Friday, 27 June 2008

Headline: Team Obunaji wins Le Mans! (In GRID that is.)

Le Mans - Today, Team Obunaji won with their Audi R10 TDI in the LMP1 class. After a long 24 minute race, with their lead driver, Joey Schouten, usually in the lead, they were victorious. A huge cash prize was awarded.

Now, the newspaper snippet above may seem unrealistic, because it involves me winning in a racing game, but GRID is actually very good. After the countless Need for Speed and urban racing games, I kind of got sick of the whole "urban-gangsta-tuning"-stuff. Like after NSF:Underground 2. That game was okay, but the whole thing just pun out of control. Then you have the driving sims, which are too hard for me to like. Then there is GRID: It takes the cool things from both, makes it doable, gives it a nice shine and I'm sold.

Seriously, I love it. You're not a gangsta trying to race, you're a racedriver. None of the tuning crap, just race. You start out in a race in San Fransico, which you only need to finish. No winning, just make it to the finish line. You then get your license and you're off to save money for your own team. Before you can go racing with your own team, you need 60.000 euros to buy a car.

As long as you don't own a car, you can only race with other teams' cars, by doing Driver Offers. These are kind of like missions. You get paid for finishing the race, along with money for objectives. I had one in which I needed to drive 249 km/h. The only straight part is at the start/finish line, so that's where I needed to go fast. Short circuit, 6 laps available to you. At lap 5/6, I realised that I needed to get the objective fast. I kept going straight till it said my objective was completed and then braked. Hard. About 2 metres from the boarding, after going straight through the gravel, I came to a standstill.

Such missions give it a different feel, other racing games want you to finish first, or you lose. I raced a mission, and ended in last place, but still got the money needed to buy the car. Great.
The car is a Ford Mustang. I dislike muscle cars. I like cars like Audi's or the Nissan 350z. After winning a few races, I got enough cash to buy a car for the european races.

There are three regions, America, Japan and Europe. For each you can get reputation, to unlock the next license, but each region is different. America has alot of tracks in cities, Europe has their circuits, like Le Mans, Spa, etc. And Japan has industrial areas in which you can drift, mountains to touge on and a few circuits.

After a while, I noticed that America and Europe were the easiest for me, so I kept doing those, unlocking the remaining 2 licenses in America and one for Europe, unlocking an even bigger garage. I say even bigger, because as soon as you get enough rep for the next license in one of the areas, you get a bigger garage, with room for a teammate. So I got to pick a teammate. I got the choice of three wankers. Neither of them could keep up with me for a 2-1 finish, so I got me a new teammate. A dutchie like me. This one could keep up with me, as long as we were driving in Europe.

So as soon as I could hire pro's instead of rookies, I hired a better Briton. This one could keep up with me, almost everywhere. But there was a downside. As you are driving, both your team and your other driver are talking to you. Where the dutchie couldn't believe he was on the podium, yelling "I can't believe it! i'm second!" and "I'm third! Wait...Yeah, I'm third!", the new guy was, y'know, like, erm, like.... "I'm in like second place". The dutchie only got annoying after a full day of playing, but the new guy got on my nerves after only an hour.

An then there is the fact that my old teammate didn't push and shove. I bash through the cars to get to number one, but so does the new one. Problem is, he hits me, sending me in a spin, causing me to either use an instant replay or restart the race (instant replay FTW, but I'll get to that). Really annoying when you only have 4 minutes left in Le Mans.

A few small details that I love about GRID are the instant replays and the menu. The first time you crash, your crew explains that you can use it, blah, blah, but it's really useful. You can turn back time. Litterally. You watch a replay, of which you can control the camera, rewind, fast forward etc. An when you have found a good moment, you can continue from that moment with the push of a button. don't rely on it though, you only get 5 at the easiest difficulty.

And the menu, instead of small print against a static sheet, you have massice 3d letters crashing down on your screen. You'll have to see it to see what I mean. Meh, back to racing, might put pictures up somewhere next week.

No comments: