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Review: GRID

by: Daniel Barros ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This article reviews a fairly recent PC game called GRID. The article focuses on the high points of the game, while also highlighting its downfalls, ultimately culminating in a list of pros and cons about the game and whether or not it is recommended.

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    Go Fast

    This is GRID, reviewed. GRID is a racing game developed by CodeMasters for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. This review focuses on the PC version.

    Let's start off by giving you the system specs for GRID:

    Minimum Specifications

    • Windows XP/Vista. (If running Windows Vista, SP1 is recommended)
    • DirectX 9.0c
    • Pentium 4 @ 3.0GHz or Athlon 64 3000+
    • 1GB RAM.
    • Graphics Card: GeForce 6800 / Radeon X1300 or above
    • DirectX Compatible Sound Card
    • Dual Layer Compatible DVD-ROM Drive
    • 12.5 GB Hard Drive Space

    Recommended Specifications

    • Windows XP/Vista. (If running Windows Vista, SP1 is recommended)
    • DirectX 9.0c
    • Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.66Ghz or Athlon X2 3800+
    • 2GB RAM.
    • Graphics Card: GeForce 8800 or Radeon X1950
    • Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Sound Card.
    • Dual Layer Compatible DVD-ROM Drive
    • 12.5 GB Hard Drive Space

    GRID begins its story by putting you as the leader for a racing team. The action starts right away, as you discover you're trying to build a racing team from the ground up. To that effect, the game sends you on a multitude of "missions" early on in order to raise the cash you need to start your racing team - which is when the fun really begins. The early "missions" involve you racing for other teams in an attempt to complete the main objective as well as other objectives for some extra cash.

    Once you're in the actual game, you need to climb a ladder of races in order to progress through the mission mode. To that effect, if you still feel like the missions are too difficult, you can always opt out of them and go back and do the sponsored races for other people to gain some cash.

    There is one dyanamic that the game introduces which is very interesting. Because crashes in the game cause real damage to the car which can make you forfeit the race, the developers have put in a sort of time traveling feature. By clicking a button, you're able to watch an instant replay of about 20 seconds prior to your big crash. After watching this, you're able to fast-forward or rewind to an exact point. The game then allows you to restart the race from that exact point you chose, saving you the frustration of starting it all over again.

    Utimately, however, the story here is not the point of the game, as a racing game, there are two things that matter - controls and visuals.

    In the visual aspect, GRID has no other competitor on the PC for now. The visuals are simply amazing, with every nook and cranny being dynamically lit as well as polished to a level that few other console racers even manage. Of course, how good the visuals are for you depends on how good your PC is. I ran the game under the "recommended" circumstances and it ran like a dream, easily going at 30 fps. Just looking at the game you get the impression that the developers did not mind using copious amounts of time on the pavement (which is by far the most realistic I've seen) or the cars, which can have damage done to them in real-time.

    Controls on the other hand, don't perform as smoothly as one would hope. The first time I picked up the game and started to play it on the keyboard, I nearly destroyed my monitor in frustration. To put it simply, the game is un-playable on the standard keyboard and mouse set up. That in mind, I decided that I would hook up my sixaxis controller to the PC (for more on how to do this read http://news.filefront.com/how-to-use-a-ps3-controller-on-a-pc/). Once I had the controller up, it was controlling much, much better. The only problem is that for all its realism, the game can't find a good balance between arcade-y racing controls and realistic racing controls, and you're the one caught in the limbo trying desperately to make everything work for you.

    In the end, GRID is about style over substance. The game looks fantastic and is a definite buy for those of you who are racing enthusiasts and have an analog-enabled joypad or a USB steering wheel.

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    GRID

    Pros

    Beautiful visuals

    Amazing Car Designs

    Crash-Replay Feature

    Car Destruction Mechanism

    Cons

    Controls (with keyboard and mouse = unplayable)

    Can't navigate menus with joypad