After playing many disappointing racing games in recent times (Need For Speed: ProStreet, Burnout Paradise to name a few) I was pretty put off with the whole genre and didn’t expect Race Driver GRID to change that. So when the time came, I didn’t want to waste a large chunk of my time reviewing another disappointing racer that would prod the decaying carcass of the genre. Well I did so anyway, and now that I’ve spent a whole lot of time with GRID, I’m having a really tough time keeping myself from it!
GRID takes all the stuff that you hate about racing games and dumps them right out of the window. The game is fueled by an extremely well balanced concoction of the best of arcade racers and race simulators that work simultaneously to deliver a truly superb racing experience. The most important aspect – car control – has been nailed and will appeal to most ardent arcade racing fans, as well as all those who love their game as authentic as possible. Stock cars, Super cars, Derby cars, Muscle cars – each and every ride controls differently yet beautifully in their own way, so mastering them is not only a challenge but is fun as hell!
The factor that set GRID apart from other racers right from its conceptualization was the ‘flashback’ feature. This game mechanic allows you to rewind time (much like Prince of Persia – Sands of Time) in case you make a horrid turn and total your car. When I first heard of it, this mechanic sounded like a complete gimmick and a desperate attempt on setting the game apart from the half-assed crowd. I was wrong again – the flashback feature does an amazing job by helping you correct your erros and cope with the fiendishly high speeds, while acting like a buffer between the blurring speed and detailed damage mechanics of the game. What I mean to say is that it's so much more more than a mere gimmick - in a game like GRID where ramming your car into the railing can actually break a wheel, Codemaster has managed to cut us ‘not-so-talented-racers’ some slack by allowing us to move back in time every time we screw up.
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