At Supanova yesterday I bought a copy of Race Driver: GRID for $70. It’s a new release game and I saw it on specialthe other day for$90, so it was a decent enough saving to warrant the purchase. It’s by Codemasters, the same guys that put out Colin McRae: DIRT last year. Until GRID came along I would have said that DIRT was my favourite racing game.
There’s a few things I really like about this game and they’re to do with the design rather than the technical capabilities, though don’t get me wrong, this game looks fantastic and is lots of fun to play.
The first is that you enter in your full name at the beginning, and if you’ve got a common name like Matthew (or Aaron, Andrew, Mark… they’re all listed) then it uses it when “the game” talks to you. For example, my pit crew call me Matthew when they’re giving me updates through out the race, and my business manager, who looks after the sponsors and advises me on what to do off the track does the same.
Also, because you entered your full name when they’re listing your results it doesn’t look weird seeing nicknames and fake full names mixed in together. That’s a minor annoyance I have with other racing games. I know, I’m pedantic.
You get to choose your sponsors (from a list of those that have offered you a deal) and where they’re placed on your car. Different sponsors offer different incentives, for example they might only pay up if you place higher than third or if you finish the race. The major sponsor pays double because they’re plastered on your bonnet. Part of the game, I’m presuming, is juggling the sponsorships in order to reap the maximum rewards per race.
You choose the team name as well as the team colours. I’ve got blue, grey and white which are our company colours and my teams called “TFG Racing.” You can also choose the paint pattern too so if you wanted flames you could have them, or if you want stripes you could have them instead. When you buy new cars the paint colours and patterns are automatically applied.
You’re not inundated with stupid or redundant choices, which I know some games have given you in the past. You could choose the brand of muffler upgrade you applied, though they were all exactly the same performance wise. In GRID you have a limited number of colours and paint patterns, though there’s about 100 options in each. Choice from a range that’s broad enough to contain something you like.
Now… back to the racing!