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Race Driver: GRID 6 years on


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Hard to imagine that the first GRID came out 6 years ago this week! To celebrate I'm collecting thoughts and feedback from everyone regarding the game, and I know a few of you here have some strong feelings for the game.

In short, what made the game special to you?
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It was like nothing I had ever played before at the time. The variety, the attention to detail in all the tracks, the damage and replay/flashback model. It made me go straight out and buy an xbox upon release! I didn't feel the need to go to next gen until I saw this, and I am hoping Codemasters next game will make me do the same for Xbox One!
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Realistic racing environment with semisim handling, so the game was not so difficult as real simulator, but still challenging with correct apex cornering.

Diversity. When you're tired of circuit racing you can get some fun in derby or touge modes. Then you can do some tricks with friends in free roam drift. Or you can enjoy beautiful vista from Okutama heights.

Very comfortable multiplayer system.
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Grid was a cool game. Nice SP and overall entertaining MP. I remember very specially the fact It was really well optimized on PC, much better than Dirt, which was problematic when there were many cars on screen (rallycross, rallyraid, etc). Glad all those incompatibilities and the many problems with sound that plagued earlier versions of the ego engine got solved quickly on Grid.

Grid simply ran like ice cream on PC. I want the same again, with some support for the already jurassic (though still powerful) nvidia 8800 series. Some optimization for these cards one last time before soket 775 dies at long last would be some juicy news indeed.
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The bumper to bumper racing online with touring car and good players.

The great chaos derby racing with the Jupiter.

The variety of cars ( from slow to fast ) and the eye candy in a 2008 PC racing game.

How did GRID 1 know I had a MOMO wheel?

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Single player:
Playing the storyline was great fun even bigger when you completed it and the ninja level was available.

The bumper to bumper racing in touring cars.
Playing with the f3 in assists off sessions and see most spinning around at start.  lol
The way the online lobby worked.
The feel of the game in general.
The fact it had a good working cockpit cam with trackir support.
That it had streaming text chat
The chaos in DD when playing Last man standing.
And after the ACAT mod came out playing cops and robbers on drift track with friends was good for some hilarious evenings amd some good laughs.
That I found a good bunch of friends which I still meet online till today

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I reckon you know how I feel about GRID:

The features that make GRID stand apart for me as a single player:

- Easy to get into a race; no fooling around much with tuning or upgrading or customizing.  "It's all about the race."

- The color filter and the depth of the view provided by the haze/dust effect, a little weird but cool.

- The challenge.  There is always a way to improve my skills, and the game is always ahead of me.  The difficulty level can always be taken up a notch or two farther than I can handle, yet the racing is always rewarding.  Maybe I'm just easily entertained.

- Great tracks.  All of them.

- Individually selective assists; I can make the driving as easy or difficult as I want, no waiting for a challenge, it's right there.

- Club GT racing - TVR Tuscan Challenge.  [TVR needs some company - ]  Just as much fun as Touring Cars.

PC/keyboard, offline single player; still playing GRID.
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What made Grid special for me are a number of things that devs over look these days
  1. Efficient Game Design: This goes for the first Dirt also. I don't play games to look at menus.  Both Grid and the first Dirt got you into the game quickly and efficiently.  Additionally you don't waste a lot of time with bad cars or cars you have no interest in driving.  A perfect example is what Gran Turismo has turned into. That game for me is like a chore or homework and by the time you finally get the cars you want I was sick of the game.   Grid had a great access path and to me the best career mode in a racing game.  Was so pissed at how Grid 2 turned out so really hope Autosport returns back to the original roots
  2. The gameplay. Yes the cars all kind of felt the same and some kind of tuning option would have been nice, but overall where it counted Grid delivered. It had natural excitement and didn't need gimmicks.  It wasn't like Shift that had to use shaky cam or blurred vision to tell you "this is exciting or tense".  It's like a laugh track on a comedy show.  But Grid just had it right
  3. Immersion again Grid got you in the game and made you feel like you were in the game.   Even with the cheap AI I felt like I was having good racing
Overall with Dirt and Grid CM just got it right.  Even to this day I still play those two games frequently and honestly if they had just simply kept adding cards and tracks I would be more then happy to keep playing them as opposed to the sequels that followed.   To be honest the only real negative I have about Grid is the cheap AI at times and it was the game that introduced the Replay/flashback feature to racing.
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Online euroturing.
A lot of good ppl and i can communincate with them by text chat.
Close clean fights when you go into corner with 2 cars and did not touch each other without flashback.
Feel myself on the edge how its possible in halfsim.
Real tracks, Spa is the best ^^.
I still do not get it. Why game servers are off. Its so easy make a new patch. So stupid -_-
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This might be a long one, as I bought Grid initially on release, then bought a copy on Steam too for easier access. I hope this will be useful feedback for the Autosports team.

What do I love about Grid:
- The authentic career mode which was a joy to play. You started out initially as a driver for other teams then slowly build up your team to compete on the highest level in a well paced career tree that isnt overly long or tedious. The career is fun to play on low end derby cars, drift cars to high end GT1s, mainly due to the well tuned physics for different class as each class or even different cars have different driving style which added to the longevity.

I also enjoyed the fact that you need to find a co driver to compete in races with you which adds another layer of authenticity to the game, considering most races in real life has 2 drivers competing. This also further enforce the authenticity of Grid.

Not to mention, Grid 1's career has a solid mixture of authentic racing modes from drifting, derby, street racing, track racing to Le Mans also made the career a varied and interesting experience. I regret to say that I really do not enjoy the rather gimmicky game modes like Checkpoints or Overtake in Grid 2. I would prefer if Codemaster could stick with authentic racing game modes as I think thats where the strength of the company lies.

To date, I think I had finished the career at least 5 times. Personally, I do like what I am seeing

- The driving physics, personally, I always think Grid and Dirt 1 actually got the driving physics just right in between arcade and simulation where some people classify Grid as a simcade. The cars are not overly difficult or clinical to drive which is great for mass market appeal but still retains some of the more simulation-like features such as localised car damage. At the same time, each car is tuned to be vary wildly that is close to its real life behavior which made it a joy to drive each of them.

Contrasting to Grid 2, I find the driving physics to be too drifty to the point where cars felt like they drift automatically in each corners. At least for me, I never really enjoy driving physics like this and it hurts the authenticity of the game. Real life race cars do not really drift as much as cars drifts in each corner. In Grid, this behavior rarely occurs, I find the driving physics in Grid 1 to be fairly flexible as I could drift around Bathrust a bit in a S7 GT1 if I wanted to or drive following racing lines like a professional driver. All because the driving physics does not really lock me to a driving style. Grid 2 just doesnt now have that flexibility. The auto drifting mechanics in Grid felt like I am struggling with some thing is trying to take control of the car away from me which isnt fun to me.

Also, I really like that in Grid 1, keyboard, gamepad and even wheel are well supported and tuned where not everyone could afford a game pad or a wheel on PC.

- Tracks, I think Grid 1 has a good mix of tracks from city tracks like Sans Francisco and Shibuya, race tracks such as Bathrust or Donington, Okutama for Togue, and also the legendary Le Mans track, Circuit de Sarthe.

- I also enjoyed the racing experience in Grid 1. The AI feels much more alive or authentic than being a computer driven AI as the AI in Grid does make mistakes in a natural way. It is always fun to go bumper to bumper with the AI as the AI is mostly capable in keeping their distance from you without unintentionally ramming you in most racing games. Codemaster is adept in making races feels intense where a lot of racing games in the market could not do so, mainly due to how the AI drives naturally in the game.

I really hope that Autosports AI will be as good as Grid 1's AI. Grid 2's AI feels more rigid and tends to ram you from the back than Grid 1.

- Lastly, I really like how Grid 1 does it's DLCs. The 2 DLCs felt meaty with a decent amount of well picked cars for a reasonable price. It felt like an expansion in some ways to me. Grid 2's implementation wasnt that good as there are too many day 1 DLCs and certain packs like the Peak Performance Pack arent really value for the money as the cars are just slightly modified cars. I understand the licensing issues with car license in these few years so I guess thats understandable.

Still, the implementation of Grid 1's DLC isnt perfect as DLC cars arent usable online or in multiplayer which is quite a disappointment. I hope Autosports will get it right this time.

Here's hoping Autosports will the as good as Grid 1. Also, when is the pre-order coming up?
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I remember the first time I crashed into the tyre barrier at the chicane on nurburgring, and expecting to come to a dead halt. Insead, the car is launched into the air, and every tyre seems to come alive and fly off in all directions! It was such a great experience!

Then I finally got online, and convinced a friend to get it as well, who loved it, and eventually we had about six of us racing online together. We still haven't stopped playing it!

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I really enjoyed the sp mode and finished it on easy before I went online- what a shock!, I previously thought I was fast, I was dropped into an LMP race at SPA, my god,  online was so manic everyone was flying past me !. I think I quit and went back to sp but upped the difficulty so I could get better.
Played it almost every day until shutdown.

And the tyres yes lol  :)
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Loore said:
Hard to imagine that the first GRID came out 6 years ago this week! To celebrate I'm collecting thoughts and feedback from everyone regarding the game, and I know a few of you here have some strong feelings for the game.

In short, what made the game special to you?
- Multiplayer
- Damage system and visual
- Physics
Persistence of broken cars, pieces of cars, etc., on the track, no ghosts or car disappear after crash
- Lighting (yellow tone)

My favorite lobby on GRID 1:

Ranked Match
Region: EUROPE
Damage: ON
Catch Up: OFF
Race Lenght: ANY
Collisions: ON
Driver Assists: ANY

[ ]'s

P.S.: I keep playing the multiplayer of "RaceDriver: GRID", every day since 2008, at least 4 hours per day on the XBOX 360 (I have over 9.000 hours of GRID multiplayer, including all my gamertags on Xbox Live).
And today, like every day I do, I'll be playing GRID :) (more 3 or 4 hours of fun)
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  • 2 weeks later...
What's more amazing is the fact you switched off the servers for PC and PS3 after 3 years.  Grid was the game that got me into racing games.

I met some first class people and had some amazingly close races with the likes of CAHEK, Dannyboy, Data, G1edson and all of the angel guys, to name but a few.  The balance of racing and socialising (text chat) was excellent and the community was largely fair, after 1.3 ;)

The midnight tourers was always the place to be.  Although I only played a few of these, the racing was bumper to bumper for the full 5 laps.  There was plenty of rubbing but it was all clean racing.

I also miss the eBay series, taking the Viper around San Fran.  Smashing over the kerbs, just missing the walls to get the best run up the hill.

The epicness of F3 racing, against the likes of Data and CAHEK and giving them a run for their money.  Always tight, always fair, always very entertaining.  Coming out of a race with your heart beating like a 200bpm gabba track, pipped to the finish line by the nostril hair of a flea..

That's what I miss about Grid, and truly hope CM get it right with GAS.  Do not forget that text chat, it's what online game communities are built on.
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Touring Cars
Touring Cars
& More
Touring Cars
that was my thrill of Grid 1, never has such a multiplayer experience enchanted me.
I was let down by the Codies on the servers been switched off and so eagerly awaited Grid 2, which failed on so many levels to not repeat what was so good about Grid 1.
However, I get an email about Grid Autosport which i presumed was a downloadable add on for Grid 2.
And then to my amazement i realise that codies have listened to the fans and tried to fix it all with a new game all together.
Kudos Codies
Thank you thank you thank you
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gaski said:
Do not forget that text chat, it's what online game communities are built on.
PC ones perhaps. The rest of us manage fine without it...

That's because consoles are inherrently based on VoIP communication, having no keyboard and all that.  PC gaming is a different culture to consoles, and online gaming for PC began with text chat.  It is needed for GAS for it to be a complete success on PC.  You've probably seen seen the amount of yes votes for it in the poll?
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Race Driver Grid was a massive disappointment for me personally. Coming off the back of Toca Race Driver 3 it seemed like a step backward in terms of what a Codemasters racing game should offer. No V8 Supercars and less real life circuits was a real downer. Fictitious tracks should be left for the pure arcade racing games out there.

Race Driver Grid did have some nice additions though but in lieu of what it didn't have, I was still left underwhelmed.

We're being teased with what to expect in Grid:Autosport but I have learnt now not to speculate until I see first hand exactly what we are getting. It's great to see BTCC cars are back and that there will be more circuits but we're yet to see how we can use them. I have a feeling I will still be left with the notion that another Codemasters game has come out and it still isn't as good as what Toca Race Driver 3 was.
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  • 2 weeks later...

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