Race Driver: GRID (PC)

by Eddie Turner on August 7, 2008 2:00 AM EST

In June of this year, Codemasters released yet another game devoted to fans of those things that have four wheels. With extensive experience in the genre, starting with 1999's Touring Car Challenge to the highly acclaimed DiRT: Colin McRae Off-Road released in 2007, the developer/publisher continues to pick up speed with GRID. GRID is not your typical rally style racer, nor is it the street racer that many might label it after seeing a few screenshots of the game. Instead, GRID borrows from both racing styles and finds its niche somewhere in between. Does it work? Read on to find out.

Upon starting the game for the first time, players will be prompted to enter their first and last name that will appear in the game's HUD next to your position in the race. To take this a step further, GRID allows you to choose from a fairly extensive list of names (male and female) that the in-game announcer will use during audible communication with the player. While the name Eddie was not immediately available, Edward was chosen in its stead. Since it's highly unlikely that they will have every name, you can also select from a variety of handles instead. This is just one successful implementation that lends itself to the player's immersive experience with GRID. Once this information is squared away, the game immediately tosses the player to the wolves with no available tutorial.

As most PC gamers have discovered, racing games offering a high level of realism are best played with either a racing wheel or a gamepad. With controls that require touch sensitivity, a keyboard simply does not allow for the degree of functionality that is required. In fact, getting the game to function at all with the coveted combo may prove to be an impossible feat. With this in mind, recommended racing wheel peripherals include the Logitech Formula Force EX, which is available in the UK for a retail price of £49.99, and the Logitech MOMO Force Feedback Racing Wheel available in the states for around $79.99 depending on the retailer.  And, of course, there's always the more expensive option for those without a budget.  In this case, the Logitech G25 that retails for upwards of $250, again depending on the retailer, might be the wheel of choice.  Which ever wheel you choose, the game's options menu will help you tweak its sensitivity to your satisfaction.

While steering wheels are great, the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows has a preset in the game's options menu and it works very well. This controller is an excellent alternative to racing wheels and offers great performance with GRID. Third party gamepads are also supported and should work seamlessly.

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  • EddieTurner - Thursday, August 7, 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.
  • V3ctorPT - Thursday, August 7, 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 ;)
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, August 7, 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)
  • sinisterDei - Thursday, August 7, 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.
  • Souka - Thursday, August 7, 2008 - link

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

    My $.02
  • Egglick - Thursday, August 7, 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 8, 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 9, 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!

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