Race Driver: GRID (PC)

by Eddie Turner on 8/7/2008 2:00 AM EST


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  • mesherman - Sunday, September 21, 2008 - link

    looks good, but the game makers are just into what it looks like and not what is in the game. These racing games now days suck ass.. All they do is hurry up and put the game out so thay can make money. There is so much more they could have done with this game to make it real. What would you think about a car game you can buy and sell car's, and parts to other players online. And have a caution, that you can still drive under caution and have a black flag for the people that just dont know how to drive. Car setup on the game and a temp gage for your heat on you tires in the caution. plus a pit... Make the game real.. if they did this we would finally have a good racing game. Reply
  • djfourmoney - Saturday, August 23, 2008 - link

    I downloaded the demo after I installed my Visiontek HD3870 512mb card and Wow this game looks great (when its not crashing my system). Too bad I only get to drive for about 1 lap maybe 1 1/2 laps before the darn thing crash to BSOD with that stupid IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL (if anybody knows what is causing that, let me know, all the drivers, including motherboard drivers are NEW, RECENT, Up To Date).

    I ran it at 1920x1200 default detail (AAx4)(which I hear in the demo is set to high, not ultra) and FRAPS didn't give me an average but mid 20's is the lowest and down the longest part of track in the Muscle Car Race about 40-42fps. Like I said it looks great, fun and I wish I could get to stop crashing so I can enjoy it more.

    Best looking PC racer out there, bar none and Codemaster's have outdone themselves.

    System Specs -

    HTPC Windows Vista Home
    AMD 64x2 5000+ Black Edition (2.91Ghz)
    Dual Channel Memory (3GB@800Hz)
    Visiontek HD3850 512MB
    MS Sidewinder Wheel (Non-FF)

    I know Codemasters uses motion blur in this game because at 30-40fps it looks faster than GT-L looks@60fps *Vsync. Hardcore SIMs should look this good, they would sell more games...

    I hope this is only an issue with the Demo. I'll know when I get the full version. Should I download via Steam or get the DVD? I'm going to replace this HD3870 with a HD3850 because its under $100 at New Egg and includes a free copy of GRID and I can't find a HD3870 single slot cooler for the same price I paid for the current one ($119).

  • marc1000 - Monday, August 18, 2008 - link

    Just to let you guys know: I am playing GRID-demo (wich I guess defaults to maximum quality) with a 20-30 fps average at 1280x1024 without AA, but on a old Pentium-D 3.4ghz on single-channel 2GB DDR2-667 and a cheap Radeon HD3850 512mb.

    This system also runs Crysis at Medium quality with no problems. We do not need the absolut top hardware to have a great fun. BTW I joust bought a good XBOX360 controller too. very good to someone who just wants to have fun and is used to play NFS-series on the keyboard.

    No complaints about the physics. I want to have fun, and not learn how to be a real racing driver.
  • marc1000 - Monday, August 18, 2008 - link

    i'm back to fix my own words: i bought the complete GRID game, installed, and entered the "advanced" graphics settings. i'm with almost everything on MEDIUM, with mirrors disabled, and 2xMsaa. the rest is the same as above. I know that my CPU is the bottleneck, because Rivatuner shows about 60~70% of GPU usage. even this way, it still looks beautiful to me. bye. Reply
  • marc1000 - Thursday, August 21, 2008 - link

    now I maxed out everything, except mirrors, and got the same FPS... if someone mind to know about a aging system! haha! Reply
  • M Farkus - Monday, August 11, 2008 - link

    In nearly every race, especially the drift races, I can't hear my engine AT ALL. The sound options are extremely limited and by the time I crank up my volume to hear my engine, the other sounds are deafening. Maybe it's my older SoundBlaster card, but every other game I have sounds fine. Anyone else have this problem? A fix? BTW the replays are gorgeous, esp with enough horsepower to run the game. 4870 x-fire E8400 @4.0 1900x1200 full AA all around = 90 fps. Amazing. The lack of (adjustable) engine sounds is a real deal breaker with one, unfortunately. Reply
  • shortylickens - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    Its pretty, but wasnt much fun to play. Other racing games have been much more enjoyable for me.

    Wait, when I said "pretty" what I really should have said was: "scared the crap out of me". This game is so photorealistic I had to stop playing every 5 minutes to remind myself it was just a game.
    Of course, thats with a 4870.
  • flobo - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    I commented on this game Grid. But later on I thought it is not being very realistic that is the point, but it is a shame such a good site is not more interested in Iracing, which is a whole new concept in onlineplaying with laserscanned tracks the best physics until now, and a >learn to drive clean and fair< that no other sim has. It is very sophisticated and would match this site much better, then a game that is in many ways a setback.Maybe something about Iracing in the future? Reply
  • TantrumusMaximus - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    I haven't had a chance to read the review here but I will add this game ROCKS. There is great value in the wide range of cars and I love the adaption of the formula cars... the sound is dead on.

    Before this I really loved the Flatout racing games and GRID really sucked me in because not only does it have great damage modelling... the damage actually impacts your driving performance unlike Flatout.

    Flatout was not a serious racing game so I realize it's apples to oranges.... it's more that this game sucked me away from Flatout. My more casual gaming friends however hate this game because guess what... you have to learn how to drive, you can't just come into a turn full throttle and come out ok like the other.

    This game caused me to run out and get a better gamepad... got the xbox 360 windows controller.

    The one track that just makes me furiously upset is the Le Mans course.... in the beginning of the track there is a dipsy doo right then left slant that almost always has me spinning out due to the physics. ARGH!!! But I love it.
  • Googer - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    I have played the PS3 version online and the one problem that seems to persist is people who don't want to race, but instead wish to cause accidents. It gets annoying after a while when the person at the starting gate holds down the reverse key to cause a large 12 car pileup or goes the wrong way or goes round the track trying to make others wreck and no one votes to ban that individual. If the PC version offers a dedicated, moderated, privately owned server then the PC version may have an edge over the console where the PS3 acts as the both the client and session server. The console version lacks moderation, does the PC version offer a dedicated server option? Reply
  • EddieTurner - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Sadly, there are no options for dedicated servers. That doesn't mean there will never be. Looks like the folks in the official forum are shouting for them, so we'll see. Reply
  • Nfarce - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Sadly, that's one of the downfalls in console online gaming. You have a lot more little immature pottymouthed snot nosed teen punks to deal with (IMO anyway). My online PC gaming experience has always been more adult like - maybe that's to be expected when one can spend upwards of $2,000 on a gaming rig vs. paying $500 for a console from bagging groceries all summer and then using daddy's big screen TV in the basement (or even better getting one free from Santa - the amount of immature punks skyrocketed after last year's holiday season on Motorstorm online alone for obvious reasons). Reply
  • Nfarce - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Hey thanks for reviewing the PC version of this. I have a PS3 but have not downloaded the demo for it. As someone else here said, it's the debate between getting the PC version for less or the PS3 version for more. I guess I'll have to download the demo now and make the decision based upon what you wrote. :p

    I use an older but still good Microsoft Sidewinder FF wheel & pedal setup for my PC racing games (one that's not compatible w/PS3 games unfortunately), and generally prefer my PC racers to be more hard core like GTR2.

    With the exception of GT5 Prologue, my PS3 racing games are more arcadish, but fun with the controller (Motorstorm, RR7, & NFS Carbon - NASCAR 08 was a disaster and has gathered dust for the past 10 months). This game will be a tossup for me on PC/realism playability vs. PS3/arcadish playing (I'm sorry, but I just can't get into realistic driving with a hand held controller - rumble or not).

    In any event, I'm glad that AT is mixing things up a little and offering a gaming review these days every now and then. It's a nice change up, but I'm sure you guys get flack for doing it from some.
  • azides - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Hey, I have a MS Sidewinder FFW too! I am upgrading my 4 year old PC from Athlon 64 3000+ with XP, Visiontek X800-128, couple of raptors (WD360) hence I play Colin McRae Rally 2005 (!!) ... I don't game too much, so I don't upgrade often.

    So I have a question ... as I like motor games ... will the wheel work with Vista? (I am a sucker for the task switcher eye candy, though I appreciate that it can be achieved in XP). I understand MS stopped supporting the wheel when XP was released, is this still so? Are there any 3rd party utilities? It is a good wheel.

  • Nfarce - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Yeah those MS sidewinder gaming devices were actually very good and built well (I have two joysticks too that still work) - and for the price I paid for all of them, I had expected them to last. I've used that wheel under both XP Pro and Media Center for years. Just because MS says they stop supporting something doesn't mean it won't work.

    When I plug it in, the XP drivers pick it up and even bring up the driver utility setup window just like the CD it came with has. As for whether the Sidewinder wheel will work on Vista, I don't know - I don't see why it shouldn't. But I know of no 3rd party utilities. I guess I'll find out this fall when I build a new rig on Vista 64 and make my current XP gaming rig a backup gamer.

    In any event, I'm looking to upgrade to the Logitech G25 so I can use it on the PS3 as well as the PC. (I downloaded the PS3 demo on this game last night and it looks pretty sweet - especially the replays and damage graphics). There's just something about racing on a 1080p 46" LCD instead of a "little" 22" LCD that is fun too!
  • EddieTurner - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Yeah, there's been some flack. We're not worried though. There's no shortage of great hardware articles. It's just nice to explore other areas within the same realm. After all, if it weren't for games, this site may not even be here! Anyway, I love MotorStorm. Can't wait for Pacific Drift. Hopefully there'll be more tracks right out of the box. Reply
  • Nfarce - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Yeah that game looks really cool. I can't wait! Newsflash: the Logitech G25 steering wheel is on back order until September at all major retail outlets from Amazon to Best Buy! Reply
  • im2good4u - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I do not have any racing wheel and only using Logitech Rumble pad 2, and my problem is that the controller is not working good. The sensitivity is just too high! Tried to lower it through in-game settings and Logitech Profiler settings and the sensitivity is still too much, its like tapping the analog stick a little bit and the car would turn full. Anybody else having this problem? BTW, using retail Reply
  • honolululu - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    My logitech dual stick works great. Sensitive? Yes.

    It took a while to get it through my head that you can't just floor it out of a corner. You've got to ease on that gas. Makes me want to drive a Viper V10 in real life. The power must be insane.
  • im2good4u - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I'm referring about the turning sensitivity, for example, in NFS, if you move the stick halfway, the wheels wuld nly turn halfway, whereas in GRID, even the slightest movement wuold make the wheels turn in full. Reply
  • honolululu - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Gotcha. I don't have any problems with the steering range of action, but damned if I don't have to hold myself back with that throttle.

    I have noticed that it seems floored when the throttle is only about 70% applied, and if you increase deadzone that just decreases the range of action.

    Next patch maybe. The saturation levels for steering and gas should not default to 100% me thinks. It says "Decrese saturation if you feel the steering is not sensitive enough."

    Well where do we go if it's too sensitive!

    I can't get enough though. Love that Demolition Derby.
  • flobo - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Good game, they only forgot the driving part. Not the car is steering, but the landscape is turning before your eyes, suggesting speed.Physics? Still pivot after all this years.I wonder if the critic ever played a serious driving game. Next time better give space to Iracing, not this childish stuff. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Lots of people enjoy games for gaming's sake, not because they are a perfect reconstruction of real life. I will readily agree that the physics and driving model of GRID are not realistic in terms of the hardcore sim crowd, and we said as much. Of course, they're also not as unrealistic as most arcade racers. But the bottom line is: do we think the game is fun? Yes, we do.

    I don't think I personally would enjoy the "serious" racing games as much as this "childish stuff". Then again, I've spent a lot more time - and got a lot more enjoyment - out of Mass Effect than from GRID, which is why I confined most of my comments to the benchmarking and performance section. (Yeah, Eddie didn't write that page, though he did run the tests for the two graphs.)
  • dare2savefreedom - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    recommended racing wheel:

    logitech g25

  • HDBanger - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I race alot of sims on pc, and Ive raced most arcade racers also, GRID is 100% arcade, and it has so many bugs, I had to wear misquito repellent when I raced! I finished the single player game in 3 days, and the multiplayer is atrocious! Huge lag, all kinds of cheats, just pure BS online. Hot lapping was the only thing to do after single player, I had about 52 world record laps at one point, then I went back to real racing (gtr2, rfactor). Codemasters should be renamed CodeDisasters, they have alienated their whole sim base. Reply
  • schwinn8 - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    ... but it's "brake" not "break". I don't know why so many people make that mistake? Reply
  • MrBlastman - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    It is a shame the demo doesn't support Track IR.

    I hear the full game does now via a patch. Has anyone tried it? Racing games (or any type of sim for that matter) are impossible to play properly without Track IR.
  • n00bxqb - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I got this free w/ my Radeon HD 4870 and I must say I'm thoroughly impressed with the game itself; it's fun, immersive, and the graphics are quite impressive (though I wish it supported 24x CFAA). Physics are more realistic than DiRT, but it still feels geared more towards arcade-style handling than realism. More car choices would've been nice as well, but now I'm just starting to nitpick :P

    My only real complaint is the DRM. Half the time the game doesn't even launch (original disc), it gives some random SecuROM error code (with a link that only takes you to SecuROM's homepage; not a page that explains what the error code means). I always try to rip a disc image to my hard drive with any game I own so I can play w/o having to fish out the disc, but that's a no-go, even w/ YASU and other anti-SecuROM utilities. It's not a huge deal as the game doesn't seem to load anything off the disc during the actual game, but it's a pain to have to track it down and find it when I want to play it. On the plus side, it's offered through Steam, meaning no DVD.
  • HDBanger - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    The Reloaded EXE works with any version of Grid, and it works better than Codemasters EXE with less crashes and graphical glitches. Also, it works online just fine, Codemasters didnt do anything to thwart pirates whatsoever. One of the reasons the online is so atrocious. Reply
  • Omega215D - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I was debating whether to get this game for the PS3($60) or PC ($40) but I heard there were many bugs for the PC version so I wasn't sure if I should pick this one up. The cool thing about this game is that it is more action packed than Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.

    Now I have something to keep me occupied till GTA IV for PC in November (hopefully).
  • EddieTurner - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Yeah, I was not nearly as impressed with GTP. Too bland in my opinion. Anyway, it ran as smooth as a baby's butt without a single hiccup. Very nice at 1680x1250. Reply
  • V3ctorPT - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    I bought this game on Steam, and it's great... I love this game, it's perfect... And as far as I saw, it doesn't have any bugs... i think that the only bug it ever had was something about locking (sometimes) in multiplayer, but since update 1.1 it's rock on!! I already finished it this weekend, its a fun and long game I strongly recomend it to anyone who loves racing games and wants something that lasts more than the NFS series... at least I was never bored playing GRID... good game Codemasters... do another one please... I'm addicted ;) Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    There seems to be a lot of problems with X-Fi soundcards and Nvidia drivers locking up in official forum.

    I have the Auzentech Prelude and the old 8800 GTS and I am getting black screen lockups (sound not looping though so I am thinking it's more about Nvidia drivers) between every 5-10 mins of play though. It is not a BSOD and it does not register on windows error reports so I can't judge what's wrong.
  • V3ctorPT - Sunday, August 17, 2008 - link

    I played the game with a HD2900XT, 7800GTX and a HD4870 and no problems whatsoever... all in Vista, and in XP too. About the sound, i use the mobo's sound... no Creative for a long time (drivers problems sucks) Reply
  • sinisterDei - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Just a note, I have an 8800GT and a Creative X-Fi running Windows XP and I have no problems to report. I've played about 2/3 of the way through the singleplayer career and haven't run into any problems. Reply
  • Souka - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    As a FYI.. Creative released updated drivers for X-Fi on July 30th...both Vista and XP.

    My $.02
  • Egglick - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Excellent review Eddie. I was already interested in this game, but I think I'll go ahead and pick it up now.

    One quick question: Were you playing the Steam version, or a retail copy?? I think it's worth mentioning if retail copies use irritating protections such as Starforce. It would make the Steam variant more appealing in my eyes.
  • BZDTemp - Friday, August 08, 2008 - link

    Do make sure and try a demo first.

    I had GRID way up on my most wanted list but there is something off with regards to the driving sensation!

  • drebo - Saturday, August 09, 2008 - link

    Yeah, it pretty much sucks. For a game that advocates realism, the driving is pretty terrible.

    For example, I know that my (real) car begins turning far sooner than 2 seconds after I tell it to start turning, and even my 2006 Chevy Malibu is capable of taking a turn at 70mph without my back tires slipping out from under me.

    Sure, the crashes are fun the first time, but when barely clipping a wall at 40mph send you flying...you can only handle that so many times.

    Least fun racing game I've ever played.
  • FlukeRogi - Sunday, August 10, 2008 - link

    Advocates realism? Codemasters have never said it's realistic, or a sim (unlike the F1 game they're working on which they have said will be a sim).

    It's an arcade racer, and as far as arcade racers go, it's spot in in every department - fast, fun, and just generally in your face!
  • EddieTurner - Thursday, August 07, 2008 - link

    Thanks! I used the retail version for the review. Picked it up at Best Buy. No Starforce! Reply
  • Lapdog51 - Saturday, March 24, 2012 - link

    Steering wheel and pedals works awesome in Dirt 2 but the brake will not work in GRID. I was recommended to this site for assistance. Our gaming group has assistence with all their knowlege in settings, but we are stumped. Pedals and Wheel sets up as they should and verifies all settings, yet will not work in the GRID game. Any suggestions? Reply

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