GRID Legends (PlayStation 5) Review

By Luke Hemming 17.03.2022

Review for GRID Legends on PlayStation 5

Besides an overused demo disk on the front of OPM many years ago, racing games that didn't involve anti-gravity mainly passed this reviewer by without much fanfare in the original PlayStation era. One standout however was the thoroughly enjoyable TOCA series. Hours were spent smashing those lap times so when the opportunity to take a ride with its latest incarnation, now named GRID Legends, came up, the opportunity couldn't be missed. The question is, can it convert new drivers as well as satisfy the already hardened pole positioners?

Knowing little to nothing about cars, the first striking feature seems to be the number of vehicles on offer. Expecting only sporty sponsored machines, it was a pleasant surprise to see a wide selection of cars that are instantly recognisable even as a novice. Even trucks aren't out of the question and are as bulky control wise again, as far as limited knowledge goes. Little cars go speedy-speedy, big cars slowy-slower. What is surprising to someone coming from the approach of this being a progression of the TOCA series is that there are no rally cars or tracks but after some thought it makes sense to move with the times with those games that will not be named focusing on track racing.

Screenshot for GRID Legends on PlayStation 5

All of the 22 locations, after being reliably informed, are real world tracks and are spot on in terms of recreation albeit it with the standard 15 pieces of gaming flair. Fireworks fire off in every direction as a corner is turned, every landmark is lit up beautifully as you scream past it. What is noticeable however is as nice as these tracks look, up there with any other game on the market, the variety is somewhat hampered by what could be perceived as filler in the form of reverse tracks. For players who know the real-world alternatives it can probably feel like a real buzz to try these but for casual players it simply feels like padding.

Screenshot for GRID Legends on PlayStation 5

With so many other similar titles on the market however, what is it that makes GRID Legends worth the attention? In the humble opinion of this reviewer, two features make this worth a look, the first being the Nemesis system. Not being the perfect racer, crashes into other racers were inevitable, and the nemesis system uses this to its advantage to make all races much more thrilling. Essentially, trading paint with another racer too many times causes them to become your nemesis, not just for that race but for subsequent races, too. It's a thrilling addition and keeps any race tense, knowing someone might sacrifice their position and endanger their safety to ensure that you are nothing more than a smudge on the tarmac.
The other factor that could make this the racing game of choice is the story mode. Although other games have dabbled with it in the past, GRID Legends leans fully into the mode with live action, fully acted (using that term loosely) cutscenes, filmed in a documentary style. The story is ridiculous, with underdogs, sinister rivals and cock-sure racers all playing integral parts in the journey. Quite frankly, its brilliant. Absurd, over the top brilliance worth the admission price alone.

Screenshot for GRID Legends on PlayStation 5

After completing the story there is plenty to offer with a wide range of features such as elimination and drift mode. A progression system also lends itself to a tiered model so you aren't getting spanked from the off, instead gaining the necessary skills to progress and compete as you go. Online mode is also expected with a rather neat addition allowing total customisation of a set number of races via the race creator toolbox. Any option available in the base game such as cars, weather conditions, tracks, lap count etc. can all be messed with to create your own custom racing experience. This can then be shared and raced together with others. With full cross-play integration, tracks should always be filled but if not, AI will take the wheel if needed until someone drops in.
According to Codemasters, photo mode is due in an update and is needed considering how beautiful this game can look at times. Hopefully, to accompany this there will be some increased design options as they currently feel considerably lacking in comparison to another title on the 'Horizon'.

Screenshot for GRID Legends on PlayStation 5

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

GRID Legends does an admirable job of keeping pace with its rivals with a steady title offering all a racing fan would expect. Every aspect is done to an admirable standard from graphics, modes and handling. This is recommended for fans of the genre but also for newcomers looking for an arcade feel mixed with their realism. With the excellently cheese fest of story mode and fun integration of the nemesis system, there's something for everyone here.

Developer

Codemasters

Publisher

EA

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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