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The Big Steam Amnesty: Race Driver: GRID

With this year's big Steam summer sale a few weeks away, we're challenging you and our writers to pick up and play the many games you may have picked up on a whim, and never got around to playing. The latest to the oche? That'd be Paul, who's dug up a racing game that's been sat on his hard drive, unplayed, for some time...

Race Driver: GRID

The Big Steam Amnesty: Race Driver: GRID Steam Amnesty: Race Driver: GRID


It was during the Steam Christmas sale of 2010 that I picked up Race Driver: GRID. I’d actually gone online looking to purchase Dirt 2, but this was £14.99 on its own, or £17.40 in a bundle with GRID. Given that I’d heard good things about the game from colleagues, I figured why not, it’s worth giving it a try for that price, right.

As I semi expected though, I never actually got around to playing the game; there has always been something more shiny available, and I got the impression that the experience would be quite similar to that I had in Dirt 2.

I wasn’t wrong either. GRID simply feels like a quieter version of Dirt 2; it’s got the same menu style, the same faceless manager voice-over egging you on and the same race-to-gain-cash-and-advance structure. I’m not saying this makes it bad, and I’m aware that Dirt 2 - as the younger game - actually took these traits from GRID. What I’m saying is that it’s exactly what I expected which, annoyingly, is exactly what I hoped it wouldn’t be.

It’s also a little less arcadey than Dirt 2 (though aficionados would still call it very arcadey), meaning you’re occasionally expected to race properly on real tracks. This is kind of a problem for me, as if I’ve come out of the first corner without my bodywork dented and scratched, it’s probably because I was racing alone. I much prefer to make a mad dive up the inside than bide my time, a trait which means I often found myself spinning madly in a gravel trap watching my rivals head off into the sunset.

This is all kind of frustrating, as I’d like to be a fan of the racing genre. I love the idea of nailing the perfect lap and kissing apexes, but I simply don’t think I have the patience to put in any effort to achieve these kinds of things. I just don’t have the time. I need my gaming fast, furious and with instant gratification - a night spent retrying a single race feels like a night wasted to me.

I suppose that’s the real reason I’ve not got round to playing the game till now. I preferred to have it there in my Steam library sitting as a potential, rather than opening it up and realizing that it just wasn’t a game I had time for. I am glad I played it, but I won’t be going back. Mark this one down as an impulse purchase and nothing more.

Was it worth it?
No - it feels like I bought the same game twice.

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