It’s no secret that Codemasters likes a good racing game, having even set up their own specialized publishing label dubbed Codemasters Racing (naturally) to show the world that they mean business. And they’ve done a pretty good job of it too with their most recent racing release, GRID 2, being received well by critics. The game didn’t go down as a hit with all fans of the series though, Codemasters says, explaining that they “moved some of the aspects of the game too far away from [their] core fanbase,” against fans’ behest. But they’re looking to get all four wheels back on track for core ‘Codies’ with the announcement of GRID Autosport.
First hinted at last week with a brief teaser trailer, GRID Autosport “aims to move the series back in line as a more authentic racing game” with Codemasters reportedly hoovering up review criticisms and fan comments with voracious enthusiasm, using feedback as a template for improvements. This boils down to offering a more authentic style of racing, scrapping the overeager ‘world’s best racing league’ narrative from GRID 2 along with the last game’s more accessible controls. Codemasters is also looking to burrow GRID Autosport deeper into simulation territory and by the sounds of things, GRID as we know and love it is set to get more difficult.
That suggestion is backed up by Codemasters’ official words on the game, with the GRID Autosport Community Manager discussing the balance between fun and sim:
“For GRID Autosport we’ve gone back to a more authentic handling style. It’s definitely not a full simulation – we want it to be authentic, not clinical – but it’s more towards that end of the spectrum than before.”
So it won’t quite be Gran Turismo bothering then but if fans missed the display of Codemasters’ motorsporting knowledge in GRID 2 then they can expect it back in heaps in GRID Autosport.
Each car will gets its own sense of personality, less in the sense that it’ll go off in a strop if you fit it with an ugly set of wheels and more in terms of individual ability. Codemasters says that “each car has been tuned and adjusted to really give a sense of its personality so they will act and behave differently from one another, as they would in real life” which will be especially noticeable across the game’s various disciplines (more on those in a minute) meaning that if players got used to just flooring it with every vehicle in GRID 2, they won’t be able to do that here, with each car taking a bit of practice to get used to.
The game features five different disciplines including; Touring Cars (aggressive pack racing), Endurance (races from dusk till dawn), Open-Wheel (precision racing), Street Races (unpredictable maps and tracks to navigate) and Drift (drift around corners, try not to crash). Across these five, players will have a chance to race in a varied amount of series with the announced list so far being; Touring Cars, GT, Single-Seaters, Muscle Cars, Drift, Supercars, Hypercars, Time Attack, Prototypes (along with several more unannounced series) in an effort to keep things fresh.
If players are looking to go for the ‘master every car on every track’ playthrough then they can expect to have a large GRID Autosport playtime on their hands since it boasts over 100 routes. Those will be spread out over 22 locations and while Codemasters is keeping coy on detailing the complete list for now, the above announcement trailer for the game introduces Hockenheim, Sepang, San Francisco, Jarama and Yas Marina.
Furthermore, while there’s plenty of new technical content to chomp our rubber-burning teeth into, other gameplay features include an overhaul of the series’ single player career mode with this franchise installment having players aiming to turn their characters into professional racing drivers, switching teams, beating rivals and achieving sponsor demands as they go. GRID Autosport will let you do that with some (presumably AI-controlled) help as “racing with a teammate is back and at your request he/she will now attack the cars ahead or defend their position” which can be done with a single button press – the same button that also lets players request info from a team engineer with, in a move that will improve GRID Autosport’s authenticity. Meanwhile, from the back catalogue, GRID’s RaceNet multiplayer makes a return.
While GRID Autosport seems to be hitting all the right notes in the fan-requested tune, its release plans may disappoint as Codemasters has only announced the game for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC as their next-gen engine is still in the works. Codemasters say that it will run at 60 FPS (frames per second) at 1080p HD on PC, making computers the lead platform for their game. Can Codemasters make their mark with an old-gen-only racing title against the racing competition? Let us k now your thoughts in the comments!
GRID Autosport will be out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on June 27, 2014.