Codemasters Racing Game Grid Is Free To Play For This Weekend On Steam Platform

Codemasters Racing Game Grid Is Free To Play For This Weekend On Steam Platform
Credit: IGN via YouTube

GRID is a recent release from development studio Codemasters, only three months old at this point, as the title shipped October 10th of 2019.  The reviews have not been entirely favorable to GRID, however; only 55% of 609 players recommend others picking it up.  Thus far, even in the free weekend, it looks as though others echo the sentiments and concerns that litter their Steam page.  There’s little reason to let others determine the actual worth of a title when it’s currently free to explore; the title typically sells for $59.99, and the Ultimate Edition sells for $79.99.

It’s worth noting that even if it is free, the storage size requirements are egregious at best; Codemasters lists minimum storage at 100GB.  The initial download is 49.2 GB, so perhaps they’re giving themselves room for future DLC when they created the minimum specs required.  The minimum GPU required is Nvidia GT 640 or equal, while recommended is GTX 1080 or RX 590 with DirectX Version 12; meaning Windows 10 is necessary to play the title.  With storage and DirectX alone, they’re asking for a bit of real estate on your PC while mandating a loathsome OS.

A precursory glance at their Steam page also denotes the usage of microtransactions, although the proverbial throttle hasn’t been fully opened yet.  Two separate vehicles that are not included in the base game, nor listed in the Ultimate Edition, are for sale; purchasing them also gives players an experience gain boost.  While the Alpha Romeo 155 is an absolute beauty, it’s difficult to vindicate additional piecemealed content less than three months after release.  It appears as though the process of adding vehicles to the game, coupling it with an XP boost, and offering it for a small fee will be a staple in monetization.  There is also a Season 01 Pass purchasable for $12.49, with the digits proposing a regular feature of Season’s that will continue to be released.

As far as racing titles go, GRID seems to be the relatively standard stock.  A wide variety of cars ranging from six different classes of vehicles: Touring, GT, Tuner, FA Racing, Invitational, and Stock.  As you progress through your career, you can add more vehicles to your garage and customize their appearance as you see fit; you can tune your vehicle prior to a race beginning, after loading, allowing experts to tune their axles for curvy courses.

GRID via Codemasters

The primary draw seems to be the personalities that occupy the track with you.  Codemasters boasts over 400 unique personalities that will race next to you, and against you.  It seems like a boisterous claim, unless they’ve added backend for each driver’s favorite breakfast foods.  It’s far more likely that there are 400 unique combinations of various driver settings: likeliness to overtake on curves, willingness to smack a fender a bit to gain an upper hand, and so on.

This unique driver’s AI comes into play in the Nemesis module that the game holds as a core part of the single-player experience: bump and grind another driver too much, and their personality will switch to Nemesis, where you become target number one.  So if you are looking to trade paint, be aware that it can come with consequences that may cost you the entire race.

GRID via Codemasters

It’s worth being aware that the loading times can be particularly punishing if you don’t place GRID on an SSD; some races take over 3 minutes to load, for roughly 5 minutes average of racing.

You can choose what you’re competing in from the get-go; there are different paths for all types of vehicles, so if you prefer raw muscle you won’t end up surreptitiously inside of a plastic fantastic roadway rocket unless you specifically choose to compete in them.  It allows you to purchase vehicles that interest you for competitions that you choose; be aware, however, that you’ll ultimately need to explore beyond one genre of vehicle to gain everything the game will offer.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the game immediately throws you into three races, back to back, upon first loading the title.  No tweaking graphics, no learning controls; it’s a jarring mess that consistently hiccups as it brings about the most story you’ll see in your first ten hours of gameplay.  So before you even boot it up, ensure that you’re ready to compete.