Codemasters certainly had its heart in the right place with the making of GRID Autosport, pitching it as a thrilling racing experience offering five different disciplines to make sure none of its fans are left behind.
Autosport certainly feels like a love letter to its fanbase, a thinly-veiled apology for the misguided GRiD 2. It offers motorheads the chance to race across over 100 different routes through 22 locations in Endurance, Touring, Tuner, Street and Open Wheel events, as well as the GRID Grand Slam, which combines races from all five race types once you reach certain XP milestones.
No matter which race you’re in, or where you are on the track, you’re guaranteed to be involved in high-octane, wheel-to-wheel action. Cars will spin-out, smash into you and offer a challenge that means the battle for eighth or ninth is just as tough as for the win. The damage models and sound effects also give a real meaty feel to every bump.
But as fun as the racing can be, niggling issues around it can hinder the experience.
There’s the issue of qualifying, an option at the start of an event which, if ignored, means you start in last place. This may seem fair, but qualifying becomes tiresome and with the grid positions reversed in the second race for most events, it loses purpose.
Team orders also feel wrong. I shouldn’t be telling my team-mate how to drive; the pit crew should be telling the pair of us what strategies to adopt throughout a race. The XP system also doesn’t do enough to grab my attention. The lack of any investment outside of racing is a shame, as the metagame lacks some much-needed depth.
That said, the all-important thing is that the racing is great and a swift return to form for the GRID series. In spite of my qualms, the variety and intensity of racing on offer is enough to keep players coming back.
Version tested: Xbox 360
7 / 10
- All five disciplines offer something unique
- Racing is great
- Sterile UI
- Qualifying implementation is frustrating