GRID Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | DS
GRID box art
System: X360, PS3, PC, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Codemasters 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Codemasters 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 3, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 (12 Online) 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

What Flashback actually does is quite simple. Let's say you took a less than perfect curve. Or maybe you totally slammed your car into a wall. Whatever mistake you made, Flashback allows you to rewind time and re-attempt that curve, or give yourself enough time to brake before hitting the wall. It sounds like a very simple feature, but it fundamentally changes how you play the game.

GRID screenshot

First of all, it allows you to experiment a whole lot more with your personal driving style. For instance, if you're on the final lap, and have someone gaining on your left, right before a sharp left turn, you'll have a decision to make. You can either back off to take the turn carefully and concede your lead, you can attempt to slam into the opposing car and jet past, or you can try and maintain your current speed and rush into the turn. It is a nerve racking decision, but with the Flashback feature, you can try whatever you want, with no consequences.

However, because Flashback gives you so many chances to re-try your racing maneuvers, the penalties for reckless driving are fairly steep. First of all, even though handling takes a very fluid arcade approach, the control does not sacrifice precision whatsoever. You'll have to be very exact going into turns; otherwise you may send your vehicle into an out-of-control 360 spin.

Damage in GRID is also very extreme. Any bit of damage you take directly affects your driving, and the effects can be punishing. There are five main areas that, if damaged, can seriously affect your driving: gearbox, suspension, steering, engine, and wheels. If you damage your vehicle's gearbox or engine, you will hinder your car's ability to shift gears and the top speed will be reduced. Damage to the suspension, wheels, or steering column will reduce your ability to control your vehicle. The damage effects get progressively worse and can start out as a minor hindrance, but if you damage your car too much you can loose complete control of your vehicle.

Visuals in GRID are fairly good, although you can't help but acknowledge the 800 lb. gorilla that is Gran Turismo. While GRID can't really compete with the photorealism of this year's Gran Turismo, the game looks just as good as any other standard automotive title and has a great amount of vehicle and track detail. The game features a very speedy framerate that keeps great pace with the high-speed gameplay.

Sound in the game features some very basic background music, but the game makes up for the lackluster themes with some pretty awesome vehicle sound effects. The sound effects are very realistic, and you'll be able to hear tires squeal, engines roar, and brakes scream.

So, is GRID the next big thing in the automotive game genre? I think so. The game has incredible arcade form, and I think the Flashback feature is one of the best new ideas we've seen come from this genre in a long time. This type of innovation is very encouraging and gives me hope that perhaps the automotive genre is not as stale as I might have thought. So, if you're in the mood for an absolutely delightful and fresh automotive experience, you owe it to yourself to pick up GRID!

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer

Graphics look great, but definitely lack the extreme detailing and photorealism we saw earlier this year in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.
Very standard controls take a more arcade-style approach, but don't sacrifice precision.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Background music is generic, but the motor and crash sounds are awesome.
Play Value
The GRID World is very expansive, and there's no shortage of single and team races. If you're up for the challenge, you can take your race online!
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • It's All about the Race: Codemasters Studios' history of creating stellar racing titles, combined with A.I. and the ability of the EGO engine allow them to deliver GRID - a pure and cinematic race experience.
  • A Greater, More Diverse World of Racing: New and classic, track and street - conquer the greatest racetracks and then go beyond with road races and urban street competitions.
  • Jump Behind the Wheel of Some of the Most Exciting Cars: Exotics, imports, and beefy muscle cars are all available to race in hugely varied events with grids of up to twenty cars aggressively competing for the lead.

  • Screenshots / Images
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