The one genre that I’ve wanted a real game for on the Switch is the racing genre. I’ve always wanted a game like the Forza, Gran Turismo or F1 series to come to Switch. A real track racer in a sense, so when Grid Autosport was announced, it peaked my interest.
I was hoping this wasn’t going to be a watered-down version of what arrives on Xbox One, PS4, or PC. In my opinion, trailers can make a game look a lot better than what it really is, so with that, I took them with a pinch of salt, mainly because it did look like a very good game with brilliant graphics.
Now, my first impressions of the game we’re very positive, it looked brilliant, even in handheld mode, and then when you downloaded the HD graphics pack and played on the TV, you can tell that there is a difference, and things are a lot sharper than in handheld. Which to be honest will always be a given, mainly because of the lower definition that you play in when playing handheld.
When looking through the options for the game, another good thing that I liked, was that you can set the game to 3 different modes and these are Battery, Performance, and Graphics, and as you can guess the battery mode will preserve battery power and make your Switch last longer when in handheld, performance allows for a smoother experience and the graphics mode bumps up the look of the game.
As I said above, the game does look very good, the details on the tracks, the cars, even the scenery are brilliant. There are some points in which you can see that there are a few rough edges on the scenery, but when playing and concentrating on the race these are few and far between. I love the use of the HD graphics pack that has been released for when you have your switch docked, there isn’t that much of a difference but you can certainly see there is a crisper edge to the races.
The game comes with different modes where you can play through seasons and try your hand at different forms of driving from Endurance races, Formula C and touring cars. There is a whole load more that you can do, but this is just the pick of the bunch from what I’ve played through.
There extra championships that you can play through which includes some drag races, which were very fun to play through, and there is a time trial mode if you want to try your hand at beating some good times, and if you want to create your own championship there is a custom cup mode in which you can do your own cup with your own disciplines attached.
Grid Autosport does play very well and even playing in handheld the game plays smoothly and responds very well to the joy cons. I haven’t had chance to play the game with motion controls yet, so I can’t comment on them but it is nice to see the option included in the game.
I love the sounds of the cars in the game as well, this is one section where you can see the care and love that goes into these type of games, hearing that engine roar as you power down the straights, the tweaking of the gears as you slow down, it’s just phenomenal and I love having the sound full on so I can fully enjoy the race experience.
There is one thing that was quite disappointing, and that is the auto brake feature, this is something I like to have switched on, it helps me relax more when racing, there are times when I turn it off, but mainly I do have it on as it adds to my enjoyment of the game. My complaint about them is that the braking is far too heavy handed, the car will sometimes brake well before the corner, and sometimes brake when it’s not absolutely necessary. There are times the car has slowed down to a crawl which when I’m full throttle and know the car can go faster adds to the frustration. Another issue with it as well is that the braking stays on far too long, if I’m coming around a corner and get to the final part of the turn, this is when I want to slingshot out of the corner and power on, but the auto braking waits until I’m fully on the straight before waiting for me to power on.
Another thing I’ve noticed with the auto braking is that it will stay on regardless, even if the lines have gone green on the track, auto braking will still be on, which means to me that auto braking must be programmed differently. If the track lines are green this should mean that the car accelerates, but no, it will keep it on for a few seconds longer than it should.
That was my only quibble with what I would say is a very very good game and shows that the Switch is no sleuth when it comes to being able to handle games like these. Would I recommend Grid Autosport, absolutely, a resounding yes. If you love your racers and are looking to get a racer fix on the Switch, then for me, this is that game!