With GRID Legends only a couple of weeks away now, GTPlanet was invited to another preview event, this time focusing on the game’s multiplayer.
We’ve already had a couple of previews of Legends, with an initial impression on how the game is laid out and the various modes available, and a more recent delve into the early chapters of the live-action story mode “Driven to Glory“.
For this event we got to experience much more of the game, with the online multiplayer’s modes — including the Race Creator — at the heart of the playtest.
Of course the less said about our colleagues’ driving standards the better — as anyone who’s witnessed a live, in-person media race will attest — but then GRID Legends’ online multiplayer is purely for fun. There’s no ranked racing, though you do pick up credits and reputation for your results.
The basic idea here is that you either join sessions at random, or search for ongoing sessions, or if nothing takes your fancy you just create one of your own and get racing.
This is of course where the Race Creator comes in. Essentially you can set up your own race event using — as far as we can tell — literally anything that’s available in the game.
There’s a variety of different race types available, although Elimination is our favorite: it eliminates the last cars in the field every 30 seconds or so until only one remains.
You can pick any vehicles, tracks, and weather conditions (including time of day) you like, with up to 22 drivers, for however many laps you wish. In addition you can specify track modifiers — boosts and jumps – and tweak advanced settings to allow for visual or mechanical damage (with terminal damage possible).
In addition you can set up multi-class racing, with up to five classes available, and set them so their starts are staggered however you want. While we found that in multi-class racing only one vehicle is available in each class, Codemasters has informed us that this isn’t the case: you can select up to five cars in total from any classes you choose, so if you want two from one class against three from another, you can. .
Given the multitude of possibilities available — Codemasters hasn’t calculated it, but you won’t get through them all — it’s a little disappointing to see you can only have four saved slots for Race Creator events, at least in this build.
If you’re worried nobody will join your session and you’ll be sitting waiting rather than racing, then there’s good news. It doesn’t matter how many humans are available at any one time, because GRID Legends will fill up any empty slots with AI drivers — and that’s not all.
Players can “hop” in to (and out of) online races pretty much as they wish. If you join a session that’s already ongoing and the race has sufficient time left to run, you’ll simply take over a car (or truck) that an AI was driving. On the flip side of that, if someone ragequits or disconnects, an AI will jump in and take their place.
That means you can set up a session with 21 AI, and by the end of it have a full grid of people ready for the next, although it doesn’t matter if nobody joins either. Given that there’s full crossplay between the three platforms — PlayStation, Xbox, and PC — that’s unlikely
Ultimately it was rather a lot of fun just shuffling through seemingly random game modes — from stadium trucks to drifting to Formula E — and if you feel like running a multi-class race with MX-5s against racing semi-trucks, with ramps, or anything else at all, you can go nuts.
The lack of any kind of driving standards penalties will certainly be off-putting to those who want to race, but if you don’t mind a bit of door-banging (okay, a lot of door-banging and full on suicide runs, if the racing game media are anything to go by) there’s plenty of fun to be had.
GRID Legends will launch on February 25, on PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series, and PC.
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