GSY PREVIEW | X360, PS3, PC Wednesday, May 28, 2014 | 6:35 PM

GSY Preview: GRID Autosport

GSY Preview: GRID Autosport

While we are still working on translating our preview of GRID Autosport, take a look at our huge batch of videos from the preview build Codemasters sent us a few days ago. Needless to say, these videos are from a non final version of the game, and may show some bugs and other weird issues.
Update: The preview is ready now, it's been added inside for your reading pleasure.


Just a year following what some considered the half-baked release of GRID 2, Codemasters has wasted no time in making a return with GRID: Autosport, the recently announced new installment striving to return to the roots of not just the original GRID but also the origin of the studio with the Touring Car/TOCA series. Gamersyde was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to take a look at the upcoming PC version which also means lots of 1080p 60 frames per second videos. We're still awaiting an announcement of a possible PS4 and Xbox One port, so in the meantime, hopefully these videos can give you an idea of what that might look like.




In GRID

With a release coming barely a year after the second installment, GRID: Autosport had a lot of work to do in convincing us that it would be worth checking out. The most significant change to the gameplay involves the approach to long term vehicle condition. Vehicles undergo wear and tear based on your driving style and the passage of time, requiring an investment to keep running. Theoretically each car will have an end to its life at least without further investment. Of course, sometimes it may be smarter to simply invest in a new ride altogether -- after all you wouldn't want to be stuck pouring money into something that will no longer perform its best. Alas, none of this content was available in the preview version, but we still had access to all of the modes available in Autosport including Grand Touring, Street Racing, Open Wheel, Endurance, and Tuner. Sponsors were pre-selected for this version, so no agonizing over each one before a competition, but you are still obligated to complete a series of objectives to please them - the most difficult of which is undoubtedly that which requires you to pass the finish line without scratching your ride. In the final game these objectives will no doubt vary based on your choice of sponsor.

While the progression system was absent from the preview, the inclusion of tests and qualifications (not for all car classes though) should be welcomed with open arms when you realize how important these phases are in the world of motorsports. It's always fascinating to observe how often these features go absent in games which place more of an emphasis on simulation. As one would hope, then, Codemasters attempts to closely mimic reality; for example, the WTCC (Grand Touring) championship always includes two separate runs with the second grid a reversal of the top ten in the first. Another feature of GRID: Autosport is the inclusion of a teammate whose behavior you have influence over (do you go aggressive or more passive, for instance), with his success having a significant impact on the final results of your crew. It's a nice improvement over the system present in the first game, which didn't allow us to influence teammates in any way. For an arcade game, it's also surprising to see it's possible to adjust individual elements of your cars and even upgrade them for some of them - though we did not have a chance to test the latter ourselves.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, however, that driving in GRID: Autosport is largely tuned for arcade racing. Grip is immediate, for example, especially with all aids enabled. Disabling these aids do require a bit more from the player, especially in terms of acceleration where punching the throttle might send you into a spin. In the original game, simply releasing the accelerator was enough to take most turns but that's not really the case anymore. Braking, then, plays a more important role this time out. Drifting in races is still rather easy to initiate, of course, but they are no longer necessary to save time and get through turns quicker. As usual, playing with a steering wheel feels a bit more realistic than with a standard controller, but good management of the triggers allows for very precise driving anyway. Controller vibration, which isn't on par with what you feel through a wheel, is probably an area that still needs a bit of polish though.

Off the GRID

Developed for PC and last generation consoles, GRID: Autosport isn't a fundamentally different looking game. Codemasters' engine is getting on a bit in years but still manages to hold its own against the competition. Sure, some cars models feel a bit off in comparison to others, but for the time being we'll chalk that up as a limitation of the preview version. There's a nice variety of beautifully modeled vehicles that are all shown off beautifully during the replays, but in other areas it feels as if the game is still lacking a bit of polish. We hope, for example, that the unrealistically sliding cars visible during replays are corrected for the final. Also, the return of the cockpit view (two actually, with one of them being placed much closer to the windscreen) should be greeted with a sigh of relief by the 5% who decided to migrate to the promised land of Project CARS and its very communicative cockpit setup after GRID 2. Indeed, the cockpits do a good job communicating the sensation of sitting behind the wheel. Similarly, the depth of field blur applied when driving at high speeds - not unlike the effect seen in Slightly Mad Studios games - is a great idea even if it's difficult to mask the lack of detailed elements in the cockpit.

Looking at the environments, series regulars might have some hesitation in visiting the same tracks as the previous two games, but there's a decent number of tracks here separating it from the rest of the pack. City tracks are even reminiscent of the glory days of the late PGR series. While the preview version lacks the full selection of tracks slated for the final game, the menu was already loaded with choices featuring no less than 12 highly detailed circuits. Trackside details are excellent this time out with a full 3D audience bringing a lot of life to the race alongside ambulances, parked cars, fire trucks with flashing light, birds, planes, helicopters, etc. We already knew that most tracks from GRID 2 would be making an appearance, but Codemasters is also delivering circuits from the first game in addition to other unreleased tracks leaving us to little to be concerned with in regards to content. That said, the sound wasn't completely there just yet due in part to a poor sound mix that made some vehicles inaudible at times especially in the cockpit. Since it only affects certain cars, however, we imagine it's simply a bug that will be corrected by the final version.

Impressions


With a great variety of driving opportunities and a clear arcade feeling, GRID: Autosport might just rekindle the love lost with GRID 2. Its simple handling, even without aids, will probably make simulation addicts cringe a bit, but the GRID experience had never been designed to compete with Forza or Gran Turismo. Despite some recycled content and an aging engine, this latest installment already feels great in this PC preview. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the promises will be kept with the career mode but we should be able to clear that up in the coming weeks.

Endurance (practice)
Stream available soon
Download: MP4 HD
Autosport Raceway - Race
Autosport Raceway - Cockpit replay
Endurance City (Barcelona)
Autodromo do Algarve
Dubai
Hockenheimring
Red Bull Track
Endurance Yas Marina (race)
Sepang
Washington
Indianapolis
San Francisco

All comments

Commented on 2014-05-28 15:26:49
Thank You. It looks nice. But the interior is really a joke. :-)
Commented on 2014-05-28 15:46:22
im big fan of race games but this one looks not that good
and thank you GSY for review as always.
Commented on 2014-05-28 15:58:36 In reply to Zat
Posted by Zat
Thank You. It looks nice. But the interior is really a joke. :-)
you can thank last gen for that
Commented on 2014-05-28 16:25:41
hahaha, that cockpit view looks gash. but then their excuse for it's omission last time was gash too. they can't be arsed seems like a more likely reasoning.
Commented on 2014-05-28 17:46:46
What version is this? PC?
Commented on 2014-05-28 17:50:12 In reply to KORNdog
Gash. :D
Commented on 2014-05-28 17:51:12 In reply to droezelke
Posted by droezelke
What version is this? PC?
PC yes.
Commented on 2014-05-28 18:04:30
Thanks a lot for the videos. Game looks great, especially the tracks. I wonder how the PS3 version will look, but still tempting. In car view on some cars is pretty bad. That is the only down side I can see.
Commented on 2014-05-28 18:40:47
Preview is now up, have a good read!
Commented on 2014-05-28 20:17:37
Good preview. Still, can't say that Im interested considering my backlog + games that are coming..

Cheers
Commented on 2014-05-28 21:00:03 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
hahaha, that cockpit view looks gash. but then their excuse for it's omission last time was gash too. they can't be arsed seems like a more likely reasoning.
I think the cockpit looks great. I mean graphically it's rough, but I think the effect & sound are great.

The game looks to be good fun, particularly the open wheel racing.
Commented on 2014-05-28 21:02:41 In reply to b0vril
Posted by b0vril
I think the cockpit looks great.
I'm surprised you can even see it it's so blurred.
Commented on 2014-05-28 21:21:26 In reply to GangStarr
Posted by GangStarr
you can thank last gen for that
No, I don´t think so. Many last gen racers have nice detailed cockpits. I know, that maybe they wanted to shift the main focus on the track, but I like, when I see the dashboard clearly and I can turn the HUD off.
Commented on 2014-05-28 22:29:17 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
hahaha, that cockpit view looks gash. but then their excuse for it's omission last time was gash too. they can't be arsed seems like a more likely reasoning.
Your total inability to comprehend game develop continues to astound.
Commented on 2014-05-28 23:27:47 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
I'm surprised you can even see it it's so blurred.
I think the blurred cockpit looks great.
Commented on 2014-05-28 23:35:34 In reply to moroboshi
Posted by moroboshi
Your total inability to comprehend game develop continues to astound.
As does your hypocrisy.
Commented on 2014-05-29 00:31:43 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
I'm surprised you can even see it it's so blurred.
id imagine there is a setting that allows you to change how blurred the dash is, i seriously doubt this is just shoddy work, it's actually quite refreshing that a game dev has noticed that when you drive in real life you are more focused on the road and only glance at the speedometer to make sure your not speeding and do the same in the game, when you look at other games it's unrealistic that your eyes are perfectly focused on both the road and the dash at the same time without any difference visually, one or the other will be out of focus.
Commented on 2014-05-29 01:12:27
Fact of the matter is most people do not use cockpit view. However it is definitely a requirement for sims those who use it with controller. People with wheel love the hud, dashboard view. I don't think it is a deal breaker. These videos look good with lots of vatiety
Commented on 2014-05-29 11:41:55
I think they are just releasing it a tiny bit too late. It would be more in the picture if it were to be released just prior to or with Le Mans. That is the ultimate autosport race if you ask me and would trigger bigger sales.
Commented on 2014-05-29 14:43:02
Personally quite like the blurred dash, Focuses your attention on the road ahead. While these bling dashes are nice, they are a distraction that isn't really needed. If the racing view is good, plus performance increased by having a depth of focus, I'm perfectly happy with that.
Really hope the do a good job of making it feel like an up to date TOCA, Loved those games.
Commented on 2014-06-02 23:33:24
Thanks for the videos. The game seems to be another mediocre game. here is first 30min vid. Obviously looks much worst but my all hyped died for this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUVfEAVdV64

I think codies lost the real talent and they moved elsewhere. They are not making progress at all
Commented on 2014-06-02 23:58:23 In reply to gameover
It's simply a video of the preview build, which obviously does not include the real career mode, as we explained in our article.
Commented on 2014-06-03 13:46:11 In reply to gameover
Posted by gameover
Thanks for the videos. The game seems to be another mediocre game. here is first 30min vid. Obviously looks much worst but my all hyped died for this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUVfEAVdV64

I think codies lost the real talent and they moved elsewhere. They are not making progress at all
sorry that you see it that way but i unlike you am still hyped for this game and certainly see the development and talent still shining through, just because the game is not coming to the next gen consoles does not for one minute suggest their talent has gone nor does it suggest they are not making progress cause they are.
Commented on 2014-06-03 14:31:59 In reply to gameover
oh and here is another video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XcgMprvQYg
one thing to take note of, this video much like the other video from gameover is not the final public release but one for the press, i found this video from a review on the steam store, oh and if you own a copy of grid 2 on steam you can get a 10% pre-purchase discount on grid autosport.

About the game


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