Review – GRID

After a five year wait and seeing the great things Codemasters has done with the Dirt and F1 franchises, I expected more from GRID. 2014’s GRID Autosport remains an impressive racer even today, and I was hoping that this reboot would carry the torch and expand the franchise, much like Dirt Rally 2.0 did. Sadly that’s not the case. It’s not a bad game, and the driving genuinely feels amazing, but it feels like they forgot to add the rest of the game before launch. Put in a few hours and you’ll quickly start to realize how little there is beyond the rock solid gameplay.


Everything is just so blurry……

Much like it’s predecessor, the meat of GRID’s single-player content is its Career Mode. However, while Autosports’ Career Mode was highly replayable, personalizable, and full of choices to make, GRID’s is not. It’s just six lists of events, presented in the most underwhelming way possible. Gone is choosing your team before each event, special objectives that rewarded playing differently, and multi-discipline progression that allowed you to play how you wanted. All you do is finish four of the linear event lines to unlock the equally underwhelming Championship against Team Ravencrest. Once you finish that up you’re basically done with this mode, with no systems in place to make replaying it feel different or worthwhile.


There is the hint of a team system where you can pick a racing partner, but don’t worry it’s integrated so poorly you’ll likely ignore it completely and change nothing.

Even worse is that is it essentially for single-player content. The only other mode available is Free Play, which is just Quick Race with a misleading name. Time Trials, Championships, Custom Cups, all great modes from Autosport, all missing here. Custom Cups is especially missed given how linear and replay unfriendly Career is. There have been no hints of anything more incoming. as the paid season pass lists only more Career mode events, which are hardly exciting.


You can’t even choose what track you want to race on for a Free Play match. It’s all random.

At this point I was disappointed for sure, but I felt that maybe it was all sacrificed for a reason. These days, if single-player feels ignored, it’s because multiplayer got all the love. For a racer, a fleshed out multiplayer isn’t a bad thing and could have easily saved this. After all no matter how good the AI is, racing against real people always feels better. Then I entered multiplayer and saw this is what I got:


That’s it. There’s nothing more to this then what is shown. You either enter blindly with no control over what you’re racing, or you host your own. Quick Race is shoddily put together too, and more likely to toss you into an empty lobby then a playable race. There is no Multiplayer exclusive progression, so no car upgrading or expanded customization beyond single-player. There are no weekly/daily objectives to drive progression and keep you racing fresh. There isn’t even them the basic of ranking systems, the kind of system one would feel is intrinsic to a racing game. Even as barebones as Single-Player is, it still feels much more put together than this.


Remember the fantastic in-depth tuning system from Dirt Rally 2.0? Codemasters doesn’t.

Finishing up the disappointment GRID turned out to be are the limited tracks and puzzling Car roster. There are only twelve tracks and you will grow tired of them very quickly in Career mode. Even with each having multiple time and weather settings, they all feel the same in design. None are too long, none are too short, they all fit into the same kind of generic race track. For a multi-discipline game like this, it’s especially critical to have a variety of tracks to support them. GRID just makes you do more laps on the same exact ones.


Car customization is purely cosmetic, and as a whole far inferior to other racing games.

Car-wise, things are seemingly better at first. There are 66 models to choose from, with more coming via paid DLC, and it seems decent until you notice the gaping omission. Most notably is the complete lack of any Lamborghinis, which were a GRID staple since the first title. In addition, there’s no Bugatti or McLaren representation, which is downright shocking given how they’ve been tearing up the track lately. Instead of the frankly puzzling choice to have a Porsche and Corvette headline the game, either brand would have served far better. As it is, the roster is mostly Ford, Ferrari, and Porsche with some token representations to fill the gaps. Sadly, there’s been no word that Codemasters intends to fill these holes either.


GRID Autosport on Switch looks better and is less blurry.

In the end what you have is a racer that plays amazingly, but has no content, cars, or tracks. It’s still lots of fun at times, and the new crowd system that makes reactions more realistic do make races feel more vibrant. It just wears out it’s welcome far too quickly and doesn’t provide any reason to keep playing past a certain point. I feel that it needed a few more months in development, and was pushed out the door far too early. Maybe there’s strong post launch support coming, but as it stands I would have much rather have gotten a simple GRID Autosport port like the Switch’s than this.

Graphics: 6.0

Cars look fantastic and well detailed. Nothing else is.

Gameplay: 8.0

Driving feels excellent, straddling that line between arcade and simulation.

Sound: 9.0

Engines sound beautiful, collisions and scrapes are disconcerting, and your team knows when to assist you and when to shut up.

Fun Factor: 4.0

While the driving is flawless, there’s little to keep you going. Career mode is uninspired, multiplayer barebones, and custom races basic.

Final Verdict: 6.0

GRID is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Reviewed on PS4.

A copy of GRID was provided by the publisher.