a time. However, this does have its limits and special “GRID Grand Slam” events can only be unlocked by reaching level 3, 6, 9 and so on in experience rankings in all five disciplines. Experience is given by firstly choosing a sponsor, who will ask you to complete certain tasks per event, and by winning races. So there’s nothing necessarily innovative there. The sense of speed within races is intense and this is multiplied with the camera shake feature that is automatically enabled. I had to turn off after 2 or 3 laps as it became too jarring to continue with it switched on.
Each race type has a single season and you have to race in all the events provided. There is no freedom in car selection, tracks or liveries, it is all pre-determined, which is where GRID Autosport can fall short. For example, if you selected “Open Wheel” racing you will find yourself thrust into a race at a specified course for 4 laps, and in roughly 6-8 minutes of gruelling racing you might finish first and as expected the race is over and on to the next one right? Well, yes and no. You then take place in another race, but for some reason it is the exact same course with exactly the same number of laps, and it’s not even reversed! At first, I was convinced the first race must have been a qualifying round, but even after finishing in 1st place I started at the back of the pack in the next race. After playing another season I was sad to discover that you have to play each course two times for some unknown reason.