Grid Autosport

I’ve been a longtime fan of Codemasters TOCA Touring Car games, playing the first on my PC before jumping onto a console – the original Playstation – for the second outing when my PC wasn’t up to the required specs. It’s the game that turned me from a PC gamer to a console gamer and I’ve never gone back.

TOCA wasn’t just another racing game, it was the game based on the British Touring Car series, a motorsport that encourages a bit of friendly rubbing and often sees fierce competition and high adrenaline pack racing. Codemasters created a highly playable simulation of the sport, that replicated the intense competition and made it into a fun game to play.

In 2002 Codemnasters expanded the game to include – amongst other things – the Aussie V8 Supercars, and released it on the new Microsoft console, the XBox. I jumped ship, embracing the new console because of it’s harddrive and triggers that allowed for gradual acceleration and braking. It’s the game that turned me into a XBox fanboy.

The game evolved over the years, upset a few people and made new fans.

When Grid arrived, Codemasters seemed to be embracing a more arcady approach, but the online component was first class and I lost a lot of my life racing on XBox Live. Then Grid 2 came, and it was, without a doubt the worst game in the series.

I always knew that Codemasters would make another game in the long running series, and was looking forward to seeing what they could do with the new generation of consoles, so when Grid Autosport was announced for the PS3 and XBox 360 I was a little worried. Had Codemasters dropped the ball? Where was the XBox One version?

When my copy of Grid Autosport arrived, I was heavily into Forza 5, playing a couple of times a week with friends online. Now I was going to have to jump on my 360 and see just how back a last generation game looked.

When I fired it up however, Grid Autosport didn’t look too bad. It actually looked pretty damned good. What’s more it played well. Sure, the more I played it the more some of the graphical limitations of the 360 showed up, but the game was pure Codemasters. Fun and furious racing.

This time, the single player progression was split across five disciplines, Touring Cars, Endurance, Open Wheel, Tuner and Street, so rather than forcing you through several disciplines that you may not like, to get to the one you do, you can choose what discipline you want to race. Progression through each discipline unlocks faster cars, so you progress from say a Ford Focus to a Ford Falcon over time. It’s a great way to allow players to play the way they want, whilst giving everyone the opportunity to try a bit of everything if they want.

The cars handle well, even if they do feel a little slidey around corners, and the Codemasters damage model is great. The cars and tracks are all modeled well, and the AI is great. Pack racing in the touring cars was aggressive and intense, just the way it should be. I was having so much fun in the single player, I forgot I wan;t on my XBox One.

Then I took the game online.

As I expected, there was a thriving online community, and the racing was just as fast and furious as in the single player. The ability to vote to kick disruptive players kept most lobbies enjoyable, and the game played well with a full grid of online players.

The only things I didn’t like about online play was that whilst you could choose to only race touring cars, you didn’t seem able to select what specific cars you wanted to race, and I seemed to be racing an awful lot of Mini races. And then there was Bathurst, which online, only seemed to be played in reverse. No one races Bathurst in reverse. No one.

Other than those minor gripes, Grid Autosport turned out to be a great game, and one that I would easily become addicted to, if it wasn’t for the investment I already had in Forza 5, and the fact that none of my Forza 5 friends want to be playing on their old 360s.

It’s a great game to have in this transition period where many gamers still have yet to make the jump to the current generation, but for me, it just serves to whet my pallet for what’s to come in the next installment of Codemasters flagship game.

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Rating: G Suitable for general audiences.

Reviewed by: Jonathan



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