App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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Racing games have traditionally acted as a benchmark of visual fidelity on individual platforms, and GRID Autosport is reinforcing that tradition on the App Store. This racing game is every bit a AAA experience and technical marvel on mobile, which is certainly worth celebrating, but only if you have the right hardware to run and play it right. Otherwise, GRID Autosport is a solid, though fairly standard, racing game.
GRID Autosport is a simulation-style racing game that has you living out a career as a driver as you compete across five different race styles: Touring, Endurance, Open Wheel, Tuner, and Street. Each of these styles involves different kinds of cars, tracks, and race dynamics, but all of it sticks to a model that tries to emulate the real thing. Rather than arcade racers like Asphalt 8, you’ll need to prepare for turns instead of just tapping the brakes to cartoonishly drift around corners.
In addition to its Career Mode, GRID also offers most of the things you’d expect from a quality, sim-style racer. You can make quick races and other custom events, turn different racing assists on and off to fine tune the game to your ideal level of challenge, and you can install upgrades in your vehicles where appropriate. All that being said though, there are some things that are notably lacking in GRID, including online multiplayer and any sort of car unlocking system.
GRID’s racing action is definitely solid, but the thing that makes it most impressive on mobile is its visual fidelity. There’s no other game on the App Store that comes close to looking as good as it does on a technical level. In order to enjoy this sharp-looking game though, you do need to make sure you meet the game’s minimum requirements, which are quite steep by comparison to other mobile games.
GRID Autosport requires an iPhone SE, iPhone 7 or newer to run on phones, and an iPad (2017) or iPad Pro or newer to run on tablets. On top of this, the game offers a downloadable high-resolution asset pack to make the game look even better, but causes GRID to take up a whopping 6GB of space on your device. The good news in all this is that if you have the hardware and space, GRID will run with hardly any issues. To honestly get the most out of the game though, you’ll also want to invest in a MFi controller, since the touch controls here are fine, but not ideal for a racing game all about precision.
Stock car racer
As great as GRID looks and feels, there’s not really much reason to go out of your way to make sure you play it. It is certainly a sight to behold, but the rest of its offerings are pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a sim-style racer, and hardly anything more than that.
After all, the original version of GRID released back in 2014, and racing games have certainly changed since then. This isn’t the game for you if you want to unlock and customize cars or race online. It’s purely a gorgeous single-player racer, and this narrow scope might limit your enjoyment of it.
The bottom line
The release of GRID Autosport on iOS is important and should be celebrated. The game is stunning and does a good job of replicating the experience of the original PC and console title, which makes the case that AAA titles can (and should) come to mobile without being hamstrung or compromised. That said, the game itself feels far less ambitious. It’s a fine racing game, but--looks aside--it’s a little lacking.