Saturday, June 21, 2008

Codemasters Shows Their Racing Pedigree with GRID!

Pictures of Race Driver: Grid that I took with a DSLR:

(Note: the game has no photo mode and doesn't let you save race replays.)

- The graphics are so incredible when this game is in motion.....gave me the exact same feeling I got when I played PGR4 last year. It's just exhiliratingly fast!

- The best advantage of this game is the career mode, which feels more involved and interesting. I like the idea of having a racing teammate. Also, those 20 car races are just EPIC.

- It doesn't take too much of your time. Only a few menu screens to navigate before you get to the actual race.

- The racing itself is so exciting and intense. Those two words describe it perfectly. The game never feels as ridiculous as Burnout, but there's a lot more drama and fantastic moments that happen every race compared to racing sims like Forza 2 or Gran Turismo. As a result, you'll never fall asleep on the wheel. There's always something happening at every lap, be it an accident, spin-out, or battles for position. The AI is not cheap but it doesn't give you an easy time either....there will be moments that they will hit you to gain pole position, but I noticed it never gets as stupid as it does when you play racing games against human opponents online. I can't easily describe it other than to say the game just feels so 'balanced' as a racing experience. Never a dull moment!

Hardcore purist simulator fans should stay away from GRID because the game does take the occasional leap from reality when it comes to rendering things like crashes and car collisions....but ultimately, it's these deviations from realism that make the game so satisfying to play. GRID may not be a great racing simulator....but it sure is a great racing video game that delivers the excitement and intensity that you'll never find from other realistic racing simulations in the market today.

Dare I declare, Codemasters just showed both Microsoft Games Studio AND Polyphony Digital how racing games should be made.

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