Reviews from

in the past

GRID Legends feels more like a product than an empowered artistic attempt. It’s the age-old dilemma in video game criticism, especially reviews. Is the video game reviewer a writer of technology or culture? Are they looking for how well a product works, or how emotionally resonant an artistic endeavour is? As a product, I can’t criticise Legends too much. I didn’t notice any technical problems, certainly no crashes or save issues. Not that I would notice minor framerate or texture issues. My eye is unkeen, you might say. There’s a lot of stuff to unlock, something I would normally criticise, but it feels a little more appropriate here. Cars are machines, after all, and it makes more sense for them to have rigidly controlled stats than it does for fantastical beings and items of power. Maybe I’m being too nice to progression mechanics in my writing lately. I’ll try and make up for that soon, but GRID gets a pass. I can’t review the driving experience at a high level, but as a casual player it scratched the right itch. Everything it attempts it does fine. It’s all fine. There’s just that alluring suggestion of more, of some of that real video game magic, the cinema of ludology that I alluded to when discussing Mafia. It’s all there on the surface, but it isn’t under the hood. The relentless focus on teammates and rivals of the story just isn't reinforced by the gameplay at all, and it just sucks. It feels wrong, weak. Codemasters had a chance to sculpt a masterpiece of interactive narrative on the track, but they chose to script a mildly entertaining docudrama instead. You can play it and enjoy it, but you won’t be gushing about it.