Title: GRID Autosport
Developer: Feral Interactive
Genre: Racing, Sports, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 19/09/19
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
The Nintendo Switch finally gets a much needed and compelling racing sim in the form of GRID Autosport. Straight away you’ll notice the high quality of the title, despite being a port of a much older game.
As soon as you boot up you’ll be sent to, what is essentially, a character creation screen. Here you can input your name, gender and age. You even get to choose a nickname from the list, which the commentators use in-game, which was a neat touch.
After this, you’ll see the main menu. It’s here that you’ll notice the sheer wealth of options that GRID Autosport provides. Both in race and out.
See You On The Blacktop!
Career – This is the “meat ‘n’ potatoes” of GRID Autosport. From here, you get to choose from one of the available disciplines to take part in. Such as British Touring Car Championship, Open Wheel Championship, Endurance, Tuner, Street and the unlockable GRID Grand Slam.
Once you’ve chosen your discipline, you then get to choose a sponsor. Pick wisely, however, as each sponsor will require a certain level of performance. Each will supply the cars and teammate, who also come with their own race style and characteristics.
The tougher the sponsor, the more races there are and the more stringent the conditions will be. This all adds to more experience you’ll earn, in turn, opening up better offers and a greater variety to proceedings.
It’s a great form of progression that’s seldom seen and adds a layer of strategy to each race. This, on top of the ability to issue commands to your teammate. With a quick tap of L and R, you can tell your teammate to be more defensive or aggressive. All this really makes you feel part of a team.
Extra Championships – This mode offers even more tournaments which will add even more modifiers on top of the usual races.
Custom Cup – It’s here that you can build your very own tournaments. Choose your own disciplines and conditions.
Time Trial – Does exactly what it says on the tin. Compete against your rivals for the best times.
Quick Race – This mode offers some quick pick up and play options. Choose your race type, discipline, vehicle category and track.
So you think you have a lot of choice already? Think again. GRID Autosport offers a barrage of race types too.
Race – Pretty straight forward. This is your standard circuit race.
Time Attack – Compete for the fastest lap time.
Endurance – Race against a pack of high-performance engines in an intense 8-minute race, at night! Tyre degradation is active here and you must make it to the finish line. Choose your tactics wisely or you’ll find your rivals blasting past you.
Eliminator – Stay out of last place or risk getting eliminated from the race.
Checkpoint – The mainstay of the arcade racer. Race against a timer counting down. Pass as many checkpoints as you can to add more time to the clock.
Demolition Derby – A classic stock car race. Compete to the finish line or to be the last car standing. No holds barred banger racing at its finest.
Drift – Take your high-performance tuner sideways around the track, rack up a huge score and win the race.
Drag – Go head to head with your rival in a straight-line race to the finish. This race is all about acceleration, throttle response and perfect gear shifts.
Sprint – A simple A-B race.
GRID Autosport is easily one of the most customisable titles to grace the Nintendo Switch. Head over to the options menu and you’ll find a vast number of settings to tinker with.
Not only can you adjust sound and visual settings here, but also things like the HUD, camera view, HD Rumble strength and difficulty (all of which can be altered mid-game).
Let’s See That Again!
GRID Autosport includes a fantastic Rewind feature in each race. At any point during a race (usually when you go off the track), you can hit X to rewind the moments leading up to it. I think this is a great feature for those not used to the more realistic racer.
While most racing sim aficionados may scoff at the inclusion of this feature, claiming that it’s pandering to “casuals”, I have to disagree.
I am an avid racing sim fan, yet I found myself using it quite often, usually to tighten up my lines and positioning. It’s also worth noting that the Rewind feature is completely OPTIONAL.
Though it was odd that the feature was present even in career seasons. It makes the game far more accessible to a much wider audience and I feel like more racing games would benefit from it.
The first thing that will stand out for most, is the inclusion of the option for performance or graphics. With graphics mode active, you get all the lush detail and motion blur. However, the frame rate is cut in half to around 30fps. My preferred mode was performance. Sure the graphics look a lot more basic and you lose the nice effects, but it feels so much better with 60fps.
With the audio options, you can select which speaker output you are using. You can choose which dynamic range you would like to use, then adjust each individual sound, from music and engines etc.
Speaking of engines, each of the licensed vehicles on offer is represented here to a high benchmark of quality. Each looking and sounding very realistic. The tuners are all turbos and dump valves whilst the muscle cars sound deliciously aggressive and throaty.
The music is also great in GRID Autosport. Ranging from the usual chilled background music in the menus, to some nice EDM and urban dub beats during cutscenes.
As mentioned earlier, there are commentators before, after and during races. Also when you are issuing team commands and whilst receiving race updates with the D-Pad. Choosing each race type for the first time also provides you with a brief spoken introduction and notifications on career offers.
I’ve had a great time with GRID Autosport and was blown away by the level of options, customisation and race types.
Everything looks great and runs smooth, both in handheld and docked mode, regardless of graphics or performance mode.
I couldn’t see any multiplayer of any description which I felt was a huge missed opportunity and I hope this could be added in a future patch. Especially with the Switch player base growing exponentially and the fact that you can build your own custom tournaments. I feel it could really benefit from some online multiplayer.
I also noticed a couple of glaring omissions to the race disciplines, namely Rally and Truck racing. However, with the deluge of content at hand here, this is more of a personal gripe which others may not notice.
A nice touch was the inclusion of multiple control options. Aside from the standard Joy-Con and Pro Controller, you can choose handheld, motion controls and even a GameCube controller. The latter of which is probably the most comprehensive setup, as this will provide the enthusiast with some much needed analogue triggers.
Lots of difficulty settings, ranging from Rookie right up to Master. As you turn up the difficulty you’ll notice the AI gets a lot smarter. Not only that, but it’ll affect your handling. Driving aids such as auto brake and ABS will be switched off and handicaps, such as vehicle damage turned on. Not only that but you receive bonus XP for racing on harder difficulties.
GRID Autosport also offers, in my opinion, possibly the most realistic Drag Racing I’ve ever played in a video game. Once your vehicle has finished it’s burnout (which I was most disappointed I couldn’t do myself) you have 30 seconds to line up your front wheels. Soon as the lights go green, hit the gas and hold on tight as you go through the gears with B.
GRID Autosport is by far the most realistic and feature complete racing simulator on the Nintendo Switch thus far, (apart from multiplayer).
At £29.99/$34.99 it is definitely up there with the more premium titles. Some will find this on the expensive side, however, with everything on offer I feel it is priced well. A physical release would’ve been nice as sadly it’s only digital. Hopefully, Codemasters will consider this in the future.
After seeing the fantastic work Feral Interactive have done with GRID Autosport, I would love to see future instalments of the series get ported to the Nintendo Switch.
I feel this is an important release for Nintendo. With Sony elevating the Gran Turismo franchise to huge success and with Microsoft hot on their heels with the Forza series, Nintendo has never really had that stand-out exclusive racing game. Instead of having to settle for multi-plats and ports of older games. I would love to see a racing game built exclusively for the little hybrid.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase GRID Autosport from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/GRID-Autosport-1633061.html#gameDetails