Archives by Day

December 2023

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.


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

PS5/PS4/XSX/XOne/PC Preview - 'GRID Legends' Driven to Glory Mode

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on Jan. 24, 2022 @ 8:00 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.

Fresh from my recent time with an earlier preview of the game, the newest preview build of GRID Legends let me dive into 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 format of the story is to be presented in the style of a modern documentary (again, inspired by "DTS") but is presented using live action cut scenes with real actors. To see how it all comes together, I put a few laps in to try it out.

In the story, you play as the otherwise vague Driver 22, and in the beginning, you are an unsigned driver hoping to get the attention of Marcus Ado, who is the young team principal of Seneca Racing. Seneca's star driver, Yume Tanaka, is none too thrilled about the team's tendency to bring you onboard, but the lead engineer, Ajeet Singh, just seems happy that you aren't putting their cars into barriers over and over like some of their previous drivers have done. As the story progresses, you'll spark rivalries with drivers on other teams, including Nathan McKane, who has been a character in the GRID series for a long time.

The more interesting aspect is that the characters are all portrayed by real actors in documentary-style clips. There is usually a live-action segment before the start of every chapter in the story as a host interviews each of them on various topics, or it contains footage of them in a candid setting related to the chapter ahead. Surprisingly, it gets awfully close to nailing the "Drive to Survive" style, and it doesn't feel as forced as expected, given past use of live-action sequences in gaming. Instead, it feels organic and brings the characters to life in a way that seems somewhat distinct.

The whole story mode was in the preview build I was playing, but for this article, the focus is on the first six events. Beyond the story elements that string them together, the events cover a fair amount of ground. In the first couple of chapters, you drive relatively normal vehicles: some high-power sedans through the streets of London and then some open-wheel action. You then test a stock car on a private track before driving some muscle through Moscow, rip through an elimination-style event in the docks of Yokohama where every so often last place is removed from the race, and you finally bounce around in some stadium trucks.

What this tells me is that the Driven to Glory mode is going to lean on the wide-ranging disciplines of the fictional GRID championship to keep things fresh. The story on its own is compelling enough, but it's nice to dive into the next chapter and wondering what new motorsport mashup you're about to get behind the wheel of. It also keeps you on your toes, since you don't get the opportunity to get comfortable by driving the same car.

The AI is seemingly in the same boat as you are. While it doesn't happen in every race and isn't scripted to happen, the AI does make mistakes. Sometimes it's as simple as not hitting a ramp level in a stadium truck and tipping over, while other times, a little too much throttle forces them to spin out or crash into a barrier. It was easy for me to chuckle at how silly those drivers looked before realizing that I was making similar mistakes at about the same rate. It makes for a more believable experience than in many contemporary racing games, where the AI drivers make minimal mistakes and generally seem to bunch together along the racing line with little deviation.

This also marked the first time where I started dabbling with all assists off and played at the higher difficulty level. Even with assists completely disabled, GRID Legends is still somewhat forgiving, even on a controller, and fans of racing games won't have too much trouble ripping around. That said, it is still possible to screw up a line or whip the back end around by giving too much throttle into a corner, but I don't think anyone expects that the game is meant to be a hardcore simulation. You still feel like you must drive the car, and at the highest AI difficulty level, you must work for every passing opportunity.

It was a good first taste of what GRID Legends' Driven to Glory mode is going to be all about. The first six events represent only a small piece of the total story, and there's surely some drama up ahead as Driver 22 rises through the ranks and gains some rivalries along the way. It also feels a lot more organic than the story mode in the recent F1 2021 game, and I think a lot of that credit needs to be given to the actors and the live-action format. For more, we'll just have to wait until GRID Legends releases on Feb. 25, 2022.

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

More articles about GRID Legends
blog comments powered by Disqus