Codemasters’ GRID series holds a special place in a lot car fanatics’ hearts. Sure, GRID 2 didn’t exactly push all the right buttons, but the franchise remains something many people are excited about. Rumours regarding a third entry into the series have been swirling for a while now, and Codemasters has just put those rumours to rest with the reveal of GRID Autosport, a new entry in the franchise heading to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Codemasters has a lengthy post over on their blog in which they discuss how they’ve approached development of GRID Autosport. They’ve taken much of the criticisms levelled at GRID 2 and built a game that is “inspired by you guys, our core community”.
That means a return to what made the original Race Driver: GRID so appealing. “If GRID 2 raced off into a more narrative-led world of racing with more accessible controls, it’s clear that for many of you, that wasn’t what you wanted or expected from GRID 2.”
For racing games, it almost always comes down to car physics and handling. For GRID Autosport¸ Codemasters has returned to authenticity rather than an outright arcade feel. They’re not going for what they call a “clinical” feel, but rather “the handling is actually one or two steps further towards simulation than Race Driver: GRID.”
GRID Autosport will feature five different racing disciplines such as Endurance races and Street races. Within each of the five will be multiple series, further adding to the variety found in the game. So you might undertake Street Racing in prototype vehicles or Endurance racing in muscle cars.
With over 22 different tracks and a full career mode involving teams, sponsorships and rivals, it sounds like there’s a lot to be excited about for long-time GRID fans and petrolheads alike.
Now the obvious question: why is this only on PC and last-gen consoles? What about PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? IGN has the answer to that one: they sat down and chatted with lead designer James Nicholls. According to Nicholls, it all comes down to the Ego engine powering GRID Autosport. At this point in the engine’s lifecycle, it’s very much streamlined and geared towards the previous generation of hardware. As a result, Nicholls says putting the game onto current-gen hardware would have felt like a “port”.
“If we moved that particular engine onto next-gen,” he told IGN, “it’s almost a port job and you’re not really doing a next-gen game. We’re building something that’s forced onto those consoles, that’s not naturally built for them.”