Game Reviews

GRID Legends Review

GRID Legends ramps up the arcade action and adds a touch of soap opera drama to the long-running race series, for an enjoyable if brief experience.

Starting back in 2008 with Race Driver: Grid, the GRID series has been a solid part of the line-up of developer Codemasters. Mixing together various racing styles but with a historic focus on touring cars thanks to the franchise’s origins, GRID has shifted in its focus over the years as it flitters between more sim-style racing and an arcade-centric approach. GRID Legends is the latest game in the series, and has a voice of its own.

GRID Legends leans into the tentative steps made in 2019’s GRID, providing a fantastic mix of car categories wrapped up in an arcade racing structure. Multiplayer racers will find a malleable online presence to find a suitable mode for their enjoyment, while those with a single player preference will find plenty to sink their teeth into. Chief among these is a story mode that brings GRID Legends in line with long-running EA Sports franchises.

This story mode is called Driven to Glory, and the name similarity to real world F1 series Drive to Survive is not a coincidence. The player takes on the role of a rookie driver with Seneca Racing, and is being followed by a TV crew that is capturing this exciting season via garage footage and interviews with the major personalities of the sport. It’s extremely cheesy and an awful lot of fun, with each snippet of live action video helping to frame the player’s status in the championship and the tasks required for the next race.

Image Credit: Grid Legends Gameplay

Although Driven to Glory acts well as a tutorial for new players, there’s plenty here for any racing fans to grasp and it’s perhaps the most successful part of GRID Legends. Long-time GRID antagonist Nathan McCane is finally given a face and is a massively arrogant and truly evil heel for the player to beat on the track, while Sex Education‘s Ncuti Gatwa makes a brilliant appearance as the charming and clownish Valentin Manzi. It’s not perfect – like F1 2021‘s story mode it fails to make reference to a player who overachieves on the track – but overall it’s a delightful mode.

It then sets up the player for the meatier parts of GRID Legends. The Career Mode takes the player through various stages of a driver’s journey, starting as a rookie and working their way up, and has plenty of challenges to complete to move onto the next level. It feels closer in scope to the likes of Forza or Gran Turismo than what some might expect from a traditional GRID experience, less about wider results and more about performances in a smaller number of races, which makes it feel a bit piecemeal but still strong enough to keep the player going.

In part this is down to the racing itself, which dives further into the arcade side of things – so those expecting something more simulation-based should be warned before getting GRID Legends. As far as arcade-leaning racers this is a very good one, however, with a fantastic sense of speed and intensity that never really lifts, while its Nemesis System creates extremely aggressive AI opponents if the player has an on-track clash. Not all of its categories are made equal, with 4X4 racing feeling too floaty to be particularly satisfying, but overall it hits the mark.

Image Credit: Grid Legends Gameplay

As well as this, GRID Legends also has a little bit of customization here and there. Race Creator allows the player to create their own series of races based on things like class of vehicle and location, which provides a fair bit of replayability. However, car customization is not as expansive as other games available, feeling a little more streamlined in its approach and reusing things like logo designs from other Codemasters games, so those who love to tinker might not find it as enticing.

GRID Legends is a lot of fun overall. Its story mode is enjoyable pulp drama while the minute-to-minute racing is genuinely exhilarating. It may feel a little limited overall for those who want a deep racing experience, but players who go in expecting something breezy will find plenty to love here.

GRID Legends is out now for PC, PS4 PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. The Rant Mag was provided with a PS5 download code for the purposes of this review.

GRID Legends Review: An Exciting Racing Melodrama

Our Rating - 7.5


Very Good

Grid Legends is a sure step up from Grid 2019 – and its new story mode that looks all the way back to 2002’s TOCA Race Driver is a cute and effective flex for a racing series with such history – but it's definitely treading water in some core areas.

User Rating: 4.4 ( 1 votes)

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Bikiran Simkhada

Bikiran loves to write about latest news, tech world and games. He is the chief editor of The Rant Mag. He went to Central Queensland University in 2018 and graduated as a journalist.

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