GRIP: Combat Racing preview (multi)

GRIP: Combat Racing, published by Wired and developed by Caged Element, is an upcoming racer that we recently got to see in action. Here are our thoughts.

What we know

Coming out next month on Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch, GRIP is a futuristic racer that was inspired by the likes of Rollcage, which has several of its developers attached to this game as well. A combination of high speed racing and diverse weapons and power-ups, the game also has plenty of car customization options for fans of personalizing their ride.

It’s already available to play on PC for those who want to jump in during the early access phase, and will launch simultaneously on all platforms in just over a month. In addition to straight up combat racing, you’ll also be able to engage in Destruction Derby style deathmatch bouts and carkour modes.

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What we saw

We met with Wired during Gamescom and got our first taste of the game with a hands on session where we tested split screen combat racing in two easier tracks as well as a more challenging track.

What we thought

GRIP feels like a comfortable middle ground between Wipeout and Trackmania. I always had a little trouble with Wipeout’s “floaty” controls and liked that GRIP’s “racing with your wheels on the ground” approach immediately gave me a sense of control, rather than having to learn how to deal with its learning curve (a la Wipeout).

The action is fast and looks great, and the vehicles are flat to the point where the chassis is lower than the wheels – allowing you to drive up walls and ceilings as long as your speed is high enough. This makes for some impressive and creative overtaking, as well as frantic scenes when weapons are unleashed.

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Ramp up the difficulty (by selecting a harder track), and the experience changes radically. I was no longer able to just slam the gas and power through the track, as certain sections required careful maneuvering if I wasn’t going to fall off the track. Needless to say, I drove off into nothingness plenty of times and fell behind, showing me that there’s definitely a learning curve in GRIP as well as the instant appeal of being able to jump right into the easier tracks.

With a team that knows what it’s doing (Rollcage is a bit of a classic from the original Playstation days), a good first impression and plenty of content for both new and seasoned drivers, GRIP is a racing title to look forward to when it comes out next month. Local split screen multiplayer is always a huge bonus for games like this and of course there is online multiplayer included as well (for up to 10 players).

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