GRID Legends

released on Feb 24, 2022

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A RACING LEGEND? Welcome to GRID Legends: a high-stakes driving experience that combines thrilling unpredictable motorsport, incredible race variety, and an immersive driving story that puts you at the heart of the action.


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So, I’m not gonna lie, seeing the two letters “E” and “A” listed in the credits of this game had me worried. In fact, that’s an understatement: I was positively bricking it. Was EA about to kill one of my favourite racing game series of all time with yet another cashgrab pile of greedy filth? Thankfully, no.
GRID Legends feels almost like an apology for the terminally dull series reboot back in 2019, a game that was so devoid of personality it felt like playing through a game that was made whilst watching a tutorial about how to build a functional racing game: You buy cars, you race them, you win said races, you buy more cars with the money you just won, cycle repeats. By the time I got to the final faceoff against Ravenwest I was functioning entirely on autopilot.
GRID Legends fixes that by bringing back some fan-favourite game modes such as Elimination and Multiclass Racing, touching up the visuals to make the game more colourful, adjusting the progression to make things less of a slog and adding something completely new as a sort of amuse bouchée: A story mode.
Said story mode is called “Driven to Glory,” a faux-documentary based on the fictional GRID World Series that follows the trials and tribulations of Seneca Racing, a down-on-its-luck backmarker team looking to make it big in the Pro Leagues and disrupt the status quo by taking down long-time series antagonists Ravenwest Motorsport. It’s actually a lot more fun than it sounds.
The cast in particular is what makes the dish (To steal a quote from character Marcus Ado), with an excellent ensemble of characters that all have their own unique personalities: Nathan McKane is arrogant and brash, Yume Tanaka has a veneer of Kimi Räikkonen-esque steeliness and Valentin Manzi has a playful charm that adds some comic relief to what is otherwise a surprisingly dark storyline.
The plot is no narrative masterpiece and it certainly won’t win any Oscars, primarily due its predictability (I don’t want to spoil the ending for you but you probably already know what it is anyway), but it’s pretty solid and should keep your attention until the credits roll - And trust me, you do not want to skip the credits, the mid-credits scene is a worthy payoff.
Moving on from the story, we have the campaign. It’s largely the same as GRID 2019, but it’s been reworked to encourage less linear gameplay and more jumping between disciplines: Sponsor objectives usually require you to drive certain distances or do certain things in certain cars, upgrades encourage you to try as many cars as possible and find one from each class that suits your driving style and the greater variety of events help keep things fresh. It’s a much more rewarding experience as a result, and a more fulfilling one too.
However, the game has some glaring issues that stop me from giving this a full five stars. The AI is my first port of call - It sucks.
Ok, that’s exaggerating a little. They’re not terrible - They’re actually pretty smart and every driver has their own personality that makes each one just as fun to race against as the last, but they’re far too slow. Even on the highest “Legend” difficulty, I found myself winning races by over 5 seconds with incredible ease, and that was whilst handicapping myself by using the slowest car in each class.
Next is the vehicle balance. Some classes have cars that simply do not belong, whether that’s because they’re too fast or too slow. Trackday Hypercars is the perfect example: The Bugatti Veyron SS is the second fastest car in the entire game in terms of top speed, making it hideously overpowered on speed tracks. Meanwhile, the Ferrari FXX-K has to share a track with this damn thing, and if the track you’re racing on has a straight longer than 0.5 Miles you’re gonna have a bad day. I could go on, but really some cars need to be moved around or even placed in their own class.
Finally, the graphics & sound design. Generally, GRID Legends is a pretty good looking game. It even manages to improve upon its predecessor with improved reflections to make rain look a bit less flat and higher-resolution shadows for some satisfying trackside lighting when racing under the stars. However, the hyperreal visual design starts to hurt your eyes after a little while, with blinding lights that inexplicably cast fog across the track even if it isn’t actually foggy and so much visual noise that it can be hard to decipher what’s going on half the time.
Sounds are also pretty good in most cases: Cars are varied in tone and exhaust note, ranging from ear-piercing shrieks to earth-shaking burbles, the environmental audio is fully reactive (Listen out for those screaming fans when you nail a daring inside pass) and the soundtrack is energetic. However, some cars are a little too quiet and easily get lost in the background if you have the music turned on, and there is an element of sound file recycling for vehicles with exotic engines such as Rotaries.
Overall, GRID Legends takes what Codemasters has learnt from the tepid reception to the series’ 2019 reboot and builds on it, with a more open-ended career structure that encourages experimentation, improved visuals for a more next-gen feel and some physics tweaks to make the game more accessible to newcomers. I wholly recommend buying GRID Legends, at least on offer, especially if you didn’t like its predecessor. The GRID is waiting… and trust me, it’s much healthier this time around.

I'll admit, I lean more towards sims like Assetto Corsa, Automobilista 2, etc but I really wanted a fun game on a controller. I've already gotten a ton of time out of Gran Turismo 7, so I wanted something else. I saw GRID Legends on gamepass and thought, no way this is good right? Well, the driving physics are actually quite good on a controller. It's not realistic or anything sure, but it plays out just like a GRID or non-Rally Dirt game would. Having an actual storymode that isn't tied to a real world motorsport allows them to get away with more, which is interesting. I also find it fascinating that you can play the career mode online with your friends and randoms, which is neat. The biggest downfall of this game comes down to the AI, they will shove you into walls and act like you're not even there half the time. There's also a "Rival" mechanic, where the AI will purposely try to wreck you if you rub/smash/run into them too many times. It's frustrating and doesn't belong in a motorsport game, or a game with so little visual damage to the cars. Overall, it's a fun little time waster and that's exactly what I wanted. Good job Grid devs, work on the AI next time.

It's a shame this is a modern EA game engineered for subscription services first and foremost, because the racing is pretty good, and the storyline is engaging, you just don't get all that much of it unless you buy DLC "seasons".
Outside of the story mode, the career mode is pretty barebones, despite a healthy number of tracks and modes. I just wish it landed somewhere between those extremes.

To preface this review: I'm not really an avid racing game player nor have I ever even heard of this series beyond mindlessly scrolling past it on the storefront. This is from the perspective of a complete noob. When I play racing games I usually go for the more arcade-y stuff like Burnout or Split/Second and the Need for Speed Games. Basically the less focused it is on being a simulator the more fun I have. Driving around is always my favorite part in open world games and so nothing bores me more than a dozen mechanics and driving around some sterile track. That seems to be a lot of racing games these days though and so I usually avoid them. Much like fighting games they're a genre I don't particularly like but every now and then I just randomly decide to play one and get hooked on it and too addicted to play anything else until I get tired of it. I was starting to crave that for a racing game and then as I was scrolling through all the games that came out this year I saw this! Something that came and went this year seemingly without much buzz or recognition and didn't get many good reviews, but had a short story mode. It was perfect.
I do need to confess to a terrible thing I had to do to play this though. I wasn't just gonna pay its full price for a game I knew very little about so I had to make a deal with the devil. Don't condemn me, I feel bad about it enough. But I bought a month of EA Play. A terrible, horrible thing. I tried to justify it saying "ill use it to get a discount on the Dead Space remake or Need for Speed Unbound" but the truth is I just really fucking wanted to try this random ass racing game because it would make me feel better about not beating enough 2022 games this year. And what I got was well, pretty surprising.
This game actually has a very interesting mix between the two different types of racing games. On one hand its a very forgiving game not muddled with a bunch of different mechanics, but still gives you a bit of a challenge in the way you control your vehicle and that classic organized racing kind of vibe. It's not particularly what I like but if you're someone who loves the feeling of being in big (mostly) formal races without a whole lot of technical junk thrown at you you might get a good kick out of this one. I did find the lack of explanations for a lot of its mechanics to be a little frustrating but as mentioned the game is still pretty forgiving. A sort of easy to learn hard to master kinda deal.
The story, for a racing game, was enjoyable. Obviously things are really limited when its a game you are entirely restricted to your car in but what it does is nice. It uses live action scenes (much more effectively than a certain other series, thank god for the rebranding with Unbound) in a documentary like way. A tv crew is filming the characters. It's pretty nice actually. The acting is solid for the most part and some of the characters are pretty enjoyable, particularly Valentin. The actual story itself is basically nothing and the
"villains" are weaksauce however they do succeed at being extremely unlikeable. Legends does actually have a certain bit of charm to it however and Id say I liked it. Where the story fails however is that it has a really huge disconnect from the gameplay itself. Let me explain.
Difficulty balancing in racing games has always been a bit of an issue for me. Rubberbanding when used right can make every race feel tight and like a close one but more often than not it just makes the game feel cheap and unfair. Conversely if the game is too easy it becomes far more boring at a really rapid pace, which is a huge issue for this game. Most of the difficulty comes from navigating the tracks themselves and getting used to the different type of vehicles you drive. The AI is total garbage and you'll likely pass each and every one of them with relative ease. This means a lot of the game didn't feel like a racing game at all and more just a driving game where you try to turn tight corners all sad and alone. This is amplified even more when some races decide they want to be an agonizing 4 to 6 laps long and sometimes upwards of 10 minute levels that just feel like they're stretching the campaign length as much as they can. Where this comes into the story is that even for a shitty driver who bumps into everything like I, I basically never once lost a race. But the story doesnt change at all with that. So there were multiple cutscenes where despite the player character absolutely crushing everyone in every single match, you have a teammate bragging about being the number one of your crew or the villain characters saying they've been slam dick dunkin' all year and aren't worried about any competition. You could count this as arrogance but even in some scenes the sportscasters announce all the villains win yet again or how your character apparently had a crash inbetween levels. Its basically the racing game equivalent of whittling the boss down to 1HP like a pro and then the cutscene after showing your whole party crying half dead on the floor. I'm not gonna pretend to know jack fuck about game development but considering all the cutscenes are on the same small handful of steps surely it would be worth filming at the bare minimum slightly alternate scenes to reflect how well you're actually doing in the story mode. As is I really wanted to enjoy the story for what it was but stuff like that made it very hard to take seriously or get invested in.
Overall, I'd feel bad for giving GRID Legends a harsh score. While its true that its underwhelming and too easy to be exciting, It was the perfect little distraction to hold me over for a few hours and I really appreciate the attempt at making a hybrid of the two big racing game subgenres. Maybe next time guys. If you like this type of game, it's worth your time. Just get it at a steep discount and definitely not from EA Play lol. Thanks for reading <3
Trophy Completion - played on alt account huehue
Nancymeter - 55/100
Game Completion #134 of 2022
October Completion #11

Grid Legends terminado..... Caramba que jogão. A Codemasters acertou demais nele. Depois do Grid 2019 ter sido um jogo medíocre sem vida, o Grid legends é um jogo cheio de vida.
Bom, a história do jogo é muito boa, obviamente não é algo maravilhoso já que estamos em um jogo de corrida mas é muito bem executada e todos os atores que estão participando do jogo estão maravilhosos. A coisa que mais gostei foi ter os personagens da Revenwest.
Agora falando de Gráficos, eu sinceramente acho o jogo muito lindo, não acho ele feio como muita gente fala. O som do jogo e a sensação de velocidade é simplesmente do caralho, uma coisa que os jogos recentemente pecam é sempre nesses quesitos. A chuva também é um ponto forte.
Falando agora de Dirigibilidade, acho ela ótima mas um Pouco pesada demais mas Grid sempre teve praticamente a mesma Dirigibilidade desde o Grid Autosport. Ela cumpre muito bem o seu trabalho entre Arcade e realista, também os dano ao carro do jogo é um dos melhores como sempre.
É um jogo realmente completo e perfeito para quem gosta de carros. Temos Drift, corrida de circuito, ponto a ponto, Track Day, Nascar e umas corridas com caminhonete e caminhões. Fazia muito tempo que a Codemasters não acertava em Grid.
Veredito. É um Jogo bom e até demais, ótimos gráficos, história ótima, Jogabilidade boa, conteúdo enorme e muita coisa para fazer. Realmente recomendo esse jogo, Codemasters para mim sempre será um dos melhores studios de jogos para carros. Para mim ele claramente é um 10/10

I do like that Codemasters in this new era really goes for a more arcadey style to their major projects and this is fine. Kinda feel like Dirt 5 did better on the premise and the variety of races, though. Still, racing games with fantastic 120hz support will always be a neat bonus for me that I'll eat up every time.