Racing has always been in my blood; one of my earliest memories is watching Dick Johnson crash into the trees at Forest elbow when I was only two years old. I have made multiple trips to the Bathurst 1000 just because I feel at home there when the race is one. Growing up, I got the nickname “Red Knob” because I would never take off my red, Shell racing hat, ever. So it is no surprise I was a racing game fan from the start. My first console, the PlayStation, was brought with games like F1, Destruction derby and crash team racing. There are very few racing games I have not played over my gaming life, but few have come close to my love for the Toca Touring car series and V8 Supercars series of games. Ever since, the developers Codemasters, have held a special place in my heart.
Grid was their most recent series that I fell head over heels in love with so you can bet I was excited when they announced the return of the series back in May. I cemented the release date of October 11th in my calendar ever since July and I now have a racing cockpit set up in my office in time for launch. So you can bet when I walked into the Melbourne esports open on the weekend to see that Grid was on display in the JB Hifi game zone I was like a kid at Christmas. When I got to the small little booth, they had two cockpits set up for people to race around Brand Hatch, and I was happy to sit and watch this beautiful game for hours. Unfortunately, I had bookings and commitments that meant I had to leave and get hands-on later.
First stop Sunday morning, before the show floor was even supposed to be open. I went straight to the booth and got ready to race. The brilliance of the Grid series is it is so adaptable to your skill level. The game was set up with assists on, and the rewind feature is there, so if you are a novice, you could still drop a respectable lap without too much fuss. However, if you want a more realistic feel like myself, the game can be set up to suit this style also. Codemasters has built this game for the widest audience they could. First off the feel of the car was smooth, it was a dream to drive and forgiving enough that when I made a mistake, I was not frustrating punished. Brands Hatch was also beautifully modelled and even though I have never been there, felt immediately like home, as it has been a feature of most racing games for years.
Not only are the tracks modelled so accurately, but the whole world you drop yourself into feels alive. I think the look and feel of the game took me by surprise, I know racing games have always topped the list of best-looking games, but there was a polish there I wasn’t expecting. The cars looked stunning with their handcrafted liveries, and when they took damage, they had that Codemasters charm of really falling apart. The crowd, that seemed to be alive along with the marshalls and pit crews just topped off the world in the best way. With only a small snippet to see, I was left wanting so much more. There seems to be real depth here in tracks, cars and content. I can’t wait to find out more and finally play the game in October.
With all the racing games I am currently playing, including I-racing, Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 4, it seems hard to fit this into my cycle of video games. However, what I saw at the Melbourne esports open, I will be making room for it. Getting back to track racing with friends, no matter their skill level is what I am looking forward to most from this series return. If you want to find out more about Grid, then check out the content they have on their
. If you have not seen the trailer as yet, check it out below.