Having played every itteration of the game since the original TOCA Touring Car Championship, I was hoping that this time around the game would be better that the last outing of GRID Autosport, to some degree it is, however it does lack some features that made the series great in the past.
GRID’s career mode has you pick your way through different disciplines, and an invitational series. new events unlock as you play through each list, with Touring, Stock, Tuner and GT lists, plus a Fernando Alonso list that contains F1000, Prototype and Super Touring races. Finally there’s an invitational list consisting of mainly classic races, including classic Touring Cars, so we can at least get a glimpse of the cars that made the original TOCA a smash hit.
You have to complete at least 4 showdowns from the end of each list to open up the world series and take on the mighty Ravenwest team. Though on the whole the career is pretty basic, I would have loved to see some more in depth team stuff, here we just get the option to name our team, and hire/fire team mates. even down to choosing a livery for the car. you only have the option to change the colours on pre-set liveries. I think that this should have at least been the same as in Race Driver GRID where you chose what sponsors you had, alongside your livery colours etc.
Sadly, there’s no drifting either, something that had a huge draw back in 2008 for the series, and from the reaction I’ve seen it’s the same today, with plenty of people disappointed that drifting has been excluded from the title this time around, with Codemasters stating that while there’s no plans to add drifing going forward, never say never. So for you drifting fans out there, it looks like you’ll need to ‘get sideways’ in a different game.
Multiplayer is also a bit of a let down, with basic options of either joining a random game, or setting up your own private game. There should at least be the option to search lobbies and join ones set to your preferred discipline. I for one prefer Touring Cars, and would hate to be thrown in a game with F1000 for example.
Visually the game is top notch as you would expect, it’s realistic with a bit of ‘showbiz’ sprinkled on top, crowds dangling themselves over barriers, and confetti and fireworks to celebrate the race finish. It may be a bit much for the purists, though you have to remember that GRID is an arcade racer, not a Sim, though I do like the visuals and effects, and think they work really well in creating a great atmosphere, especially during the night races.
Audio is also good, I like the commentators, especially how they’re also trackside, and drop a few lines throughout the race and are heard over the tannoy system, something a few other racing titles could implement to give them more atmosphere.
A copy of the game was provided for this review by the developer/publisher