GRID Autosport aims to move the series back in line as a more authentic racing game and below you’ll be finding out some of the ways we’ll be doing that. Hopefully, you’ll be seeing plenty of news, shiny screenshots and video on your favourite websites and in magazines on our announcement, but we thought it’d be a good time to talk directly to you about what the game is, why we’ve done it and the direction we’re headed in. Particularly as this game is, at its heart, inspired by you guys, our core community.
On release of GRID 2, I think it’s fair to say that through listening to you guys and a after a substantial amount of reflection, we hadn’t quite achieved everything we set out to do. We’re proud of the game, really delighted with some of the great reviews for it, but we’re not above admitting that we made a few decisions that perhaps we shouldn’t have, and perhaps moved some of the aspects of the game too far away from our core fanbase.
When you’re making games, you always have to make choices – which features to include, what emphasis to put on various aspects of gameplay – even if we had unlimited resources (we don’t by the way!) there’s always people who are going to be disappointed. And we’re obviously aware, that some of you were. We’re not ok with that.
So, following the release of GRID 2 we were determined to improve things where we could. The Community Patch we released was derived nearly entirely from our most active players’ feedback and the release of the Demolition Derby DLC for free was something you guys put on our agenda. We think both improved the game, and whilst we would like to do more, there is only so much you can achieve with patches.
But we hope that it signals a pivot which we’re taking at Codemasters, to cater more closely to our core fanbase, to be responsive where we can and hopefully reassure you that when you talk to us, we do listen, even if we cannot act on everything you’d like.
To GRID Autosport then. While we were patching GRID 2 and releasing new content, we were busy gathering feedback. We devoured the comment threads under articles about GRID 2 on gaming websites, took stock of our reviews, and of course, digested all the comments on our social channels and forums where we received direct feedback. It’s this feedback that helped create GRID Autosport.
If GRID 2 raced off into a more narrative-led world of racing with more accessible controls, it’s clear that for many of you, that wasn’t what you wanted or expected from GRID 2. So with GRID Autosport we had the opportunity to make a much more focussed motorsport game, a desire that many of you have expressed directly to us, and a game that in spirit goes back to some of our earlier titles in terms of content and handling.
Let’s dive in shall we?
As ever, our handling model has had a lot of effort put into it and you’ll really notice the difference, we think, from GRID 2. For GRID Autosport we’ve gone back to a more authentic handling style. It’s definitely not a full simulation – we want it to be authentic, not clinical – but it’s more towards that end of the spectrum than before. If anything, we believe the handling is actually one or two steps further towards simulation than Race Driver: GRID, to give you an idea.
Each car has been tuned and adjusted to really give a sense of its personality so they will act and behave differently from one another, as they would in real life. This is especially noticeable across disciplines. Pick up a WTCC spec Touring Car and it’ll feel completely different to a Formula 3 car for instance. The goal has been to replicate an authentic feeling of what it’s like to race each of these cars in the games as if you were out on the track yourself.
We’ll be talking more about the handling and how we created it in the coming weeks, including how you, our Community helped shape it in ways that you may not yet know.
The Racing Disciplines
You’ll be hearing us talk about disciplines a lot as they make up another of the core foundations of the game. Disciplines are various types of motorsport, of which there are five within GRID Autosport, each with its own unique style and feeling. There’s a vast difference in the way a Touring Car race unfolds compared to that of an Endurance race. Each discipline requires a different approach, strategy and comes complete with its own style of racing.
For instance, in Touring Cars it’s all about aggressive pack racing. You’ll have to manage tyre wear and race into the night in Endurance competitions but look to race smoothly and with precision in our Open-Wheel races. Street Races are about reacting on the fly on claustrophobic streets through cities with unpredictable changes in elevations and drift cars are all about demonstrating your car control. To become an all-around driver, you’ll develop a broad set of skills.
Each discipline has a number of dedicated series within them; ranging from Touring Cars, GT, Single-Seaters, Muscle Cars, Drift, Supercars, Hypercars, Time Attack, Prototypes and many, many more. You don’t just get five broad experiences, but also different racing experiences within those styles.
We’ll be going into more detail of each discipline between now and launch, starting next week with our in depth look at the Touring Discipline.
You will have noticed the likes of Hockenheim, Sepang, San Francisco, Jarama and Yas Marina within our announcement video but that’s far from the complete roster, there’s plenty more to come.
GRID: Autosport will feature 22 locations with a combined route list that totals over 100!
While we will have a selection of great city based locations it’s the circuits that make up the bulk of the roster and there’s a great variety on offer.
From the iconic to the old favourites, the ones classed as legendary and of course some new faces as well. In fact, there are more circuits in GRID: Autosport than there are in Race Driver: GRID and GRID 2 combined.
The single player career in GRID Autosport will allow you to become a professional racing driver. As you make progress you’ll be able to join and switch teams, fulfil sponsor demands and beat rivals.
Racing with a teammate is back and at your request he/she will now attack the cars ahead or defend their position. All this is handled by a simple button press on the controller and it’s a feature that will also allow you to request information from your team engineer.
The career is open and this means that you’ll only ever have to compete in the racing disciplines that you want to. If you’re a Touring Car fanatic then by all means find a home within the Touring section, and never leave. If you love the precision of Open Wheel racing and also enjoy the odd bit of Endurance then you can happily bounce between the two.
The choice is entirely yours to make – choose your favourite style of racing or master them all.
The Racing Experience
When you take an authentic handling model, a great selection of cars and a variety of racing disciplines, it still needs the racing experience to hold them all together and in GRID Autosport your racing experience revolves around the paddock.
This is the menu you’ll find yourself in before a race and it’s from here that you’ll be presented with a number of pre-race options, such as practice and qualifying.
If you find yourself racing on an unfamiliar circuit or route then simply head into practice and spend some time on the track. After practice you can jump into qualifying where, as you’d expect, you’ll be able to set your fastest time with the aim of starting higher up the grid come race day.
Much like the career, the choice is entirely yours. If you want to have a practice session and jump straight into a race then great. If you want to give practice a miss and just do qualifying then that option is also entirely possible, as is skipping straight into the race itself should you so desire.
The paddock will also allow you to tune your car before the race. Tuneable components include: brake bias, differential, downforce, gears, ride height and suspension at both the front and back. All of the cars in the game run great as ‘stock’ but the option to tune is there should you wish to get the car handling to your own preference.
Powered by RaceNet you’ll be able to join with friends to form Racing Clubs and race under team colours against other clubs in the community. Receive new challenges every week with the new and evolved Discipline Challenge, track your stats including your complete vehicle history and climb weekly and persistent leaderboards.
While we were patching GRID 2 and releasing new content we were also busy gathering feedback. We listened to everyone who had an opinion on not just GRID 2 but our older games as well. This feedback was digested and ultimately it played a huge part in the early development of GRID Autosport.
The authentic handling model has been shaped by Community feedback but we haven’t just stopped there. Cockpit view makes a return, and with it a dashboard view too, yes, GRID Autosport will ship with two in-car cameras.
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