Five years. That’s how long it’s been since we last saw an entry to the GRiD series of games with 2014’s Autosport. An attempt to return to the roots of the GRiD franchise and more realistic racing after the rocky road that Codemasters felt GRiD 2 had driven down. But even still, Autosport didn’t feel gritty enough in my opinion to pick up that mantle. Enter GRiD.
Much like finding an old comfortable hoodie, it was clear from the get-go that this is more like the original GRiD than its predecessors have been. Out of the gate, it’s clear that they haven’t gone in too serious with the handling of cars, allowing you to really throw them into the corners, catching a huge drift and powering out of it, whilst leaving your competition in the dust. Alternatively, ramp up the difficulty on the AI, drop the car handling assists and you get yourself a competent racer where you’ll need your skills to survive. On the AI, GRiD has hundreds of different kinds of AI drivers battling you for position. You’ll find rookies that are prone to mistakes, amateurs that can hold their line but take corners slower than they should, and more. Take your challenges to the bumper of another driver too much - and they’ll become your nemesis, moving to actively block you from overtaking and trying to push you into making a mistake.
With a wide selection of just over 60 cars across multiple disciplines, and a mix of both real-world and fictional tracks to drive them on, there’s plenty of variation to be had. The career lets you concentrate on one car class at a time if you wish, you’ll really be able to dial in your skills in particular vehicles without constantly changing which wheel you’re behind. Unless you want to, that is.
All this puts GRiD in a unique point in the current racing game spectrum. You’ve got your simulator titles like Assetto Corsa Competizione and iRacing covering the true-to-life aspect. Titles like Forza Horizon 4 and Need for Speed Payback delivering the more arcade, open-world aspects, and nary a mention of those two worlds overlapping to take the fun of the arcade, with the action of motorsport.
That is, until now.