If you’re a car person, GRID is probably an essential buy. While many mobile racing games strive for a more casual, arcade-friendly experience, GRID is all about realism. Original developers Codemasters spent a long time trying to make the handling of every car feel true-to-life, and while I can’t speak for the accuracy of how it would actually feel driving these cars on these tracks at high speeds, it feels right.
Many of the courses in GRID are directly based on famous real-world circuits. Courses not based on real racetracks, such as the city locations, still match the feel of the locations. You’ll be driving on these tracks in a variety of real-world licensed cars, for that added dose of realism.
Porting studio Feral Interactive really went all-out with this iOS version. GRID has lost absolutely nothing in its transition from console to mobile, and in some ways, actually looks better than it in its previous life on the PS3 and Xbox 360. This shouldn’t be a surprise – modern iOS devices easily outclass previous-generation consoles. But far too often, developers seem to struggle to take advantage of this power, and release games that simply show off what the hardware is capable of. GRID bucks this trend.
Quite simply, GRID is a breathtakingly beautiful game. Installing the optional (but free) DLC texture packs make it even more beautiful, but either way, you’re looking at one of the best games ever seen on iOS.
Unfortunately, GRID doesn’t quite run as good as it looks. Despite limiting itself to only the most powerful iOS devices available, GRID is capped at 30fps, and occasionally stutters trying to reach that. This is unfortunate – modern iPads run natively at 120fps, and racing games, in particular, really benefit from a high frame rate. Maybe future updates will solve this problem.
Perhaps the best part of GRID is one thing it did not gain in its transition to mobile – a new business model. There are no freemium currencies here, no wait timers, no ads, no nonsense. This is a serious, console-class experience. For a one-time fee, you get the whole game. There are quite a few DLC packs available with additional content, but in a welcome break from expectations, these DLC packs are entirely free. Yes, you can install all the extra courses, cars, and HD textures you want, for no added fee.
If you’re a fan of racing games, GRID is an essential buy. And if you’re a believer in premium, console-class games, GRID is one of the best examples yet of a real-deal, top-flight, no compromise console game on mobile.