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Race Driver: GRID review




  • Recommended by TR

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Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: GRID
  • Race Driver: Grid (PS3)


Our Score:


Platforms: PlayStation 3; Xbox 360; PC; PlayStation 3 version reviewed.

The perennial underdog of the driving game world, Codemasters' TOCA series won and kept a hardcore fanbase, but never quite achieved the global recognition that the likes of Gran Turismo or Project Gotham Racing have enjoyed. This is a shame. The last effort, TOCA Race Driver 3, had its visual issues but offered one of the most authentic and exciting racing experiences on the last generation of consoles. Race Driver: GRID may have left the TOCA name behind, but it's still full of the same qualities and - importantly - the same attitude that drove its antecedents. I just hope it leaves the 'underdog' reputation behind, because GRID deserves to be big. It's not just comparable to the likes of Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, Forza 2 and Project Gotham Racing 4 - it's actually a better game in some respects.

As with last year's Colin McRae: DIRT, Codemasters has given GRID a slickness and a suspiciously US-friendly polish, but here there's no sense that the development team has abandoned the elements that used to make the TOCA series special. GRID still scores where TOCA always scored: the racing. The tracks are packed with up to 20 racers, and each one of them is driven by an AI that won't just sit on the racing line and wave cheerfully as you overtake. No, these sons of guns will try to block you, bash into you, and even knock you out of the way while trying to pull off some fearsome overtaking manoeuvres of their own. The competition is fierce, and even in the early stages on the easiest difficulty levels, you won't be able to guarantee a win without some good driving or a little extra help (more of that later). What's more, GRID's realistic approach to car damage really does make you think twice about simply bullying your way through the pack or taking every corner with reckless abandon. The old bumper cars routine, still clearly visible in GT5: Prologue, won't cut any ice here.

The result of this isn't to make you feel cowed or useless on the track - it's to give the racing a sense of risk, reward and danger that even the awesome PGR4 can't match. The key is GRID's most ingenious trick: a little feature called Flashback. Without it, all the carnage and aggression on the track would make the game unbearably frustrating. With it, the difficulty level is just about right. Here's how it works. Take a bad corner on the final lap, spin off the track, write off your car or get blasted into a barrier by an over-zealous rival, and a simple press of a button puts you in an instant-replay mode. And when I say instant, I mean just a few seconds' pause at most. Use the controls to zip forwards and backwards through a brief stretch of footage, find a good spot, whack the Flashback button, and within a moment you'll be back on the track, doing whatever you need to in order to avoid whatever disastrous combination of events wrecked your race.


June 12, 2008, 12:46 pm

A few words of caution regarding the use of the Logitech G25 on the PC! A growing number of users have reported 'axis confusion' and lack of 'force feeback' with GRID whilst using a G25.

A third party 'calibration clear' tool has been released in an attempt to resolve the issue. Vista uses beware this may not fix the issue.

This result is a real 'kick in the teeth' for hardcore driving fans tend to be owners of the G25.

Surely it should be expected that adequate product testing should eliminate such issues. For along time there have been conflicts between software and hardware companies. Will there be a resolution?


June 17, 2008, 4:46 pm

Axis confusion indeed. But that is only if you use the preset. It is very easy to get round by using the custom controls. Once I used this with my G25 it worked perfectly. And the Force feedback works fine with no problems.

I am using Vista Ultimate as well.

In fact the only issue I do have is that after about 20 minutes or so of playing the game the game freezes every few seconds which is annoying when it does it during a braking or turning zone only for it to come back on and I am in the wall or something, however, to get round this I simply do ALT + TAB back to windows for about 5 seconds and then go back to the game and it is okay again for another 20 minutes. More frustrating than anything.

But, all in all, a superb game. I have already earned my class A license in Europe and am on my way to getting my Class A in the USA as well. No Japanese races completed yet.


June 17, 2008, 10:53 pm

I and others have tried the custom method to no avail!

However the force feedback issue has been resolved thanks to the Grid patch 1.1 that has been released.


June 18, 2008, 2:41 pm

The first tiem I tried the custom method I couldnt work it out.

But highlight the option you want, then press CTRL to allow the change then press the pedal or move the wheel...etc. However, when I tried it the first time it didnt accept it, so I tried it again and it did. Just the way I got round it and it works a treat.


July 23, 2008, 6:00 pm

I use the Xbox 360 USB Gamepad.

It works like a treat and with force feedback.

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