I've played this game for nearly 6 years (my Steam hour count would tell you different). I used to own the CD version which never used steam, I've put MUCH more hours than a measly 40+into this game. So, I finally decided I should write a review about one of my most beloved racing games in gaming ever.
I love this game, it is no secret to my friends, family and probably my neighbours (the outragous roars from car engines and crashes most likely shake the walls). I've always wanted more and more people to try and play this game, my passion. I have a long term passion for ANYTHING motorsport, be this Moto GP, BTCC, Formula 1 and all the way up to prestigious Le mans 24. Race Driver: GRID manages to capture a real genuine feel of BEING a REAL race driver in a REAL team, after you have finished a few races you are able to set up a team. Later on, bring in a team mate (fair few to choose from each having different discipline specialities and stats). You can create a livery (albeit from a rather limited customization level) and obviously, give your team a name. Within races you will have a team engineer talk to you from time to time to update you on damage to the car or, whether an opponent has spun and who is leading the race. Your team mate ALSO makes communication with you but, this is primarily used to tell you where he is on track. All of this combined along with having a personalized garage of cars allows for complete immersion (for me atleast) into the world of 4 wheeled motosport.
The career being the main SP experience of the game is split up into 3 different categories: USA, EUROPE and JAPAN. The USA focuses more on Street type tracks, Muscle cars and GT1-2 spec cars. EUROPE is focused on Tourers, open wheel and endurance type races. These mostly play out on race tracks such as SPA, Jarama, Germany's famous Nurburgring and Donington Park. Japan goes the route of drifting, Touge and Tuners. Tuners being beefed up Nissan Skylines and Honda NSX's (My favourite tuner). There is also a GLOBAL catagory that unlocks once the player has reached 10,000,000 REP points (this combines all regions 3 into one). You have a liscense for EACH of these locales that levels up as you complete races and earn REP (XP). One you select an event or race, you can select your difficulty, assists and what-not. Turning all the assists off and boosting the difficulty can boost REP dramatically.
This career mode is also split by seasons (there is no obvious prgress through a season) but, it seems to consist of 5-10 finished races per time. These are unlimited and are used to promote the played with entering a 24 Hour Le mans race, either as a hired driver for another team or allowing the player to enter his/her own team. This race is 20 minutes (realtime) and transitions to night time then back throughout, with some big money payouts it's hard to say no a lot of the times. This event CAN be skipped whenever the offer arises the player is never forced to enter the Le mans race.
Outside of the main team progession there is also an option called 'driver offers' this takes you to a screen that randomizes 3 events for the player to choose from. You wll be racing for other teams whilst also using the car listed on the event. You will have certain objectives to complete and the payouts are much higher sometimes.
Now, lets talk about gameplay, that IS what you are here for right? Let me make it clear to you that this is NOT A SIMULATOR, sure each car has it's own behaviour and feel but, Codemasters have found the perfect balance between real and arcade. Sometimes the cars can feel floaty but, that's usually fixed if using a wheel with some decent forcefeed back. Each discipline does feel almost completley different from one another, Formula 3's for example really need to be tamed with decent accelerator control. I recomend playing with a wheel, manual gears, ALL assists off and blast a Formula 3 around Okutama (Grand Circuit). GRID manages to capture the intensity of speed insanely well, the amount of times I have skipped a heart beat whilst driving GT2's, Prototypes and Formula 3's are un-countable; it's incredible. The vehicular damage in the game has some of the more accurate damage in gaming. You smash your front left of a wall and you will feel it. do something to your engine you'll know about it but, there is much more than just these two examples that can happen. Endless possibilities for damage.
This game is just genuinly FUN and fluid to play. It is one of the more simpler racing games to play, it's not complicated, there's no rule book, the AI is genuinly decent and very aggressive and it's completly immersive with amazing engine and ambient sounds. The game visually still holds up but, it does have a rather odd spepia like filter over it, there is a MOD availible called the 'Dargos Mod'. Not hard to find, it makes the game look crystal clear by removing the sepia and adding some beautiful colour.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review, I'm sure by now you have come to the conclusion that I just love this game. If you have any questions about the game please, give me a bell.