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A Visceral Blend of Career and Arcade Racing
Published on June 23, 2008 By mittens In Console Games

I know Grid isn't the greatest arcade racing game ever but, goddamn, I love it so much. It has the perfect blend of a career mode where I can make money, buy cars, hire teammates and then merges that with a with a more arcade-like set of racing mechanics. The game has a great sense of speed and an absurdly good damage model that makes events like the Demolition Derby -- an event I haven't played since Destruction Derby for the Playstation -- an absolute blast to play. One of the game's bullet points is an instant replay system which allows players a number of attempts to go back in time in the game (a la Prince of Persia: Sands of Time) and undo whatever mistake was made the first try; this is a mechanic that, at first, I was annoyed by due to the unnecessary menu-work that was required to use the feature but, after some time with the game, it's a fantastic addition to avoid the video game racing gamer's urge to restart a rice a few dozen times to perfect a given event.

Story time:

I got my first team driver yesterday. His name was Seth Brown. He didn't even finish the first of our two races in an event. I want to not only fire him, but tie him to a tree in the middle of the forest and make him pay me back for the event winnings he took. The fact that I couldn't is clearly evidence of lazy development but, anyway, I fired him and then replaced him with a much better teammate and then I got an achievement for it.

Tonight that new teammate and I fucking annihilated the Europe rookie cup and took Team Kitten to the top in every race. At one point I was in second and then I got too aggressive on the final turn and flipped over, did a complete 360 in the air, and managed to make it over the railing onto the other side of the turn, beat out the first place guy, and zoomed to a first-place finish. Then I went back to finish the last (sixth) race of the America Rookie cup, finished that, and then beat some jerk that challenged me in head-to-head and got a million dollars.

Then I drove a Lamborghini for another team and failed to finish 24 Heures Du Mans (a twenty-four minute race) since I got impatient and overly-aggressive and, with no flashbacks left, ran head first into a wall which was surprisingly well-built.


Comments
on Jun 24, 2008

I like it alot too. Its a fun racer that puts the Need for Speed series to shame.

My only complaint is the "rubber-band / catch-up AI" and the different physics given to the AI (you can't knock them around as well as they can knock you). This leads to unfair races and later on some of the races are unneccesarily hard only because of this.

on Jun 24, 2008

Phazon88

I like it alot too. Its a fun racer that puts the Need for Speed series to shame.
My only complaint is the "rubber-band / catch-up AI" and the different physics given to the AI (you can't knock them around as well as they can knock you). This leads to unfair races and later on some of the races are unneccesarily hard only because of this.

Yeah, the AI is annoying but, for the most part, it still manages to be better than most of the other races I've played recently. If nothing else, the competition my teammate gives me for first place is entertaining.

on Jun 25, 2008

What platform have you been playing it on?

on Jun 25, 2008

TouchMyBox
What platform have you been playing it on?

Xbox 360. I played the demo on the PS3. I haven't tried the PC version at all (and probably won't).

on Jun 26, 2008
I'm always a bit disappointed with console racers - 24 minutes for a race is hardly worthy being called endurance, you have a minimal starter field, different physics applied to gamer and AI racers, rubberbanding, AI that drives 'on rails' no matter what's happening in front, AI drivers that never overtake each other...



So far the only game that managed to pull of a real race is GTR2 - up to 60 cars on the circuit, real physics, no rubberband, an AI that at least tries to avoid collisions and actually overtakes, sensible lengths for a race (anything less than 10 laps simply is ridiculous) and a very moddable engine with great free add-on tracks.

NFS Pro Street is a step in the right direction with somewhat better physics than the last incarnations (Porsche was the last good one before that), but is severerly hampered by the AI and other minor difficulties.

Forza 2 is also a good attempt, if you play multiplayer and set race lengths yourself. On the other hand you have an extremely static AI (they finish the way they started) and not enough options for quick play single player events - you have to create multiplayer to be able to set up a race you want.


I'm waiting for the next good racing title to come out, but I fear that every new title gets pushed more and more towards arcade racing instead of a more real approach.
on Jun 26, 2008

pndrev
I'm always a bit disappointed with console racers - 24 minutes for a race is hardly worthy being called endurance, you have a minimal starter field, different physics applied to gamer and AI racers, rubberbanding, AI that drives 'on rails' no matter what's happening in front, AI drivers that never overtake each other...

Normally, I would agree, but Grid isn't a sim racer. An actual twenty-four hour race in the kind of game that Grid is would feel remarkably out of place. As I said, it's kind of a blend of the career mode found in most sim racers with a more arcade-styled racing game.

on Jun 26, 2008
I don't have anything against arcade racers, they are fun. I just wish there'd be more sim racers out there.
on Jun 26, 2008

pndrev
I don't have anything against arcade racers, they are fun. I just wish there'd be more sim racers out there.

I agree completely, but I'm not holding out hope for any good sim titles until Forza 3 and Gran Turismo 5. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue was a nice treat to whet my appetite while I wait for the full game but, now, I want the full game. Now.

No, like, now.

on Jul 07, 2008
I got my copy of the game yestaday man i love it too it realy get's a hold of ya.....

Great game...  

And i'm playing it on the 360.
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