Connect with us

Grid Legends Review - A Beautiful Game and Great Career Mode

GRID Legends Review

GRID Legends

Grid Legends Review - A Beautiful Game and Great Career Mode

I believe Codemasters and EA know the direction of the last Grid game did not resonate with the masses as they had hoped. When you factor in that the current racing scene is loaded right now with titles of multiple disciplines, it means changes, additions, and corrections needed to take place for the Grid franchise to find its footing again with Grid Legends. This brings us to my Grid Legends review.

Grid Legends Review

There is room within the community for a variety of titles that range from pure simulation to over-the-top arcade, but what there isn’t room for is a title that’s doesn’t know what it is or what it wants to be. After a “hands-on” session with the career mode build, I could instantly tell that work had been done and the racing had moved closer to the roots of the former TOCA series, which was a simulation and arcade hybrid.

But beyond my first taste of the career mode and racing, does Grid Legends now hold up in its final form?

What I Like

grid legends trial

Story Mode

If you read my preview here on Operation Sports, it was a detailed look at the all-new story mode created by Codemasters called Driven to Glory. I was impressed by it then and remain impressed by it now. To start with, the developers created a solid story that plays out in a way where it allows you and the racing to be the stars of the show.

There are over 30 different scenarios that play out over the course of the story, and each one requires a different approach and has a small story to accompany it. Everything flows together so well because the actual story aspect of the mode is delivered in quick videos and screenshots with description-style overlays that quickly explain what is happening before you get back to racing.

I have played through the mode twice. I enjoyed it as much the second time as the first, and a third attempt is not out of the question. Again, it all comes down to the quick hitting delivery of the story where you’re the star on and off the track. There are moments that it felt like it was a combination of games from the past, with a dash of Wreckfest and TOCA sprinkled in here.

I will not give anything away, but know that the new story mode is extremely well done and is approachable and addictive enough that multiple playthroughs should be an option for some.

Driving Mechanics And AI

Grid Legends review

Grid Legends is, at its core, an adrenaline-fueled racer that rarely ever lets up. The reasons it works and resonated so well with me is twofold. Fist, the driving mechanics in the game are simply stellar, and I like to refer to them as easy to grasp but hard to master. Throughout my time with Grid Legends, I found the developers had created a driving model that forced me to not only learn how all of the vehicles handled, but how they interacted with different surfaces and different track types.

That is the beauty of the racing system in place here. In order to progress through the story mode, career mode, or online — and do so with some success — I had to learn what each vehicle was about and the best approach for each track with said vehicle.

Grid Legends AI

Some tracks just required me to haul ass through long straightaways, while others were all about the 90-degree turns and S-curves. Toss in a solid downpour or snowstorm, and the knuckles turned white more frequently than I care to admit. When you add some extremely dialed-in AI opponents, you have an experience that is both exciting and crammed full of longevity.

The AI is tuned very well in Grid Legends. Sometimes that means the experience is frustrating, sometimes it’s maddening, but it’s always exciting. If you race clean, the AI will give you the benefit of the doubt and race with you. If your approach is win at all costs, then a few enemies will be made. The AI will pay you back when the opportunity arises, and will make it a struggle to pass when the time is right.

The one aspect of AI racing that really stuck out and made an impression was the AI’s ability to fight each other for the best racing lines and for a better position. Also, AI mistakes were witnessed often, and many resulted in DNFs for the race. More importantly, those crashes often required me to navigate around the mess with a very Days of Thunder type of excitement.

The bottom line is the AI is both fun and frustrating in an extremely fair way, but the beauty in the system is that it allows you to dictate the AI’s behavior.

Grid’s Graphical Leap

Graphically speaking, the Grid franchise has never looked better. The copy I am playing is obviously enhanced by the PS5, and it is one of the best looking games available on the system as of today. The car models look magnificent and are crammed with detail in areas that most will never see, which speaks so well to the care and effort put into Grid Legends by the developers.

Cars aside, the tracks and track-side components and surroundings look every bit as impressive as the cars themselves do. Whether I was navigating the hills of San Francisco or the tight turns of Chicago, racing has never looked this good. The level of impressive detail even seeps into the minutia of the surroundings as flagmen, fans, and race officials are alive and aware of the action that is surrounding them.

The impressiveness of the graphics does not end there either. The minute that weather and weather effects are introduced into the game, it pushes the level of detail into the stratosphere — even more so with the real-time day to night transitions. Although I can’t speak for the previous generation of consoles, I can say that Grid Legends is an extremely impressive looking game on both PC and PS5, and the frame rate never a takes a hit even with an abundance of action unfolding on the screen.

Audio Showcase

Last but definitely not least is the wonderful job the developers have done in the audio department. Most of the excitement will be geared towards the graphics, but the audio adds just as much enjoyment, especially when utilizing a 3-D headset.

From the sound of the automobiles to the screeching of the tires and massive accidents, the audio enhancements found inside Grid Legends are delivered at a high level of authenticity. In addition, unlike many games, the audio adds to the level of realism and depth here.

What I Don’t Like

Menu System

It takes too much time to learn the menu system and understand how to navigate things. While a petty complaint on some level, it was a bit confusing how to gain access to certain modes and races, and how to unlock certain cars at the beginning. Through trial and error, I eventually connected the dots and understood how each mode worked with the others.

That said, take your time and make sure you understand how driving a certain car in one mode can impact another. Be sure to read what requirements are needed in order to upgrade your vehicles, or enter into one of the sessions in career mode.

Bottom Line

Grid Legends may be in the same spot Horizon Forbidden West finds itself in now having launched a week before Elden Ring. Most of the hype is most likely going to be showered on Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 7, which launches about a week after Grid Legends does. Fair or not, Gran Turismo has earned that right, but what I found is that Grid Legends offers a totally different experience than what GT7 will offer.

What Codemasters has delivered here is every bit an experience, but its focus is on fast cars, white-knuckle racing, and complete immersion into the racing world. With over 118 cars, 137 circuits, and 22 different stunning locations, Grid Legends delivers on almost every front, especially when you take into consideration the high level of excitement and addictive racing the game offers.

Even more impressive is the depth on display here. As I mentioned previously, I have played through the story mode two full times already and will consider a third playthrough. Grid Legends provides an excellent single-player experience. while still offering up a wonderful array of options online where many will find another high level of enjoyment.

From the moment I fired up Grid Legends, I was impressed with the improvements and additions across the board. If you’re a racing fan, an adrenaline junkie, or somewhere in between, Grid Legends should be given the chance to impress you.

About the author

More in GRID Legends


To Top