Welcome to our GRID Autosport review. Originally released back in 2014, for PS3, and Xbox 360, despite the PS4 and Xbox One being out, GRID Autosport is generally seen as one of Codemaster’s best entries in the series. Now in 2019 it has finally been brought back from the dead and given a chance on Nintendo’s hybrid system. While the game was originally developed by Codemasters, the main development team behind this port is Feral Interactive.
- GRID Autosport
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Feral Interactive
- Publisher: Codemasters
- Multiplayer: None (Will be added in a future patch)
- Available: 19th September 2019
- Price: £24.99 (U.K), $34.99 (U.S)
- Age Rating: PEGI 3 (UK/EU), E (U.S)
- Review Code Provided
Perhaps the thing that makes GRID Autosport for the Switch really special is the fact it’s one of the first serious racing games on the console. Yes, it’s true while the Switch has games such as Mario Kart in this genre, it doesn’t really have much in the way of proper racing so the addition of GRID Autosport is very much welcome.
Feral Interactive couldn’t have picked a better racing game to bring to the system. GRID Autosport doesn’t just throw you into one specialty and make you play it all the way through, instead, it gives you a variety of different racing types.
- Open Wheel
- GRID (Unlocked after reaching level three in each of the other four modes)
Whether you choose to play all of these modes or just a few is up to you as the game doesn’t force you, with the exception of unlocking GRID mode of course. Fancy drifting and time attacks, then the Tuner option is for you, or perhaps you want to race on street circuits in which case Street is for you. Fancy partaking in all four activities in one large event type, then give GRID which combines all four a try.
Each of these five racing styles has its on disciplines for you to enjoy and master. As you progress through each one and work your way up the level system you’ll begin to unlock more sponsor offers and events as well as more cars from well-known brands such as Honda, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Ford just to name a few.
No matter which style you choose, I can honestly say you will have a lot of fun racing in this game and progressing through each type. The awards are worth the effort especially when you get to drive some really fast cars.
When it comes to handling each vehicle has its own ups and downs but for the most part, they all behave exactly how you’d expect them to. Drifting cars, for example, will slide uncontrollably if you make one slight mistake, while open-wheel cars are speedy on the straights and smooth around the corners. One of my first thoughts upon starting this game is just how much it feels like a driving simulator thanks to the behavior of each vehicle.
If game difficulty is important to you, you’ll be pleased to know GRID Autosport features a few different difficulty options, although the one you choose will affect experience earned and awards at the end of championships. So if you go for easy you won’t get an experience bonus or if you go for a harder mode you’ll earn more experience. If you’re playing on easy and doing really well the game will advise you to up the stakes and change the difficulty to earn better rewards, but again this is up to you and you’re free to change it at any time you want.
Control-wise things have been optimized to work great with the Switch’s Joy-Cons. There’s gyroscopic controls and HD-Rumble, although admittedly HD-Rumble is something I found rather annoying and had to switch off in the end. Comfort when playing in handheld mode is a bit of an issue, especially when it comes to pressing buttons to enquire about something with your team, which requires stretching the thumb to press the directional buttons on the left Joy-Con. The corners of each Joy-Con also have a tendency to dig into the hands, which causes great discomfort, especially during longer sessions.
Graphically I have to say this game looks really impressive, particularly on the Switch’s 720p display where it looks smooth and clear. On the T.V some of this smoothness disappears and things look a bit darker, however, this can be made better thanks to the free HD Textures download you can get from the eShop. Rather impressively GRID Autosport for the Switch also features three graphic options that can be switched between at any time.
- Graphics Mode – The default option that runs at 30fps with all the bells and whistles turned on.
- Performance mode – Turns off some of the processor hungry graphic effects and aims for 60fps.
- Energy Saver Mode – 30fps and drops the quality down a bit from default in order to give you better battery life.
At this moment in time, the game is single-player only although a future patch or DLC download will fix this issue and introduce multiplayer modes. For now though, the A.I feels realistic enough for a fun all-out racing experience.
In conclusion GRID Autosport is a fantastic port of a fantastic game that sadly didn’t get too much attention the first time around due to being released on older hardware at a time people were buying PS4s and Xbox Ones. Feral Interactive has done a fantastic job of porting it over to the Switch and making it work incredibly well. The real downside simply lies in how uncomfortable the game is to play in handheld mode.
That concludes our GRID Autosport review. To purchase the game on Nintendo Switch, check out the links below.