XXL Game Corner: GRID Autosport Review: Start Your Engines

 

Publisher:Codemasters

Developer:Codemasters Racing

Platforms:PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release date:June 24, 2014

 

When GRID 2 dropped a year ago, it was met with some howls of protest due to the racer’s nod to more of an arcade style of play. Looking to correct that small misstep Codemasters’ latest effort in GRID Autosport is a game that is more rooted in simulation without completely ignoring the arcade racer.

While Autosport is still centered on your progress through a driving career, all of the detailed fiction that it was built around in previous games has been stripped away. So there are no longer any team-mates to hire and fire, no team management elements and your career has been abstracted into a non-linear jaunt through five disciplines.There is a nice selection of tracks to whip your car around and there are around 100 routes winding through roughly 22 locations.  You’ll be able to see everything from the autumnal sweep of Quebec’s Mont Tremblant to the rollercoaster challenge of Bathurst’s Mount Panorama. Autospor talso addresses concerns with GRID2’s handling model: that it was a one-size-fits-all model honed for easy powerslides. Autosport more closely matches the handling in the original GRID and whileit still straddles the line between simulation and arcade, the gameplay mechanics are closer to what racing purists demand in their games. Handling of the cars has also been tuned and you’ll find them less twitchy than they were in GRID 2.

The career in Autosport has you competing in several different types of racing events. At the start, you select an event type (like touring, street, or open-wheeled) and you select one of the sponsors you have available to you. The sponsors you have to choose from are based on your performance in previous races.Career progress is measured in seasons. Each season, you pick a discipline and sign up with a sponsored team. That team gives you specific objectives to fulfill (finish at least 4th in the driver’s championship, for example) and some straightforward secondary goals like setting the fastest lap time in a race, or improving several places on your starting position. As well as inching you towards the Masters events, leveling up unlocks different tournaments (usually with faster cars that have more tuning options) and provides you with more team sponsorship offers to pick from.These event types are split into five distinct categories that are progressed through independently of one another.You gain experience points for each discipline independently, but only once you’ve hit a certain level in all of them can you enter the Grid Championship Series events. This poses sort of a problem as this means you are essentially are going to run into a few you won’t enjoy but you won’t have any choice but to complete them if you want in to the Championship series. The AI in Autosport is pretty good due the aggressively competitive AI drivers. Their pushy driving style fits especially well with Touring and Street events, as you nudge and barge your way through the pack that will return the favor.

The XXL Endgame

Give Codemasters credit, for the most part they’ve corrected the misgivings of GRID 2 with GRID Autosport. Not only does it look better, you’re given better handling control over the cars to speed around in on a huge variety of tracks.  Even if your interest in cars is merely fleeting, GRID Autosport walks that fine line between realism and aggressive arcade action to deliver a truly satisfying experience for all. – written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)

XXL Rating L (Good)

GRID Autosports was reviewed on the Xb