GRIP is the classic kind of racer that both core and casual fans can get hyped for.
It’s also the kind of racer that blares drum and bass in the background and has a cool logo that looks exactly the same when flipped upside down.
Just in case you were any doubt over its credentials, GRIP, inspired by cult-classic Rollcage, manages to maintain the same spirit and still be a shit-ton of fun.
Few other racers let you drive on the ceiling as a tactic to try and nail pole position. But it’s not just a reality in GRIP, it’s sort of a necessity.
Whether you’re flipping around to avoid chainguns, or trying to maintain momentum, GRIP has you dancing all over the place, which is both to the game’s benefit and detriment.
See, the game sometimes struggles to keep up with all the action and rapid movement. One minute, you can feel like you’re in control, ducking and weaving, ebbing and flowing, the next you’ve got car butt mashing your face, practically blinding you as it consumes the entire screen. This will, inevitably, force a restart.
Sadly, you can quickly feel out of control of your vehicle as you skid and slide and tumble everywhere but the way you want to go.
Racers are going to take you into 700mph territory as you try to blaze past other four-wheel land riders. Boosting with triangle, steering to survive tight corners, you’ll also need to avoid four missiles and airstrikes. Just like a Mario Kart, it’s all happening in GRIP, which often means winning a race isn’t so much down to skill as it is dumb luck.
Which is why GRIP is a game that definitely shines in multiplayer. Unquestionably, my most entertaining sessions have been playing with friends, family and members of the media, whether that’s locally or online. Get a group of you together, switch off, and have some fun.
And GRIP does not stinge on the content. Seriously, for the price, this game is stacked! You’ve got your classic races where winner takes all, but also an Ultimate Race where you’re rewarded for weapon use via a point-based system. Meanwhile, Elimination Race sees the trailing car eliminated from the competition every thirty seconds, or you can try out Speed Demon which is all about the fastest finishing first with no weapons.
But if you don’t fancy racing, there’s also an Arena based category with a Deathmatch Destruction Derby style, Steal the Stash where you capture the opposing team’s loot and bring it to your base. Finally, Time Bomb will destroy any players caught in the blast with the last car standing.
And if that’s not enough, you can do some solo time trialing on previously driven levels or Carkour which tests your driving skills as you try to hoover up a bunch of collectibles.
Not enough for you? How about a massive Campaign mode of 11 tiers, 3 tournaments in each? GRIP is the game that keeps on giving and as you win races and tournaments, so you earn XP, level up, and can purchase upgrades in a garage, like new tires and a fresh lick of paint.
GRIP does frustrate with some bad frame rate at times and when it all turns to pandemonium, the game seems to struggle to cope with the action. And to be honest, the game does start to feel a bit repetitive when playing on your lonesome.
It doesn’t quite tip the scales over ONRUSH as my favourite off-the-wall racer this year, but GRIP is a tight, entertaining, and exhilarating thrill-ride that’s overly generous with content and makes for a nice break over the vast experiences dominating the market right now.
+ Brilliant multiplayer
+ Overabundance of fresh content
+ Genuine fun and thrilling racing
– Frame rate dips can be bad
– Becomes repetitive in singleplayer
– Camera can be wild at times
– Often feel out of control of your vehicle
7 out of 10
Tested on PS4
Copy received by publisher