Race Driver: GRID Preview for DS

On: DSXbox 360PS3PC

With the excellent Burnout Paradise and Project Gotham Racing 4 currently satisfying virtual speed junkies, racing fans are covered. Not so, says Codemasters. And to prove it, they're readying Racedriver: GRID for the track this summer on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Nintendo DS. We caught up with chief games designer Ralph Fulton to ask him what the team has done to make Racedriver the best ever in the series.

Race Driver: GRID screenshot

VideoGamer.com: From what we've seen, it seems like you guys are going for more of an arcade racer feel compared with previous Race Driver games. Why this change in direction?

Ralph Fulton: Yes we've definitely changed direction, although I'd definitely stop short of calling GRID an arcade racer. The change is really manifested in the game's content - we've looked beyond Europe to the US and Japan to find new styles of racing, and new environments to race in. We're also really keen to make the game as accessible as possible so that newcomers to the series aren't put off by the difficulty curve, but I don't think that comes at the expense of depth - there are still a lot of options for the serious racing fan.

VideoGamer.com: It's fair to say sales of PGR4 were disappointing. Does that worry you guys? Is the racing genre becoming niche?

Race Driver: GRID screenshot

RF: I don't think so. I think last year was just an epic year for top quality racing games so there was a lot of competition for the racing fan's attention.

VideoGamer.com: We've heard about the game's Flashback feature - how will it work? Will there be a cap on how many times you can use it in a race? Will it
implemented into multiplayer games?

RF: Flashback is one of the features we've added to improve the game's accessibility - having an amazing damage system means you get to see lots of cool crashes but it also means races can end in the time it takes to misjudge a corner, which for the new player can be off-putting. With Flashback you can watch a replay of your crash and then choose a point in it to "flash back" to, allowing you to get back in the race and remedy your mistake immediately. It's much less punishing than having to restart your race. The number of Flashbacks you are allowed in each race is determined by the difficulty level you're playing on - higher difficulty equals fewer Flashbacks - and in the career game there's a cash bonus for unused Flashbacks at the end of a race. And no, it's not available in multiplayer races.

Race Driver: GRID screenshot

VideoGamer.com: What can you tell us about the online functions of the game? Do you guys have any plans for DLC? If so what are they?

RF: You can race most of the events available in the single-player game online, in 12 player races. We've concentrated on online features which allow you to choose what you do and stay in a session for as long as possible, so we've got a host migration system which automatically switches hosting duties if the original host drops out (rather than booting everyone back to the lobby), and we've got a voting system which means everybody has a say in the event they race next. We also let you set the length of the event you want to enter, from single races to five race events.

We have plans to release several DLC packs in the months after release, and we're already working on them. We'll release details of them when we have everything confirmed.

Race Driver: GRID screenshot

VideoGamer.com: Do you have any plans to release a demo? If so when might that be?

RF: Definitely. It should be out at the start of May.

VideoGamer.com: How has the EGO engine improved? How does it translate to the PS3 compared with the Xbox 360? Is it better suited to either platform?

RF: The EGO engine has been improving in lots of ways over the last year. For GRID, the main changes have been to allow for features which DiRT didn't have - 20 car grids, night racing, a 24 hour day-to-night cycle for Le Mans - but there have been numerous changes to our lighting and shader systems which mean that GRID is visually stunning. We've also completely rewritten our car damage and deformation system, and implemented a crowd system which allows us to populate each track with up to 40,000 fully modelled, animated spectators. EGO has been designed to be truly multi-platform so there is no significant difference between the two consoles.

VideoGamer.com: What framerate are you guys going for? A locked 30FPS or 60FPS - is it better to have 60FPS or 30FPS with motion blur?

RF: We're going to be locked to 30fps. That was actually a really easy decision for us - the visual improvements I was talking about wouldn't have been possible if we'd been aiming for 60fps.

VideoGamer.com: How is the development team tackling multi-platform development? Will there be any differences at all between the console versions of the game in terms of gameplay and graphics? Is there a lead platform?

RF: As I mentioned, EGO is a multi-platform engine which has been designed to make developing on all three platforms as simple as possible. We don't have a lead platform, and the differences between the consoles will be pretty negligible.

VideoGamer.com: The DS version of the game has a track creator - any plans to implement this into the console versions? If not, why?

RF: Not for this game, although the we love the track creator in the DS version.

VideoGamer.com:The game won't be coming to the Wii. Why have you guys decided not to release a Wii version? Could GRID ever come to the Wii?

RF: We develop the "next gen" (is it still called that?) versions internally while the DS version is developed by a separate team, mainly because the demands of the DS are so different from a design point of view. The same is true of Wii; you can't just port a game to it - it has to be designed specifically for the console from the ground up. We're lucky that we have an external team developing GRID DS who understand what we want to achieve from the game and can translate that to the DS. If we find a team who can do the same with a Wii version then you can expect to see a version in the future.

Racedriver: GRID is set for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and the Nintendo DS this summer.

New stuff to check out

12 Comments

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

wii lover's Avatar
Delete Post

wii lover

i want it on the wii crying
Posted 19:38 on 29 July 2008
ass's Avatar
Delete Post

ass

i think GRID will look better 60 fps with blur it happened before on Gran Turismo HD on ps3 and NFS MW on 360
Posted 08:07 on 26 July 2008
Nintruendo's Avatar
Delete Post

Nintruendo

Just played the hell out of the demo today. Drift mode really caught my fancy, the best drift game I've played so far. Very arcade tho, but fun as hell. Based on what I saw today I can't wait to pick up the real game, but mostly as a arcade style drift game. The drift mode has a nice scoring system, so pick up and play high-score runs can get addictive. No replacement for any GT game, but way better than any NFS game I've played.
Posted 08:38 on 29 May 2008
Maryus's Avatar
Delete Post

Maryus

Hello !
Posted 20:45 on 28 May 2008
Tom's Avatar
Delete Post

Tom

After playing the demo I can just say that the feel was a massive disappointment. I was expecting TOCA3 quality handling, but this is more of a Need For Speed clone.

And how I'm disappointed, because TOCA3 is a game I still play today - it's not a sim no, but closer to a sim than arcade. And the cars feel heavy, you can feel the grip of the tyres on the tarmac. The cars in Grid, I'm afraid, feel like they were floating on air and you just can't sense each wheel separately losing traction.

Suitable for console gamers probably, too light for PC racers.
Posted 18:33 on 20 May 2008
Flagmo-T's Avatar
Delete Post

Flagmo-T

It could be very interesting to have a clean honest Yes or no, to the handling part.
I know there is a demo coming out soon, at that will of course tell us lots of stuff about GRID, But ! If they think that EX: DIRT was a Sim racing game, then we gonna have a problem, And please don't get me wrong, Dirt has some really nice approaches to become Simms, but they left it out, if they only had change the idea of brake/reverse then it would have been must more interesting, Those cars has Hydraulic Brakes in real life, and it takes about 4-5 seconds to put it in reverse gear, and forward again, but NO!! Dirt is instantly going reverse, and That removes lots of the real driving feeling, In the graphics and modeling it's a piece of art, But it's not enough for me, Sorry!! I Must admit the for me, Richard burns rally is the Top rally games of all times, and as long as they haven got near that, then it's not really Sim-racing or close to, pure Colin McCrae Arcade, and thats a damn pity in my book, they did release some small programs for PC, to get closer to Sim race, But again, the Rev/brake part hasn't been altered..

But hey, I'm looking forward To grid as any forth coming racing game, so it will have a honest try, and it could surprise us all.. But ya, it could end up being just another NFS kind of game..

Petter Solberg rally, is coming this year, and i do hope that petter, is going for something like RBR, instead of Dirt!! ( Big hopes friends)

Dream Extreme
Flagmo-T.

PS. doobi you are absolutely right, last year had some race game releases, But Sega rally - Dirt - Motor-storm - NFS-S - Juiced2 - Ridge racer 7 is pure Arcade!!
F1 edition is both, Gt5 is both, forza Motorsport 2 is both, Fia WTCC is both (SImbing).. Meaning Sim/Arcade, it's totally up to you have you wanna play it..

Øv øv øv!!
Gt5 misses one very important thing, in the online part. You can't see if the time was done with saxi controlles or wheels and pedals, and i'm driving with W& P which is more fun for me, but it's also much harder to get the quicker times, so they should have Added a part for a icon, that tells the User, which controls has been used.. Otherwise it's a little unfair, not wrong, But just unfair.. ;)
Posted 13:27 on 04 March 2008
Aado's Avatar
Delete Post

Aado

No way will this come near to GT5. It doesn't even come close to the realism because it has zero, yes no official track in the game! How odd is that. Besides that, it has acrade feel and 100x less cars and less physics.
Posted 19:58 on 03 March 2008
doobi's Avatar
Delete Post

doobi

Hmm, I think last year was just saturated with racing games. PGR4 on it's own merits isn't bad, but it was crushed by DiRT and Forza.

I love sim races, but unfortunately over time they end up getting either boring and repetitive or the hardcore crowd just dominates. I found DiRT hit a sweet spot between fun racing and simishness that's was almost perfect. I still prefer track racing so when I heard about GRiD I nearly wet myself ;)

I just really hope tehy keep it more sim and not go stupid arcade like Prostreet. Now there;s a franchise that needs to disappear!
Posted 18:38 on 03 March 2008
Richdad's Avatar
Delete Post

Richdad

Yeah may be its right it could be GT5 beater but on PS3 only since graphics wise details are higher that is its a little stylish and GT5 is very formal in its visual style sure it has great technology but artwork of GRID is better and technology is not far way. But yeah GT5 is the second best or best (accroding to choice) in terms of depth but the accessibility issue is quite valid.
If you are playing GT previously then it would be best racing game for you. But as far as controls go GT is going for its same hardcore users, so those who are new to GT5 might not be liking it instantly they might play it because of graphics but getting use to controls of GT5 wll not be easy. GRID is going to give both depth and classic racing which doesnt hurts its appeal.
Posted 16:35 on 03 March 2008
gran turismo's Avatar
Delete Post

gran turismo

what the hell u just said...*This game could be a gran turismo beater*
Posted 16:29 on 03 March 2008
Flagmo-T's Avatar
Delete Post

Flagmo-T

No sir. They have already told us, the mian reason why they have made racer game, it's pure fun, and not even near a true simulator racer game, they should bought the right's for Richard burns rally, and done a RBR2 instead, this sounds like Arcade racer, and nothing more, Gt5P is showing the race game developers have to do a race game, with respect for it's users, I hope i'm wrong, But sweet talk is nothing woth these days, The judgement will be cruel when it hits the street, so i hope they are repecting both sides of racers, Arcade and real sim..

Dirt is another codemaster game, and the sweet talk about that game, was amazing physics and real driving, well, they ended up bieng laughed at, because it's a beautiful and fun too, But so damn arcade that it hurts..

Grid looks good, graphics and modeling is awesome, but thats only what i should be like in 2008, the whole thing comes down too, handling!! so if they have thought about both side of racers, they will probabbly succeed with this game, but Not likely for what the interview is saying.. Sorry!!!! ;)

Dream Extreme
Flagmo-T..

ps.. developers games like burnout and Dirt - Project Gotham Racing 4 - Juiced - is not gonna last, people get tired quickly about them, because there isn't any real competition in them.. GT5p - RBR - Rfactor - F1 - Forza Motorsport 2- is giving something back.. well that's my opinnion for future racers, we are growing guy's even the young people..
Posted 15:57 on 03 March 2008
Clark's Avatar
Delete Post

Clark

This game could be a gran turismo beater with its wide variety of race styles and the graphics of the next genration in terms of racing games! The rewind feature could be good but there should be a power bar for your race skills & then be allowed to rewind once filled up. Looking MEGATRON!!
Posted 15:05 on 03 March 2008

Game Stats

Release Date: 08/08/2008
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 3,927 6
View Full Site