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GRID – Xbox 360

01 Aug 2008

If DiRT was Codemasters’ idea of putting their foot in the next-gen door, then GRID, the latest entry in the TOCA Touring Car Series, is most certainly the complete sale. What’s truly striking with GRID, and why it’s such a success, is the balance. Not just another smash and bang arcade racer nor a hardcore SIM that drives the most patient insane, no, GRID takes up the ground in between with spectacular results.

When starting off, gaining a rookie licence is the first priority, requiring just a single race to be acquired. After this mere formality, the real game kicks in with GRID world. GRID world is the single player career mode of the game, starting from humble beginnings as a poor racer with bucket loads of talent, but an empty wallet.

GRID World takes players across three regions (America, Europe and Japan) with a series of challenges, as well as licences to be completed. As players climb the ranks in the racing world, not only will they be racing for other teams, but will also have the opportunity to create the next big racing team and hire the next young and ambitious superstar driver. As your team progresses, more cars will need to be bought so that all of the various events can be entered, including drift racing, head to head Togue racing and of course my personal favourite — the Demolition Derby!

The gameplay is superb, with simple yet effective controls. One of the new additions that adds another dimension to the gameplay is the “flashback” feature, allowing players to forget about the last few seconds in which they destroyed their car, and retreat back slightly.

Recent tradition has been that when the true power of a console is to be experienced, racing games are at the forefront. GRID is no exception, with stunning graphics, excellent models and fantastic environments. Like last year’s DiRT, there’s also an impressive damage system, quickly destroying those stunning looking cars, scattering debris everywhere.

Overall, GRID is an incredible game. Codemasters seem to have taken the best bits from all of the popular racing games of today, added a little bit of their own touch and have come out with a product that could just be the best racing game of the year.

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