Yesterday the Race Driver GRID PC demo was released. You can download it at GamersHell. So I played it today and here is my review. Remember it is just a demo and doesn’t represent the quality of the final game, and so neither does this review.
GRID has almost the same gameplay as DIRT. You can probably say that GRID is the same thing as DIRT except it’s not off road and has different cars. However, compared to the other ToCA Race Driver games, GRID has the same type of handling. GRID is an arcade type of game, and I don’t think it is supposed to be a simulator. There are physics, but they’re not realistic.
Racing is fun but can also be annoying. Using a keyboard, it is hard to turn at high speed because if you let go of the gas and then press it again your car will beg to spin out. This can be solved with tiny taps on the gas key. I haven’t tried to play GRID with my Logitech MOMO wheel yet, but if it’s going to be anything like playing with a wheel in DIRT, I won’t even try.
The sounds are good. The crowd cheers you on when you’re driving, goes “ooohhhhhhh” when you crash, and boos you when you’re messing around and doing things like going the wrong way, spinning donuts, or burning out. The tire screeching is good, and the engine noise is decent. Gear shifting though sounds completely unrealistic, almost like crumpling a water bottle. And backfires are too quiet and also soft sounding.
The graphics are great but have some flaws. The edges of everything look blurred. The antialiasing seems flawed. It runs great at 4X MSAA, but anything above that and the menu goes at 1fps, making you ALT-F4 and restart the game in safe mode, and change back the settings. But at 4x AA, the edges look jagged yet blurry. Almost as if you’re using no AA at a very low resolution. But I was running it at my monitor’s native 1440×900. The cars look great though, and so does the track. And now that I think about it, DIRT had the same problem with looking blurry.
I ran this demo on Ultra settings at 1440×900 resolution with 4x antialiasing. I ran it on Vista Ultimate x64, E6600 CPU @ 3GHz, 4GB (2×2) RAM @ 830MHz, and an 8800GTS 320MB GPU @ stock speeds. It ran at about 50FPS, dropping into the 20’s when surrounded by lots of smoke (from burning out, drifting, etc).
In conclusion: the gameplay is very arcade, so if you like arcade type racers, this is great. Controls are decent on the keyboard. Sounds are mostly good. Graphics are great except for being blurry. And no it’s not the blur that’s making them like this, because it’s blurry even if you’re not moving. Blur isn’t supposed to be active when standing still. Since it’s a demo, you should just go download it here and see for yourself if you like it.
Check out a few screenshots I took below. Check out exclusive Nintendo Wii Game Console Review, Sony PlayStation 2, PS3 reviews at game-consoles.org.