A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that GRIP: Combat Racing is a fast-paced action/racing game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows-based PCs. Players control armed, high-tech vehicles capable of driving on roads, up walls, and even on the ceiling in fast-paced races. Players and opponents shoot each other using an arsenal of weapons in an attempt to cross the finish line first. There are plenty of bullets and explosions, but no graphic violence. Racers that blow up simply respawn on the track and continue with the race. While there's no profanity in the game, parents should be aware that online play could still open younger players up to explicit language in party chat with others.
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What's it about?
GRIP: COMBAT RACING is the high-speed, gravity-defying futuristic car combat game where speed limits aren't the only laws being broken ... so are the laws of gravity. Players will bring new meaning to going "off-road" as they use incredible speed to veer off the main track, driving up the walls and even onto tunnel ceilings to go up and over the competition. If that's not enough to get the job done, just blast opponents out of the way with a homing missile or turn their cars into Swiss cheese with a barrage of bullets from the car's handy machine guns. It'll take all your speed and ingenuity to take the checkered flag in the game's single-player mode. And if you're ready to hit the road with others, the game also features split-screen local gameplay for up to four players, or online races supporting up to 10 drivers from around the world. But be warned: They've got all the same tricks up their sleeves, and they're all aiming for you. One wrong move is the only difference between taking a victory lap and taking a trip to the junkyard.
Is it any good?
Every gamer has, at some point, run into a game that's driven them up the wall, and while that's not usually an actual feature, this one isn't meant to be a normal sort of racing game. GRIP: Combat Racing literally turns the action racing genre on its head by putting players in control of vehicles that can drive just about anywhere. These flat, RC-looking cars can be flipped completely upside-down and never miss a beat. And then there's the speed. It's hard to overstate just how fast these cars can get on the track. Once you start hitting the top speed, the world races by in a blur like some sort of sci-fi hyperspace jump. It's an insane rush, but it's ironically also one of the game's heaviest speed bumps.
Your car's steering is a bit more sensitive, which is great for rounding corners and pulling off quick moves to pass the competition. But at high speeds, one slight bump or overcorrection can send you flying to your doom. You can quickly get back into the race by hitting a button and resetting your car to the track, but it costs precious time and can eat away at your chances to reach the finish in first place. Because of this razor-thin margin of error, the pacing often feels caught between two extremes: light speed and glacial. This can be both exciting and frustrating at the same time. While GRIP: Combat Racing does a fantastic job of creating a real sense of speed, the actual presentation is a bit on the dull side. The visuals are flat and uninspired, with each track colored in some muted shade of gray, brown, or blue, and lacking any sort of real detail. In fact, there's not much detail anywhere. Even the cosmetic customization of the cars rarely does much to make any one vehicle look all that different from the rest. Although there's fun to be had in GRIP’s high-octane destruction derby style of play, especially when playing with friends in split-screen local matches, it just doesn't feel like the game ever has much gas left in its tank.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competitive gaming. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages to playing games locally with friends and family versus on a more global stage in online play?
What are some of the ways that racing games can actually help you learn the mechanics of driving? How do things like road rage endanger drivers, and what are some ways to practice safer, defensive driving?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Wired Productions
- Release date: November 6, 2018
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
- Last updated: November 26, 2018
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