Last week we were invited to the presentation of GRID Legends, announced at EA Play Live 2021 last July. On this occasion, Christophe Smith, the creative director of the game, introduced us to the next installment in the Codemasters series, published by Electronic Arts, which will be released on February 25, 2022 on PC at € 59.99, as well as on consoles PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series at € 69.99. We were thus not only able to preview the next iteration of the famous game of car race from the UK developer, but also we try to a few laps on the PC driving different cars.
On the road to glory
Initiated by Codemasters under the name of TOCA: Touring Car Championship in 1997, the license will celebrate its 25th anniversary under the name GRID Legends. After several opus until 2006, TOCA transferred to Race Driver until Race Driver: GRID in 2008, followed by 3 other variations under the name GRID to finally arrive at GRID, in 2019, which can be seen as a reboot of the series and which was elected best racing game at Gamescom 2019. Three years later, Codemasters (Colin Mc Rae, DiRT, F1, Micro Machines), returns with a new version that wants to be even more advanced than his previous hit. We thus move on to races of 22 pilots against 16 previously, with new destinations extending the list (London, Moscow, Stadia Alpina) and over 130 vehicles, including electric cars, distributed in 48 classes against 21 in 2019. We also note the return of drift races and elimination mode, as well as driving sensations that are intended to be improved and a story mode in live action.
The license will celebrate its 25th anniversary under the name GRID Legends.
Entitled “Driven to Glory», The latter puts you in the shoes of the pilot 22, which can be male or female, also owner of his stable. Your objective will of course be to impose yourself with your team on the car racing scene and to take the lead of the Seneca Motorsport. The competition will in fact be at the heart of history, with many rivalries staged between two races through sessions shot live, in a documentary with interviews with the drivers on the paddock. Hopefully, however, we will not fall into the trap of FMV. We cannot comment on it for the moment since the campaign was not present in the build that was provided to us. the screenplay, written by Brad Kane (Ghost of Tsushima), with an international cast in which we find Ncuti Gatwa (Eric Effiong in Sex Education) and his inimitable big smile, should thus spread over 8 to 10 hours. A great opportunity to visit the 22 destinations that the title will display when it is launched (Yokohama, Barcelona, Dubai, Paris, Indianapolis, etc.), including 13 on circuits and 9 in town for a total of 143 layouts. And these are a few 250 events which are advertised for career mode. For this preview, we were able to take part in 12 races taking place in London, Strada Alpina, Moscow, Crescent Valley Raceway (USA), Barcelona and Brands Hatch, with 12 different vehicles including theAston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro Concept.
Electricity is fantastic
We have therefore discovered the three new destinations in the title and we must recognize that graphically it’s pretty nice. There are of course still some elements to work on, such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie dashboard, but we are already off to a good start. You can also enjoy the photo mode to take beautiful shots in front of Big Ben, the Kremlin, the snow-capped mountains of the Alps and many other iconic places. In addition, thethe atmosphere is there, with some successful sound effects to whom the music knows how to leave the honors by being discreet during the races. This is particularly the case engines with a more subdued sound if you choose the subjective view in a closed passenger compartment. Note also the great immersion provided by this, especially in bad weather with the wipers activated. Too bad she is sometimes more difficult to play aboard certain cars such as trucks or other models affecting visibility. The show is also guaranteed with fireworks accompanying your progress. And in order to encourage and motivate you, comments are regularly sent to you to comment on your lap times, your position in the race or your team-mates’ accidents, all entirely in french.
The spectacle is assured, with fast and pleasant races.
GRID Legends offers several types of races whose Multi-Class where vehicles from different categories can clash. In this case, a disadvantage is granted from the start to the more powerful models with a staggered start. However, it would appear that the trucks currently have a little too early since on the finish line they all finish in front and it is very difficult not to see even their bumper in the distance. The competitions of electric vehicles, with the characteristic whistle of their engine, turn out, they, particularly fast and fun, with the possibility of using 3 times a boost which recharges at each turn or by passing through boost doors located outside the ideal trajectory and therefore requiring a certain risk-taking. In drift, it is about brushing the limits by skidding as long as possible and by chaining the slides to achieve combos while avoiding collisions or spins. There are also circuit races more classic and elimination races where the runners at the back of the peloton are eliminated at the end of each countdown, but also the truck racess who take turns on two wheels and rock like crazy while taking ramps to fly into the air at the risk of rolling over. Which does all the same a lot of quite interesting proposals.
You have to know how to make enemies
And the sensations of speed are indeed there, with some types of driving vary from vehicle to vehicle. Lightweights, for example, like ultra speeds GT Hypercars, hold the road well and take tight turns easily, but spin quickly or can even take off easily in a crash. However, you can adjust many items, such as damage which can only be visual but also mechanical, making driving more difficult. You can even choose to activate or not the critical damage ending the race. It is also up to you to choose whether you prefer a transmission automatic, semi-automatic or manual, whether in sequential or in H, with or without a clutch, just to increase the challenge a little. You can also play on the counter-steering assistance, ABS, the anti-skid system, the stability control, as well as the transmission ratios, the springs, the anti-roll bar and the balancing of the front brakes. each competition. There is plenty to do to increase or decrease the difficulty level depending on how comfortable you are at the wheel. Everyone can find their account and have fun. You may even seek to take advantage of thevacuuming vehicles in front of you. And for even more immersion, the app will take care of many peripheralIt’s like steering wheels and pedals on the different platforms, which is quite welcome. In addition, in the coming months, VR support could be confirmed and thus allow an even deeper immersion.
There is plenty to do to increase or decrease the difficulty level.
If it offers many settings, GRID Legends remains an arcade game, however. with touch touch de rigueur, possibility to display the ideal trajectory and to use three times flashbacks to make up for a mistake and go back in time. This last point is, of course, very practical to avoid starting a failed race again in a fraction of a second, but it is all the same a bit cheated. Curiously, the damage taken then applies in the past, a small error to be corrected. Note that thewe quickly lose places in the event of an accident, than road exits are particularly disabling (strong slowing down with shaking and more arduous driving) and that they apply penalties can move back many places once past the finish line. Rivalries being on the asphalt, some pilots are particularly aggressive towards you, especially if you have annoyed them during the race. They then appear as “enemies” and it is better to be wary of them. And if all of this is too easy or too hard for you, apart from the race parameters mentioned above, you also have 5 levels of difficulty for the AI who, moreover, can, like you, make mistakes or encounter mechanical problems.
A very easy-to-use race editor is at your disposal
Besides driving, you will also need to manage your stable and each race allows you to win prizes for this, as well as unlock some items, including cosmetics. Even if we were not entitled to it in this preview, we will indeed find the customization, like GRID 2019. Likewise, a race editor very easy to use is at your disposal to create the events of your choice: presence of modifications (boosts, ramps), discipline (circuit race, electric, elimination, multi-class, time trial, stopwatch), class ( Ginetta Cup, GT, prototype, F1000, Formula X-Cup …), vehicle (depending on the class), location and route (depending on location), condition (time of day, weather), laps and number of drivers (up to to 22), as well as various other characteristics (starting order on the grid, authorization of improvements, type of damage, flashback, difficulty of the AI, standing or launched start). And if you don’t own the vehicle you want, you can rent it for 10% of your earnings. Then all you have to do is get started against AI or online with your friends. The app indeed puts a lot on the social that it encourages (social living world) by being first of all fully cross-play to eliminate any barrier to multiplayer, an alert when connecting your friends, and an Hop-In function allowing you to join a race very quickly by simply pressing a button without having to go through a lobby or wait for a friend request.