Chaos is a ladder, or so Littlefinger famously said. For a gamer though, chaos is excitement. It is that intangible replay factor that you never really know a game has until you load it up and play.
Racing games often fall into a predictable cycle of car & driver performance, with weather being the only real dynamic factor in play. Some games, like Codemasters’ flagship title F1 2019, throw in a few tweaks during career mode like mechanical development that can improve team performance. But for the most part you know roughly how races will go. There will be some action at the start, then a pattern of AI cars following each other like a train on the racing line.
But maybe not for much longer. Codemasters’ next racer, GRID, promises to change all that by throwing a little chaos into the mix, thanks in no small part to their Race Consultant, two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso.
GRID, which hits shelves on 11 October, features over 400 AI personalities as well as the revolutionary nemesis system. But the key thing it offers for real motorsports fans is drama and unpredictability.
READ MORE: GRID 2019 review: A must-buy for racing fans
This is not only because of the insight that having a champion like Alonso involved brings, but thanks to Codemasters’ years of expertise.
Speaking at an event in Spain, Alonso has this to say about GRID:
“Most of the games I have played, they all have the same line – the third time you play you almost know what is going to happen. In this game you won’t find that, because you will have the surprise factor”
It’s a truth that every racing gamer knows, but we all just accepted. Until now.
By putting so many AI personalities in the game Codemasters have already stirred the pot. Gone is the knowledge of how a driver will race because you are constantly racing against a different grid of contenders. Throw in their form system that can boost or slow drivers and of course the effects of the nemesis system and you have races that will never finish in a predictable order.
Throw in the fact that GRID’s gameplay doesn’t require strict adherence to the racing line, and you have a game that can produce true chaos on the track that keeps players coming back for more.
“you won’t come across two cars who would defend / block you the same way. Some players are really good in turns, others are faster or slow, others are hard to overtake. Fundamentally, during the game – you need it to be unpredictable.”
That feeling of excitement we all get when cars are lined up on the grid with the lights about to go out stems from not knowing how the race will go. GRID offers that sense of the unknown.
READ MORE: Everything you need to know about GRID
This isn’t like FIFA scripting, think of it as more of an unpredictability machine. The intention is to bring human tendencies to AI drivers like never before. A wheel wrong here, a badly thought out overtake there… It is that dash of chaos that you get from online lobbies that can be both exhilarating and maddening.
As GRID Game Director Chris Smith told us:
“Drivers battle as they approach a corner and jostle for position in GRID, players need to think tactically from corner to corner in reaction to the pack ahead, while drivers behind attempt to overtake. Further enhanced by GRID choreographer that replicates human errors like spinning out or simply taking a bad racing line GRID truly brings unpredictable motorsport racing to life”
Release Date & editions
GRID drops on 11 October for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The launch edition will be £49.99 on console and £44.99 on Steam.
Early access is available NOW with the Ultimate Edition at the price of £69.99 on console and £64.99 on Steam.