Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.
This is an apology game.
UK-based developers Codemasters have a reputation of leading the charge of racing games with a “simcade” handling. Part simulation, part arcade. They have always been respected by fans of racing for their ability to walk the tightrope of both without any huge compromises for both the hardcore and the casual racing gamer.
As the 360/PS3 generation dawned, Codies launched their two racing franchises with a bit of rebranding. Collin McRae Rally was called Collin McRae Rally: Dirt. The subtitle continues as the main brand of off-road and rally games of Codies, especially after the passing of the namesake, a great rally driver he was. TOCA Race Driver ditched the TOCA license and and was called Race Driver: GRID. Again, the subtitle would be the main tarmac racing title.
It was a long gap between Race Driver GRID and GRID 2. For GRID 2, released in 2013, Codies were changing a lot of what made the first GRID so appealing and scuff it away. The interesting build a race team angle was gone. Seasons as progression was gone. Even certain features, like the interior cockpit cam was gone. Loyal fans were angry, but Codies didn’t listen, as they are aiming what Dirt 2 did- making it more appealing to the mainstream.
GRID 2 flopped commercially as well as critically. GRID Autosport is then released the next year after GRID 2 and attempted to rectify the biggest of faults that fans clamouring for. Hence, why I called it the apology game.
Is it a good apology? Read on to find out. What I can assure you for now that it is a bloody good game.