Along with the Haze U.S. demo, which I talked about earlier already, this week’s U.S. PSN update boasted another demo of interest. No, I’m not talking about The Bourne Conspiracy demo. I’m talking about the demo for Codemaster’s GRID. It’s their new racing franchise. I went into this demo under the false pretense of expecting a non-rally version of DIRT. How wrong I was. It’s not DIRT. It’s not even Project Gotham Racing. It’s some sort of bastardization between Ridge Racer and Forza.
Handling in GRID is radical. It’s unlike any other racer I’ve ever played. Good or bad, that’s up to you, but I wasn’t a fan. Turning (even with all the driving aids off) was too tight and sensitive. If I wasn’t careful, I was spinning like I was on a swivel.
Aesthetically, GRID reminded me how a great city should look like. Unlike a certain open world game which I’m currently engrossed with, GRID was running at a solid 30 frames per second. There was a minor screen tearing, which I’m told is exclusive to the PS3 version, but it’s nothing game breaking. Cars were modelled very well with detailed damage models which put Forza 2’s work to shame.
As for other notables? The slick DIRT menu interface I loved was replaced with a shoddy looking fecal colored version. It’s not shit, but it reminds me of it. The in-car view Codemasters did so well in DIRT also made a return retaining its immersive qualities.
There was one feature which I fell in love with immediately: the instant replay feature. Pressing “Select” at anytime allows you to replay the last few moments of your race. You can change views, angles and replay speed without any fuss. It’s so easy to use.
If it wasn’t for the unorthodox controls, I’d like GRID a lot more. It obviously has the looks and sounds of a car, but it just doesn’t control like the one. Hey, maybe it’s just me. The demo is currently available for both PSN and XBL, so you can go judge for yourself.
For more information, visit the official website.