Codemaster’s GRID Autosport is supposed to be a love letter to racing game fans and makes amends for the changes that GRID 2 brought to the fledgling series, with a more arcade-ey feel to the cars and a more hands-off relationship with the driving and tuning experience as well. I’ve yet to finish GRID 2 as it’s on our family’s PS3 and that’s always taken up by other games and other people but my few weeks with it left me feeling a little weird. Racedriver: GRID felt a lot more polished and more inline with what Slightly Mad Studios and EA Blackbox offered with Shift and Need for Speed Prostreet respectively.
Autosport hopes to change all of that and it will be Codemaster’s last hurrah on the ageing PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms before they move onto the current-gen console hardware. I found some brand new gameplay vidoes on Youtube and not only does Autosport tickle my fancy, it looks extremely pretty as well. Hit the jump for the eye candy!
The game definitely looks a lot like a cross between the visuals of F1 2013 and GRID 2 (both on the ECO 3.0 engine) with a bigger emphasis on driving mechanics lifted from the original GRID. There’s a lot of attention paid to things like sound and I like that they’ve gotten the tyre squeal down perfectly.
The cockpit views are interesting as well because instead of having a full view in these vidoes, only a sort of half-cockpit view was available in closed-wheel cars, with the steering wheel and dashboard instrumentation missing. Perhaps this is just because the version of the game seen here is just a very early build, because some of the textures still need some work as well.
Before you get your hopes up, it’ll almost certainly be running at 720p resolution with an average framerate capped at 30fps. Yes, this isn’t that great, but its the general limit of ex-gen hardware with exception for some developers who managed to eke out a lot more performance from the PS3 and Xbox 360.
The computer AI does still need some work though. It will apparently still crash into you in the middle of a corner while turning because they are on their own path, slower cars do not give way for faster ones and its very pre-determined, with the same clinical feel that I get from Gran Turismo 6. I think it’ll require a hardware leap to the current generation of consoles to be able to fit in a dynamic and more responsive AI, similar to what Turn 10 tried to do with Forza Motorsport 5.
Grid Autosport is set to release for the PC, Sony Playstation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 on 24 June 2014 in the US and Canada and on 27 June for the rest of the planet.