The new GRID 2019 is finally out! I have been waiting for that one for a very long time, and the more screenshots/videos started to appear and the more worried I started to be. And in the end, well … the game is definitely a huge disappointment. Let’s start by what is good and then what is wrong with the game.
The good bit
The game is called GRID., which in the past meant an excellent race car video game. The legacy of the TOCA Touring Car Championship games which were some kind of pioneer in the industry.
That’s about it …. you may think that I am joking or being mean but really I can’t see a lot of good things in the game.
The bad bit
It is definitely arcade, very arcade. At the start of the game, you will have to test a couple of cars and when I saw the NASCAR drifting on the race track, I had to double-check that I was not playing a new skin of Mario Kart of some sort. From category to category the cars will feel different, basically slower or faster and drifting more easily or not. But in the same category, the car feels more or less similar. The strategy is also still similar, brake at the very last moment, kind of drifty in the corners. if you are even remotely interested in simulation, then this game is not really for you.
The fact that you are owning experience points by drifting or other similar actions is also a strong sign that it was developed more for an arcade-style than simulation.
Basically there is no story in GRID 2019. The whole career mode is a bit strange, you are facing a table of a bit more than 80 challenges and you need to win enough of them to unlock the final ones. Each challenge is between 1 and 4 races, of 2 to 5 laps. You will just jump from challenges to challenges, taking from 5 to 15 minutes. It is not like if you were doing a championship, winning it and be hired into another one. You also do have a teammate, that you can choose, but that is only a name in a box. Except for helping you to gain more money, it has no real interest. And money, yes, because you will need to buy your own cars for the challenges. Luckily, a few of them are only needed to do a big part of the game.
It is also important to say that the final challenge can be unlocked and over in … roughly a day.
Like no other
GRID 2019 got all the problems I have found out in other racing games. The other drivers will definitely try to destroy your car. Some races will turn more like a Destruction Derby than a real race. The game got a Rewind option, which allows you to go back in time a bit (in case you made an error and you do not want to restart the race), and it is sometimes funny to rewind after an accident and see the other car crashing into the wall because … they never intended to race, they just wanted to kill you.
The “normal” mode is in my opinion way too easy and the “hard” mode is affected by the previous point and the fact that the game is too arcade. In hard mode, the competition may just try to get rid of you or the arcade mode kicks in, removing all logic (and physic) and having someone passing you by drifting in a straight line.
The number of tracks is limited (despite trying to use the same tracks with some variation). To the best of my knowledge, there seems to be only 4 real race track: Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Indianapolis, and Sepang. Concerning the variation, it is also a bit hard to do Brands Hatch in reverse for example. As for the fictional race track, some of them are actually not that bad, but all the street circuits are not really great.
I had a couple of them, but it was not that bad. The game froze a couple of times, forcing me to close and restart it. The menu also has a weird glitch, if you are looking at a car, the visible one on the screen may be the previous one, or any one. The experience also stopped working for roughly 2 hours and probably 20 races. At the end of each race, I had 0xp so I should probably have 10 or 15 more lvls, but that’s ok.
Well, honestly I do not know what to add about that GRID 2019. As mentioned, the game has no real story or interesting career mode and the highest challenge can be finished in less than a day. The gameplay and difficulty are really Arcade. I am really doing my best to find some positive points but it is not easy. It feels a bit like a Need For Speed but with all the fun being removed. It also feels a bit like what was Gran Turismo … but the very first one. In 2019 we would expect something a bit better or original.
I think that this will be the biggest disappointment of the year in my opinion and something to pass in my opinion…