Grid Legends review: Driven to Glory brings a fascinating league to life

Grid Legends The premise is so appealing to the racing fan that I wonder why there’s nothing like it in real life. The world of Codemasters’ latest racing game features a multi-disciplinary racing series with events, rivalries and public interest – even its own TV channel – on par with Formula 1 and NASCAR in North America. The survival of a racing team from year to year in the Grid World Series is even more precarious than in F1. Winning a championship can make a career as a driver, but an even greater achievement is simply being competitive for four or five seasons.

I got it all from Grid Legends‘ narrative mode, “Driven to Glory”. The story may not be particularly groundbreaking, but its believable, factual representation of the supporting details is a catnip for the sports video game fan thanks to its mixed reality set, enjoyable gameplay, and plenty of well-chosen props. The genre is at its best when the game openly supports the idea that all of these created players and fictional teams actually exist on an alternate continuum. The 36 chapters of Driven to Glory are the story of the previous season. Grid Legends‘ A larger and more open career mode. I recommend every player finish this story, if only for its depth and much-needed motivation for players, in an action racing series that otherwise has no obvious reason to continue, two years after its predecessor.

It doesn’t mean that Grid Legends“The racing action is boring or underrepresented. It’s exciting and very accessible in the sense that I’ve always felt the pressure to push my car to the limit, but never felt like I was losing control. There was at least one high-speed race in every race where I marveled at my ability to get out into the open unharmed.

But with the latest Codemasters arcade race (Dirt 5) is barely a year old and the F1 series has just exited documentary-style storytelling mode, Grid Legends‘ The best parts have already been covered in earlier outstanding games. What makes this game stand out is the intro that Driven to Glory offers, which does a great job of highlighting the kinds of racing you’ll find in Grid Legends and nowhere else.

For me it was:

Stock car racing. Grid Legends on the first lap of my first run on the oval, I nailed down two of the most important parts of stock car racing gameplay: chassis balance and drafting. It helps Grid Legends uses a fictitious vehicle, and the settings are corrected for aerodynamics and tire contact. But God, what a pleasure it was to play a racing game with stock cars and not understeer every corner or oversteer on the apron. Grid Legends eliminates the painstaking work of holding my race line and re-emphasizes staying in the pack and timing to get ahead of the leader.

Driven to Glory introduces players to stock car racing with three laps in the fictional Crescent Valley and the real-life Indianapolis Motor Speedway ovals. The ease of managing the Oval Stock and Retro Stock game classes made me more than willing to try longer competitions of 20 laps in other modes. A simple presentation of stock car racing in Grid Legends makes me realize how unnecessarily complicated this has been in other games over the past decade.

Electric car racing. I didn’t expect it to be such a big hit like this. Grid Legends electric competitions rely on aggressive cornering and exploiting the mistakes of other drivers, as the cars perform similarly in terms of engine power. This highlights the easy handling of the Lotus Evija and the (fictional) Beltra Icon Mark 3. Electric cars can also fill a three-shot boost meter by hitting two gates well outside the standard race track. AI drivers also use acceleration, so the ability of the CPU to make decisions – and the ability to make mistakes – is really demonstrated in electrical events. But the most noticeable difference in electric racing cars is the sound. Codemasters has always paid close attention to getting the engine notes right well, with electric cars, you can hear the chatter of individual spectators as you cross the starting line.

Tourist car courses. The real-world Brands Hatch (home to the British Touring Car Championship and GT Championship) returns to Grid Legends and is complemented by the fictional Alpina Strada with four and six layouts each. If the racetracks are the real stars of the show, then these two are the stars of the stars. The Alpina Strada is glorious straights followed by treacherous twists and turns and is most deceptive and dangerous in the rain or at night (or both). Brands Hatch stands out for the difficulty associated with the elevation changes in its best overtaking segments. Other trails also stand out – the real Red Bull Ring and Suzuka, or the impressively steep Panorama Mountain, which has a legitimate hill climb appeal. Grid LegendsStreet circuits are fun, but the roster of custom-designed race tracks is well thought out and well-chosen to highlight the most enjoyable moments of driving high-performance touring cars.

All this said, however Grid Legends the difficulty of the races seems carefully balanced for Driven to Glory, where the events take place at the shortest distance, it falls slightly behind in the career. Here, users can multiply the distance of a race by turning three-lap events into six, nine, 12 or 15 laps, for example. On Legend difficulty, the AI’s highest setting, I could lengthen the gear by one step in a Porsche 911 RSR or Koenigsegg Jesko and comfortably be ahead of the field after nine laps, opening up a huge lead over second-place in the 12th round.

The EVs were more competitive and grouped, but still, the cumulative use of speed gates lap after lap forced me to fix my race goal (usually fifth or third) in the same stint. Stock car package races can end up with a few close finishes and last-minute turns, but that’s more likely because I got kicked out of my draft position, not because I couldn’t get to where I needed to be in the field.

This is partly because, despite all the AI ​​speed and control, every road track (unlike the oval) seems to have at least one wide corner where the AI ​​cuts the race line hard, allowing me to run outside and overtake three, four, sometimes five cars in huge volleys. Getting around the outside, which in real life always surprises commentators, is too easy in Grid Legends.

The AI ​​will also make inexplicable errors and have technical glitches that usually take one or more cars out of the way. The good news is that it’s like rolls of the dice, not pre-race events; I used the flashback to cancel the collision with the turned AI car and saw how it completely eliminated the AI ​​error. But AI wipeouts are still too frequent, to the point where I could almost plan to use them to my advantage. In addition, the Grid series’ Nemesis feature, which is supposed to turn a rival driver into a dangerous threat, starts out rather simplistic (big collision and a little more), and AI aggression is completely ineffective on lower difficulty settings.

Finally, while Grid Legends has limited settings (affecting gear length, suspension stiffness and brake offset), there is not much need to change them, since every race is on a hard surface, and most tracks have the same overall length. For example, on no track was acceleration (shorter gears) higher than top speed (longer), and only a few street circuits had surface changes that required a little softening of my suspension. Although there is something to be said about the perception and reproduction of Grid Legendsthe lack of need for customization can result in an otherwise diverse fleet of vehicles appearing fuzzy over the course of three or four events.

However, my complaints are nothing more than minor dents and scratches on yet another great car from the cutting-edge video game racing studio. Grid Legends the developers put a ton of effort into Driven to Glory and then wisely made it the preamble to a much bigger and longer gameplay experience elsewhere instead of focusing players entirely on the one-shot story mode. It’s a strong tarmac-based counterpart to the Dirt series and caters to a wider range of competitive needs than the dedicated F1 sim that launches every year. And constantly exciting races both for the spectator and for the participant, which Grid Legends should make every racing fan wonder why something like this can’t be found in real life.

Grid Legends launched February 25 PlayStation 4, prefix 5, Window PC, Xbox Oneas well as Xbox Series X. The game has been tested on Xbox Series X using a download code provided by Electronic Arts. Vox Media has partnerships. This does not affect editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find Read more about Polygon’s ethical policy here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *