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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Grid Autosport is a racing simulator with events set on closed courses, which means there's no danger of running into pedestrians or civilian traffic. However, as with most racers, this game doesn't show realistic consequences associated with high-speed crashes. Drivers are never injured, even if they total their cars. This might send a muddled message about driving safety to kids. There is a heavy focus on corporate sponsorships and branding, as well as on forcing players to acquire sponsors before they can start racing, which could make some players uncomfortable. Parents also should be aware that this game includes an online mode with open voice chat, which means players can share personal information and may be exposed to inappropriate language.
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What’s It About?
GRID AUTOSPORT is a racing simulator, which means it strives to simulate the feel and experience of driving authentic cars -- more than 70 in total -- around realistic venues from around the world. Real-world cars ranging from a Ford Focus to finely crafted F1 machines can be tuned to your liking, letting you feel the difference between varying mechanical setups, including drive trains, tires, and braking systems. Driving assists such as antilock brakes and traction control can be switched on and off, and damaging cars in collisions will noticeably affect their performance at higher difficulty settings. The career mode lets players advance across five disciplines, including touring car racing, endurance racing, open-wheel racing, tuner competitions, and closed street racing. Players will find themselves racing slower factory cars one moment and ridiculously high-performance, track-honed racing machines the next. Beyond the career mode, players will find split-screen multiplayer races for pairs, plus 12-player online competitions.
Is It Any Good?
Grid Autosport offers a markedly different experience from other racing sims. It's not a game about unlocking a massive livery of vehicles; it's about mastering the cars provided for each race and figuring out proper tuning for your particular racing style. It doesn't deliver a benchmark visual experience (in fact, there are instances when it noticeably struggles), but it does provide spectacle in the form of luscious settings -- including a track that runs between the towers of Dubai -- as well as the occasional multi-car pileup. It doesn't dish out experience points moment to moment for stylish maneuvers, but it will award points for meeting a broad range of sponsor objectives, which range from beating rivals to moving up a set number of places in a given race.
For many players, it will simply come down to whether they enjoy the structure of the career mode. Rather than working through license challenges or car class competitions, players select sponsors for whom to race in particular disciplines over full seasons. That's fine, so long as you enjoy frequently altering your driving technique and having limited control over the exact car you're driving. But being forced to bear multi-stage drift challenges when all you want to do is tear down tracks at maximum speed will prove frustrating to some. Grid Autosport is filled with distinctive charms. You just need to figure out whether you're susceptible to them.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about driving safety in games such as Grid Autosport. Some studies suggest that people who play games may be more likely to engage in riskier behavior on real roads. Do you think that playing this game will make drivers more likely to race their cars or drive poorly in real life?
Talk about competition. What are some positive things that might come from pitting your skill against that of peers and friends, win or lose? Are there any negative aspects?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Codemasters
- Release date: June 24, 2014
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Sports and Martial Arts
- ESRB rating: E for No descriptors
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
Our Editors Recommend
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Fun, customizable kart racing, but watch online voice chat.
Creative kart racer lets kids set their imagination loose.
For kids who love to go fast
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