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"Grid Legends": Arcade Racing That Doesn't Disappoint

I am a video game enthusiast with years of experience in the gaming world.

Grid Legends took the best from its predecessor and improved what needed to be improved.

Grid Legends took the best from its predecessor and improved what needed to be improved.

Arcade Racing Can Be Great Fun

While I usually prefer racing games to be realistic, there's nothing more fun than getting into some arcade racing action. I can gladly say that Grid Legends delivers exactly that. Having played the previous Grid that came out in 2019, this game has shown noticeable improvements from its not always-so-highly rated predecessor.

Grid Legends makes you enjoy driving and battling on the track. With random events occurring to your opponents, and a possibility to give instructions to your teammate to either push or hold back (and him not always listening, as in real racing), what you get is some truly memorable races that will stick in your mind for a long time.

For instance, a race you thought was lost can suddenly turn in your favor when the leading car suddenly spins or suffers a mechanical failure. Some argue that your opponents spin out way too often, but I think the crashes and other unpredictable accidents are well balanced.

The other thing that has been massively improved is the overall smoothness. Tested on the Xbox Series X, Grid Legends has almost no issues with FPS drops, which is a very pleasurable experience since the game offers frenetic and action-packed racing.

With improved graphics, night races feel more enjoyable than ever before.

With improved graphics, night races feel more enjoyable than ever before.

Story Mode Is Not the Best Part of the Game

While Grid Legends focused on promoting their story mode, it is the less successful part of the game. It's not total garbage, but it's nothing more than a huge cliché. It has some okay moments, but I usually feel like I am watching the same thing on repeat. There is rivalry, there is heartbreak, and there is the classic "from zero to hero" narrative. As I said, it's nothing special.

The main issue with the story mode is that there is no way to distinguish itself from the career mode. You do the same racing on the same tracks with the same cars. They only added a couple of movie sequences between the races in story mode. That's all to it.

Multiclass Racing Is a Great Addition

Let's talk about the positives. Multiclass racing is, without a doubt, the game mode that I enjoy the most. Having a slower pack of cars getting a time advantage, your task is to hunt the pack down in a faster car.

While you need to drive as fast as possible, you still need to battle it out with the other drivers in your category, meaning that multiclass racing can become a real thrill and nerve-wracking experience.

On the higher difficulties, it's not uncommon to not be able to overcome enough slower cars just because you and your teammate are battling it out. Multiclass racing is simply a nice addition that you will enjoy. However, it does require a different approach to the gameplay.

Multiclass racing, together with the custom race creator, is a highly enjoyable addition.

Multiclass racing, together with the custom race creator, is a highly enjoyable addition.

Create Your Own Race

This is what I see as the best addition so far. You can create whatever race you like on whatever track you want in whatever conditions. Don't even say to me you don't want this.

It's so easy to get hooked on race creation as the tools give you a lot of freedom that I did not count on before I started playing. Trying out different races is what I enjoyed the most with this game. You can even create multiclass races.

Of course, the race tracks are all the same. You cannot change them or create your tracks, which would be an interesting element of the customization, but I don't see it as necessary.

Lots of Cars to Choose From

Grid Legends features some great cars and categories. Of course, the amazing F1 car, the Renault R26 that Fernando Alonso won a second world championship with, is still present. Among other great cars, we find the Cadillac DPi and stylish GTE cars such as Ferrari, Ford, Corvette, etc.

There are trucks, there are electric cars, and there are legendary cars. Cars that enjoyed harsh battles between each other back in the old days at the legendary Le Mans. The car library is well represented.

Grid Legends could have included more race tracks. However, those featured are beautiful.

Grid Legends could have included more race tracks. However, those featured are beautiful.

There Could Be More Tracks Included

Let's switch away from the praises for a bit again. After the story mode, the second issue is that the game doesn't offer that many tracks.

There are a lot of city tracks featured, which is something that Grid is known for since the series started back in 2008. It's fair to say that some are much better than others, but all in all, they are pretty enjoyable to drive on, and they are beautifully created. You'll visit London, Paris, Havana, Barcelona, Chicago, and more.

But I miss a lot of those classic and traditional tracks like Spa-Francorchamps, Barcelona de Catalunya, Monza, and Silverstone.

Winning is what it's all about!

Winning is what it's all about!

Handling Is Where the Money Is

To summarize it all, driving the cars and racing against your opponents in this game almost always manages to deliver pure fun. Codemasters managed to better their beloved arcade racing series and improve the massively important handling.

Every car feels more unique than before. They need to be handled differently to maximize their potential. The best thing about it is that you can learn this very fast. I enjoy jumping between the different classes without feeling too overwhelmed every time you switch to a new car.

Verdict

If we take away the awkward and cringy story mode, we get an arcade racing game you can count on whenever you feel the need for an action-packed racing experience. Building upon strengths from the previous Grid game, this game is a solid improvement. With some minor but enjoyable additions, Grid Legends is worth your time.

© 2022 Jan Stepan