The first information dump for EA and Codemasters’ title GRID Legends has just landed, alongside our initial hands-on impressions. It looks to be an accessible, bombastic, racing game.
But it’s also surprisingly expansive, with a vast line-up of vehicles, locations, weather conditions, modes and even two careers to play through. Ahead of its release, here is everything we know to this point. We’ll keep you updated when we know more.
Release date and platforms
GRID Legends will release on 25th February 2022 for PC (Steam and Origin), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Cross-platform multiplayer and next-gen upgrades
All platforms will be able to play GRID Legends online with each other via cross-platform multiplayer. This means someone playing on PC can race online in a lobby with players on PS5 and Xbox One, for example.
The multiplayer is cross-generational too, so for instance, someone with a PS4 can play with a friend on PS5.
If you purchase the Xbox One version, you are entitled to a Smart Delivery upgrade to the Xbox Series X|S, and similarly, if you purchase the PlayStation 4 version you are entitled to a free PlayStation 5 version upgrade. This is what EA calls ‘Dual Entitlement’.
Resolution and frame rate
On PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S the game runs at 4K and 60fps. A 120fps mode is in development at the time of writing, but the graphical or resolution trade-off is yet to be determined.
Resolutions and frame rates for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are yet to be discussed.
Can I use a steering wheel?
Yes, you can and there’s even a cockpit camera for every car in the game too. The aim is not to be an out and out simulator, however, but deliver a fun racing experience for a wide market with chaotic pack racing.
What is Driven to Glory?
Driven to Glory is a narrative-driven story mode within GRID Legends.
This is filmed by using a mixed reality process, similar to that used on the Star Wars spinoff TV series The Mandalorian – with actors on set, working with live CGI layered over in real-time.
Ncuti Gatwa of Netflix show Sex Education features as a lead in the cast. Along the way, you’ll also encounter Ravenwest Motorsport and its driver, Nathan McKane who has been a rival all the way through the GRID series of games.
Much like F1 2021 and its Braking Point story, also by Codemasters but a different team, this is separate and dedicated mode to the more traditional career. Driven to Glory is said to last an estimated 8-10 hours depending on difficulty settings and final development tuning.
Brad Kane, who was one of the writers on Sony smash-hit Ghost of Tsushima, wrote the script in collaboration with Codemasters that is set during last year’s GRID season.
Tell me about the career mode
The career mode is a long single-player experience in GRID Legends and is separate to the Driven to Glory story. Here you will find 250 race events for an on-track led experience.
In this part of the game, you run your own team as owner/driver in the current GRID season, working your way through three ranks: Rookie, Semi-Pro and Pro. It culminates in a finale, called ‘The Gauntlet’ where your aim is to become a ‘Legend’.
There is greater flexibility in this area, as you choose the class of events you’d like to enter.
Your team will have customisation options too, including team livery and icon and more items are unlocked as you progress.
Your Racecraft score is also something that changes as you play through the career, as it updates based upon your driving skills. This in turn unlocks player levels, and levels, alongside cash, unlock mechanic and teammate upgrades.
Much like many other previous Codemasters-developer games, you will sign sponsors who offer additional rewards for completing longer-term challenges.
Can the vehicles be upgraded?
Yes, in a move that should add greater depth to GRID Legends, all vehicles in the game can be upgraded. Perhaps something that we felt missing from recent Codemasters creation DIRT 5, the more you drive each car and rack up the miles, the more upgrades you unlock and these are applied by using in-game cash.
This works across single-player and online multiplayer too, so you will always be accruing mileage. However, in Race Creator, you can set an event to only include cars that have not been upgraded. Handy.
Race Creator, you say?
Race Creator is a mode within GRID Legends where you can create your own events to race in. Think of it as a Quick Race option – except there’s more to it than that, as there’s the ability to share your creations with others to play online.
Not only that but there seem to be very few limitations. We were told recently by Codemasters that you could in theory have a race with Minis vs Trucks using both ramps and boosts zones while it’s snowing around London, in theory, is possible. The choice is there, and all the in-game content is selectable.
You mentioned snow…
I did, snow is a new weather type for GRID Legends alongside dry, wet, rain, day and night all of which are interchangeable and across every single venue in the game.
You can join a friend’s single-player career
If you see a friend online playing through the GRID Legends single-player career mode, you can join their race. As it happens. You will simply take over one of the computer-controller AI rivals in the race. Ta-dah.
This is touted as ‘hop in multiplayer’ and supports up to 22 players.
This is reminiscent of disconnecting from an online race in F1 2021. Should you drop out, you can re-join the lobby, and, in the meantime, AI has taken over your car and kept you in the race. You then have the option of re-taking control, all is not lost. Except, in GRID Legends, a similar system is being used for you to simply join someone else’s race ad-hoc.
It sounds a little bit like online co-op, but that’s not technically true. This is if you just want to be involved with, and chat to, a friend while they complete the traditionally single-player mode, you can.
What about other online features?
Alongside traditional online racing, Quick Races and a Multiplayer Session List, and hop in multiplayer, there will be weekly and monthly online events to partake in.
These are timed challenges that payout rewards and are split into Core and Premium tiers. Premium challenges are only available to Deluxe owners.
How many cars are in the game?
There are over 100 cars in GRID Legends at launch – insinuating that more will be coming as downloadable extras over time. This is across nine categories: Touring, GT, Tuner, Track Day, Open Wheel, Trucks, Electric, Drift and ‘Other’
There are many franchise favourites from prior GRID games, such as a 90s Audi A4 touring car, or the Brabham BT62 from the 2019 GRID paid downloadable content. Some new additions include the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the Ginetta Junior race car, Stadium Super Trucks and Lotus Evija.
How many tracks are in the game?
There are 22 tracks in GRID Legends at launch – 13 circuits, nine city street tracks, one point-to-point. Each with multiple routes such as short or reverse layouts, totalling 143 at launch.
This is more than in any prior GRID game, with the new street circuit locations of London and Moscow, plus a new fictional venue that goes by the name of Strada Alpina. Moscow also takes the honour of the longest street circuit in a GRID game to date.
The rest are locations previously seen in existing GRID titles, such as the Yokohama Docks.
Adding to the number of routes will be ‘ramp routes’ which are existing circuits but with jumps placed around them, ‘drift routes’ which are self-explanatory and ‘boost routes’ for a new electric vehicle racing format.
This roster will be expanded at a later date via downloadable content.
Drift events will return for the first time since GRID Autosport in 2014, alongside new electric and Stadium Truck events. In electric racing, there will be boost zones to unlock additional power, and the truck routes feature jumps.
These go alongside traditional race types and Elimination, whereby the backmarkers are jettisoned at set intervals.
Nemesis system and Choreographer 2.0
If you’ve played recent GRID games, you may be familiar with these systems. Anger another driver, and they become your ‘Nemesis’, driving aggressively towards you.
Adding to the theatre will be rival driving errors and mechanical events. The on-track computer-controller drivers are also said to have individual driving styles.
The aim here is to create action-packed racing that is as dramatic in the style of a Fast & Furious movie and not necessarily a real race. Personally, this area was a little unfulfilled in 2019’s GRID, so we await to see how this plays out across the course of the full career in the final release version of GRID Legends.
The Seneca & Ravenwest Double Pack will be included for those who pre-order GRID Legends. This includes:
- Aston Martin Vantage GT4
- Porsche 962C
- Ginetta G55 GT4
- Koenigsegg Jesk
- Exclusive Ravenwest-focused career events
- Exclusive Seneca and Ravenwest team icons, liveries and banners
There’s also a Deluxe Edition for GRID Legends, which includes several bonuses:
- Voltz Pack – Includes Volkswagen Golf GTI and Audi R8 1:1, team liveries, banners and logos to help you rep Voltz
- Mechanic Pass: an add-on that allows players to unlock vehicle upgrades faster
- Exclusive Challenges, alongside the Challenges available to all players.
- Access to the four major post-release paid DLC
HOW WILL DLC WORK IN GRID LEGENDS?
There will be four major post-release content drops in the first year for GRID Legends. These will include new story threads based on some of the characters, new career threads based on new content, new game modes and new tracks.
Reminiscent to DIRT 5, again, new vehicles, sponsors, liveries and team logos will also be added throughout the year. These are alongside the aforementioned Weekly and Monthly challenges.
Some of the new vehicles, sponsors, liveries, team logos and online challenges will be free for all players, some will only be available for Deluxe owners. All of the four major content drops will be for Deluxe owners, alongside a ‘Mechanic Pass’ that permanently boosts the mileage multiplier on all cars.
That’s it for now
With GRID Legends releasing in February 2022 – this is all we know for now, but we’ll update this article as we near launch and more details emerge. You can listen to our interview with the game’s Creative Director, Chris Smith, and Associate Creative Director, Steven Brand below or via your favourite podcast service.