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GRID Legends

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Racing
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Codemasters
Release Date: Feb. 25, 2022

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.


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PS5/PS4/XSX/XOne/PC Preview - 'GRID Legends'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on Dec. 8, 2021 @ 12:30 a.m. PST

GRID Legends is a high-stakes driving experience that combines thrilling motorsport action, incredible race variety and an immersive story that puts the player at the heart of the action.

The upcoming GRID Legends brings a new bag of tricks to the GRID franchise. I recently attended a presentation where game director Chris Smith went over the new features, and then I spent some time playing a preview build of the game. The presentation covered some ground that the build doesn't yet touch, but between the two, a few things caught my attention.

The presentation unveiled the Driven to Glory mode. Heavily inspired by Netflix's "Drive to Survive" series that covers the real-world action of Formula 1 racing, Driven to Glory is touted as an underdog tale where you play as "Driver 22." The story format is presented in the style of a modern documentary (again, inspired by DTS), but it's presented with live action cut scenes with real actors. Not much was teased about the plot, but between the cast and the "virtual production" soundstage, it was interesting to see the effort that's going into it. The preview build didn't have any Driven to Glory content in it, so I suspect that will be kept under wraps until closer to the launch.

The game will also feature a career mode in which you are both the driver and owner of a racing team. Your goal is to successfully make your way from the rookie to pro along the various racing categories. Expected race types are present, such as touring cars and circuit races. I was a little surprised to see drifting as a category of its own, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Electric (think Formula E, complete with "boost gates," etc.). I laughed out loud when I saw that stadium super trucks are a category, ramps included. That's a bonkers form of racing that I've been a fan of, and it's nice to see it in a game like GRID Legends. Players are free to progress through the career in whatever order they want, and completing Pro events leads to "The Gauntlet," which is meant to be a challenging event to test your skill.

There is also the Race Creator mode, which lets you mix up race types, cars, weather conditions, and other criteria. Want to make a mode where you're ramping open-wheel race cars during a blizzard? How about ramping stadium trucks through the streets of San Francisco? The mode lets you make modes such as this, and some of the most fun I had with the preview build was in coming up with arcade-style combinations that would never see reality. At the very least, I'd imagine extremely expensive insurance premiums for ramping open-wheel race cars.

The game will have over 130 vehicles at launch across nine categories and 48 classes. The nine categories triple what was available in the previous one and include the previously mentioned drift and electric categories as well as new ones, like multi-class. Sure, have a single Formula E car race against a whole bunch of racing semi-trucks and hatchbacks. Why not answer that motorsport question of "what if"? The game will also have 22 tracks at launch, including the additions of London and Moscow to the series and a fictional Le Mans-style track called Strada Alpina.

Social and multiplayer are touted as one of the main pillars of GRID Legends, and the Driven to Glory mode is the only one that is expressly single-player. All of the other modes can be played multiplayer, including the career mode, but details on how that works weren't divulged in the presentation and weren't available in the preview build. Players will be able to join other players' races and take over the controls of one of the AI racers; this sounds like a novel way to spice up a race, but again, that wasn't unveiled in the preview build.

The previous GRID game had the Choreographer feature, which is what allowed the AI to make mistakes, behave more organically, potentially cause mechanical failures for the AI of various severities, and allow for rivalries to develop. The system is back and improved for GRID Legends with all those features and more. Rivalries will now persist between races but can cool off after time has passed. Additionally, the game now keeps track of rivalries between players and lets you keep tabs on rivals from the main menu.

The handling and overall "feel" of the game felt improved over the previous iteration, and the visuals have certainly gotten a tune-up. The preview build didn't let me cover all of the features that will be in the final product, but it did show that GRID Legends is shaping up to be a potentially great arcade racer to throw down some laps and have some fun. No release date has currently been given, but I am sure that we'll learn more details soon enough.

Previewed on: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, 32 GB RAM, NVidia GTX 2070 Super

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