Grid Autosport (Xbox 360)
Codemasters brings back its high speed franchise for another lap.
- A return to motor racing roots.
- Bigger track selection
- Game engine is a bit long in the tooth.
- Cockpit view lacks details
Technical limitations aside, Grid Autosport is a welcome return to the motor racing that kick-started the series.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
Barely a year has passed and Codemasters has released a new instalment to its Grid racing series. Considering there was a five year gap between the first game and Grid 2, the quick release of Grid Autosport comes as a pleasant surprise.
Grid 2 took the series away from its motorsports setting to street racing, though Grid Autosport is returning it to its roots. That means highly tuned race cars are the focus once again, which is sure to excite fans who were introduced to the Grid series with the first game.
Back in the driver’s seat
The Grid Autosport experience is separated into five vehicle categories, spanning Touring, Endurance, Open Wheel, Tuner, and Street. Completing races in these categories leads to Grid Grand Slams, which are events that sample the five racing types.
One shortcoming with Grid 2 was the modest selection of tracks. In response to that criticism, Grid Autosport comes with 13 courses, which is more than twice the five found in Grid 2.
The return to motorsports means the vehicles handle differently this time around. Due to the game’s street racing focus, the handling in Grid 2 was geared more towards powerslides for a more arcadey driving experience.
Grid Autosport returns to the handling model of the original game, which aims for more of a simulation feel. Various driving aids can be turned on and off depending on how much control you want with the vehicle, though the game does not punish the player too hard for occasional slip-ups.
The last lap
When the original Grid came out in 2008, it was a visually impressive title that demonstrated the power of the consoles at the time. Since then Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 4 have come out, and the visual bar has been raised as a result.
While it is no longer state-of-the-art, Grid Autosport is still a nice looking game that pushes the technical boundaries of the Xbox 360. The tracks are brimming with detail, and a lot of care has gone into making the car models look authentic.
The high level of polish does not extend to the first person view, which features a somewhat rudimentary depiction of the vehicle interior. After experiencing the detailed interiors in Gran Turismo 5 and Forza 4, the simpler dashboards in Grid Autosport stand out.
In many ways, Grid Autosport is a more of a sequel to the original Grid than the second game was. The return to motorsports may be jarring for those who only played Grid 2, but long-time fans will appreciate the series’ return to its roots.
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