Race Driver: GRID

Race Driver: GRID Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCDS

Challenging players to become the number one race driver in a new world of exhilarating motorsport, Race Driver One will take players on a tour like never before.

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9Out of 10
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Drift events are a great addition to the series
Drift events are a great addition to the series

Drift events are a great addition to the series

Race variety is one of GRID's most impressive features. With a host of city tracks and racing circuits, drivable in muscle cars, touring cars, tuned cars, Formula 100 cars, destruction derby bangers and more, you always seem to be doing something new. One of the best new additions to the series is Pro Touge, which pits two drivers head to head on a treacherous mountainside road. These events have a knock-out tournament structure, with each battle consisting of a race down and then up the mountain. Racers take turns starting in the lead, with the overall time leader over both runs awarded the win. What makes this so exciting is the one-second penalty given to the pursuing driver if he touches the leading car. You can overtake, but touch bumpers and you're likely to be staring at defeat. Thrilling enough during the day, at night these high-speed chase events are about as tense as racing gets.

Pro Touge might bring back memories of Need for Speed, but GRID is an altogether more accomplished game. Take the drift events for example. Tried by many racing games down the years, including Need for Speed and Juiced, PGR is the only series that's managed to make drift racing fun. Well, you can add GRID to the list as it effortlessly adds yet another event type to its impressive roster. Fans of PGR will find many similarities, but the inclusion of drift-based races against other on-track drivers gives it an identity of its own.

On top of the racing GRID features a fairly simple team management system. Your first task is to add sponsorship to your cars, rewarding you with cash bonuses depending on the place you finish in each race. After a few hours you'll have gained a team mate, racing for the team but taking a cut of the earnings. It's up to you to try and pick the right driver for the job. You can also dabble with eBay to buy and sell used cars instead of models straight off the production line. None of these are complex features, but combined you get the sense that you're doing more than just racing to earn money.

GRID looks stunning, somehow managing to appear realistic and dream-like at the same time. Key to its impressive visuals are highly detailed tracks and cars, stunning lighting and a damage model that can only really be bettered by Burnout Paradise. Seeing such a graphically rich game run at a smooth frame rate is quite something, with some beautiful motion blur effects brilliantly disguising the 30 frames a second frame rate. Other than the odd occasion when there's a big pile up you won't notice a dip in the smooth refresh rate at all.

GRID looks even better in motion

GRID looks even better in motion

The all-round presentation is top notch, with fully 3D menus, superb audio work and even an in-game assistant that says your name - if your name is on the large list you're able to choose from. Although it's hard to argue with Gran Turismo 5 Prologue's attempt at photo realism, GRID is simply a more visually pleasing game to look at. Show me a Gran Turismo where an AI racer spins out on a corner, crashes into a road-side barrier, rolls and then takes out two other drivers, and then it might be able to hold a candle to Codemasters' quite brilliant technical achievement. Even the loading screens look brilliant, giving you game stats and updating you on your progress towards achievements.

Online play for up to 12 players feels incredibly solid, and if you're just interested in going for the fastest times on the global leaderboards the excellently integrated ghost car downloads will be all you need. Online races is in the majority of games on the market often boil down to who can get the best line on the first corner, effectively using the other cars to cheaply sneak around the corner. In GRID the damage modelling is good enough to punish players that use other cars as barriers, making for an altogether fairer and more competitive online game.

When I played a work-in-progress build of GRID a few months ago the flashback feature seemed like a clever gimmick. After extended time with the game it's clear that it's anything but. With a new found freedom to take risks GRID sits up there with the mighty Project Gotham Racing 4 as a leader in the arcade-style racing genre. If you're bored of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue's po-faced appearance and rigid driving model, look no further. Race Driver: GRID is tearing up the tarmac this summer without a challenger in site.

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User Comments

ahsan's Avatar
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hi give me complete game
Posted 07:31 on 11 September 2008
Vodoo's Avatar
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It does indeed have amazing graphics and a mind blowing soundtrack among the gameplay beauty that is to drive the multitude of high class cars BUT the knife that thrust itself in the heart of GRID is really the poor controls which made my decision to buy it falter.

with all due respect, screw your satellite resolution.....a good racing game is one that bonds with the driver, not pushes him towards aggravation.
Posted 16:56 on 23 August 2008
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Posted 11:15 on 08 August 2008
Jez's Avatar
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Oh, and please don't forget that handling characteristics of road cars and track-prepped cars are distinctively different. I suppose GRID was built to allow players to feel what it's like to experience pro-racing, whereas GT tries to simulate driving road cars. If anyone has taken a car on the road, as well as on the track there's a big difference, and race-car setups really give a feel as different from your everyday car to something you feel in a pro go-kart. I personally feel PGR gives the best road car feel but with it's dated graphics, GT5 still impresses me with it's actual car detailing but not any handling characteristics when taken beyond the limit (but granted it is prologue; if anyone remembered GT HD had horrible controls), and uh GRID's handling sits somewhere beyond arcade and simulation, I think it would be fine if I could be arsed to set the wheel settings proper, but I can see some realism shining through from the lighter steering when the car goes faster, and the braking/switching gears more akin to real race cars. Not to sound arrogant or whatnot but..yes...I have done some real track driving and have had some hands-on real performance cars and just wanted to share my thoughts...if it helps...which I think will be shot down, but hope it helps the people that really wanted to know.
Posted 00:34 on 07 August 2008
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I loved the graphics for GRID and was hoping it'll be brilliant as I loved dirt. But like in dirt, the controls didn't translate too well to the steering wheel. I believe PGR4 has more realistic handling. I haven't tried GT5 on a G25 yet, but graphics aside, GT5's handling has improved from previous iterations but I feel is still far from perfect. As for PC comparisons, I'm not too sure why anybody is fussed to compare, as nearly everyone has different configurations/ accessories that can affect their perceptions on the games they play on it. A PC will always be uncompromised as you can swap bits and adapt to changes in technology. However, as a keen player of consoles for years, despite the shortcomings of console gaming, I still believe it's relatively hassle free having a dedicated gaming machine that you can pop a game in knowing that it was designed to run the game without worrying about system requirements. Why do fanboys have to fight? Can't you just buy what is within your budget and be happy?
Posted 00:15 on 07 August 2008
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I dont own a PS3 but I have played the Demo and have just bought the game for my 360. Based on the demo alone I must say this looks fantastic. The AI is sharp and not boring at all and make you almost angry everytime you mess up or lose a place. "A game that makes you feel, is a game that make you play."
With regards to all your bickering about realism and simulation etc. I think the developers were trying to avoid Simulations so anyone can pick up the control and have-a-go, Yet hardcore players can still make a challenge for themselves.
Well done Code masters, you've made a great game which I personally will truly enjoy.
Posted 12:56 on 31 July 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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Can't of played this game to give it 9

All eye candy and old school arcade racer, poor.
Posted 17:37 on 15 July 2008
tommegunns's Avatar
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First off, a two thousand dollar p.c. does quite a bit more than a console. My p.c. only cost me $600.00 and i built it myself. And i can play every game that 360 and ps3 port over (which is just about all the good games) with a wireless xbox 360 for windows controller and enjoy the game on my 32in flat panel. (whoever said that computers had to have 17in monitors?). And while i am enjoying my game, i can be converting video from camcorder to dvd via fire wire, run a virus scan, and play mp3's in windows media player and usage is still under 80%. What kind of console can do that for you? P.C.'s just have too many more options as far as resolutions, video options, and And as for grid on p.c., a large percentage of new games don't play perfect until the first update patch (the same with some console games also). After installing the 1.1 patch my steering works GREAT, (it was either the patch or i just got used to it. but oh man you cant beat the scenery in that game. I think it might have something to do with the controllers you use also, i have a logitech that absolutely sucked, but the 360 for windows controller steers better than on an actual 360 in my opinion. This game is the best all around racer hands down.
Posted 23:28 on 19 June 2008
Some guy's Avatar
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Some guy

Ace game so tense and fun!!! Crash Kaboom!
Posted 16:04 on 17 June 2008
047gaboca's Avatar


I got this on PS3, i just love it. I don't know why people are complaining about it. If you have a high def. cable and a nice LCD or plazma TV at least 42 inch size then it looks perfect. Some people are never happy, huh ?
This game is simply awesome. GRID is definitely worth every penny. And the given 9 points in the review sounds right too.......well done Codemasters.
Posted 05:51 on 17 June 2008
Somo's Avatar
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Superb game ...it even runs with wonderful grafix on an Nvidia 6600 at the lowest settings !!!
Posted 20:35 on 14 June 2008
Sakda Niran's Avatar
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Sakda Niran

Sony can go to hell. I'm selling my defectively-sold-PS3 for a new kick ass grafix card, and a steering wheel for perks. I've been a fan of Sony for so long, but now I've just been cheated. Shame on you Sony, shame on you.
Posted 13:43 on 14 June 2008
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN@ danny

@ Danny

No disrespect, but i dont think u know much about pcs. They dont cost £2000 unless you goto pc world or dell directly. Mine didnt cost tht, and my pc version is by far better than the 2 console versions. Xbox360/PS3 Can only do so much, pc how ever can cut and paste your face on Cilla Black if it chose to lol
Posted 03:22 on 14 June 2008
danny's Avatar
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in fact only a goon would tell the difference,more fool you idiots
Posted 22:06 on 13 June 2008
danny's Avatar
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Can i just say,What kind of moron would spend 2 grand on a pc for gaming when you can buy a xbox 360 for £150 and play the same games and to the average eye they look identical
Posted 22:03 on 13 June 2008

Game Stats

Race Driver: GRID
Out of 10
Race Driver: GRID
  • Incredible visuals
  • Intense racing
  • Great variety
  • Twitchy controls at first
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 30/05/2008
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , DS
Developer: Codemasters
Publisher: Codemasters
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-12
Rating: PEGI 7+
Site Rank: 1,411 5
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