Codemasters sent a trailer and a link to thier page for providing a review of the upcoming game GRID Autosport, although there is limited information available and the trailer provided shows interviews with touring car drivers giving generic tips on driving interlaced with CGI of the game (no actual gameplay footage) so it is hard to give any actual opinions on how the game will actually play, and really for that I would need to get my hands on the game, to give a feel of how the game plays and handles, how cars crash and if there is any actual varience between the feels of cars and handling, how the AI actually comes accross etc.
Having said all of this there is information on the different game modes on offer and the cars available, the full list of cars and video clip can be found at http://blog.codemasters.com/grid/05/discipline-focus-touring/ where I am sure more releases will be published as well as the blog they link to where up to date information can be found as it is released (or even discussed between other users)
I found the video a little amusing that a soft focus lense was used on the interviews to blurr out the sponsors however the game itself included many of the sponsors in prime shots in the expected locations (possibly just for the real touring car experience as having these plain would just look strange considering) however I guess these were blurred just in case not all of the sponsors were included in the final release.
The press release states that codemasters consulted with the drivers to get an authentic driving experience as to recreate the handling and bring alive the driving experience authentically, wether that goes to the full extent of testing each individual car for the individual feel or the car being represented or just the generic feel of being in a touring car race I could not say.
Classic and modern cars are represented in the game, and I expect the feel of the different standards of cars to be noticeable, although I wouldn’t complain too much with a fun user frienldy experience, and races are held on authentic recreations of existing tracks such as brands hatch and bathurst so you can live out fantasies of driving on your favourite tracks without having to be a qualified touring car driver.
The single player carear campaign promises over 100 routes across 22 locations, with realistic features like managing tyre wear and tuning of the car. Races will consist of up to 12 online players, and 16 offline for the feel of a full heated race, not one of those empty 4 car races that have been commonplace in the past. Online races are promised to be cars of similar or pre-defined specification so you won’t come accross someone with a completely unfair advantage in thier car tuning and it will come down to actual skill on the track and actually provide a far more fun experience for everyone involved.
AI is promised to be aggressive and defend the lie and attack the corners, however it is not stated if it will hold the features mentioned by console developers as the next gen features where AI competitors are based upon real life gamers playstyles, if this was incorporated the AI could be really challenging depending on if it was balanced to your play level, and ruled out hacks and cheaters.
Races span accross multiple rounds, again this is not stated wether it is just the singleplayer campaign or if the online matches are accross several rounds and tracks, perhaps even a special tournament board could be established, with qualifiers being held online and then the best qualifiers compete in a tournament like real racing, perhaps even with real prizes on offer for the very best accross the season. It does state races are held at day, this could mean just that the races are in game daytime, or they have considered this and actual gameplay races are in daytime with qualifiers and practice outside of this, I could comment more when I know more details.
Trading of paint is emphasised, and this doesn’t mean trading designs but instead focusing on the aggressive gameplay of doing whatever it takes to win, even if it means nudging your opposition off the track, I would again have to see how the gameplay handles crash and damage to see how this could effect races.
Either way you look at it, if you’re a fan of racing games you may want to check it out for yourself, GRID Autosport comes out on 27th of June for £34.99-£39.99 depending on wether you’re playing on pc or console, and you can pre order now for access to the limited black edition. (price may vary, price quoted from GAME at time of print)
I hope to be able to get hold of a press copy so I can give you more deeper insight into how I actually get along with the game, and if the press copy allows me to divulge footage I will show you actual gameplay along with my review showing off the features and my favourite parts.
Until then watch codemasters for more details.