This is my Early Access Review of GRIP. This does take into consideration that the game is early access and things are likely to change or be improved upon. GRIP is a futuristic combat racing game currently under development by Caged Element Inc. It is spiritual successor to the Rollcage Games from the late 90s. It is currently available as an early access game on Steam on the PC. GRIP aims to release on consoles in the future.
What Game Modes Does it Have?
Currently there are a few game types with different modes to choose from in single player; Race, Arena and Carkour. The race game type consists of normal Race which is just pure racing with combat, the aim is to finish first using combat to your advantage to knock the other racers out of the way using the various pickups spread around the tracks.
Then there is Combat Race which is the proper racing game mode where you accumulate points for using weapons. The more damage you do the more points you get. The person with the most points at the end wins. Elimination Race is basically like a last man standing. Every 30 seconds the car in last place is eliminated from the race. There is also a time trial mode which is self-explanatory.
In Arena mode there is currently only one game mode but there are two more coming. The game mode available now is death match. There are 3 arenas now to choose from each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Carkour is filled with loads of WIP tracks designed to test your skills as a driver. There will eventually be a career mode but this is not included in the early access version.
GRIP also comes with a multiplayer mode for most of the above game types. At the moment I don’t think the online multiplayer is up and running. The game does support local multiplayer in split-screen mode which is a welcome feature. Not many modern games have this so it’s great to see it included here.
The gameplay is fast paced and action packed. The speed takes a little bit to get used to and the corners come quickly. The vehicles don’t have the best cornering so it does take a little bit of skill. Once you get into the swing of things you’ll find GRIP to be action packed and entertaining. It also has a great soundtrack to go along with it. One of the unique things about GRIP, and the Rollcage games before it is that you can drive on pretty much any surface. One minute you can be on the ground, the next you could be driving along a wall or on the ceiling of a tunnel.
A minor annoyance is when you collide with another vehicle or objects. Colliding with another vehicle can sometimes instantly bring you to a stop or send you flying out of control. It seems unnecessary and a bit buggy but will hopefully be improved upon. Another thing is it can sometimes be very easy to crash into objects or walls. This instantly brings you to a stop which ruins the immersion a bit. However you can quickly reset at the touch of a button and vehicles get up to speed really quick and get you right back into the action.
GRIP has partial controller support at the moment and works best with an xbox controller. The controller appears to be fully functional in races and only appears to not work in the game menus. The developers have said full controller support will arrive eventually. When in mid-air you’re supposed to be able to let go of the throttle to control the roll of your vehicle. This does not seem to make much of a difference but this is likely to be improved upon in the future.
What about the Graphics?
With GRIP being such a fast moving game you wouldn’t expect much from the graphics. It is true that GRIP does not have the most amazing graphics. However, for a fast paces racing game it does look really good. The developers have put a lot of attention into the games looks when they didn’t really have to as you’re not going to stop and look around. Each race track has its own unique environment and world and the person responsible for designing the world and tracks has done a really good job. It does look modern and keeps up with modern day racing games in general.
Is it Worth Picking Up?
Although it is in early access there is still a lot of things to do in GRIP. For me it captures the nostalgia of Rollcage very well. I was expecting to get bored quite quickly but instead I found that I just kept playing. If you like this sort of game or you played Rollcage games and are wondering if this game does it justice then you will not be disappointed. The only thing I feel it is missing that would complete the experience is the destructible buildings but this may come in the future. The devs have recently announced a new public update coming soon that will add improvements, a new vehicle class and also add multiplayer. GRIP is currently available on Steam early access for £12 (approx $15) so it may be worth picking up now. Even if you aren’t planning on playing right away.