Grip: Combat Racing is a spiritual successor to the PlayStation classic Rollcage, with its manic action packed racing and the added bonus of being able to drive on the tracks walls and ceilings it is one game we have been aching to get our grubby little mitts on at ABG. So is it any good?
So as I said before Grip lines you up on the start line in what looks like the love child of a 90’s remote controlled car and the that annoying truck from the first Mass Effect game. Your weapon of choice (your car..) is not only horrifically out of proportion but it can also drive on its sodding roof! Grip tries to give you an action packed experience where anything goes, you can drive on the walls, ceilings AND there is even little ramps to flip you over just to make you feel that extra bad-ass. You can also grab power-ups that include rockets, shields and boosts just to add the combat into the games title.
So if you’re like me and have no mates (boo hoo!) you will be diving into the single-player portion of the game where you have the option of a campaign mode, a series of tournaments where you compete against bots with the ability to unlock cosmetics and extra power-ups for your car. You also have the option of arcade-style races and arena playlists including classic race, deathmatch and the hilariously fun Carkour (you know, like parkour) mode. With each playlist either stripping away the power-ups or even ramping them up in some modes they all feel different enough and add some variety to the single-player portion of Grip.
For all of you playboys who have friends or those that want to take on the squealing children of online gaming you have up to four player split-screen or a smorgasbord of online modes to choose from. Grip offers everything you would expect in online modes from private matches for those of you with numerous friends and a quick match lobby where you can select playlists to play online. There is actually a lot of options for online and you can choose to fill lobbies with bots and even select preferred engine powers and difficulties.
Graphics wise Grip falls a bit short, it’s pretty dated graphically but graphics aren’t everything as the art-style is pretty good. The art-style feels very Mad Max meets Wipe-out and the little comic-book style loading screens are pretty cool. The soundtrack is what you would expect in a futuristic racing game. It’s the kind of music you would expect a group of un-bathed sweaty teenagers to be bobbing about to in a barn just off the A47 while off their tits on pills and 90’s angst.
Grip is fun, really fun and has some real nostalgic charm to it. It reminds you of how you remember those old PlayStation racers playing but unlike those old Destruction Derby’s and Rollcage’s its not just nostalgia its a decent racer.
Most of the modes are great fun and the online is pretty much flawless on release with only a couple of times having to wait more that a few minutes to find a match. I do have to say though it is a bit buggy, you will get stuck on scenery and have to exit the race to get back on the track which is really annoying. Occasionally you are also going to hit a wall wrong and end up in an endless loop of flipping your car only to end up facing the wrong way when you clearly made the turn.
At the end of the day Grip: Combat Racing is a very fun racer with a bucket load of character and something you could easily lose a few nights with whilst playing online or local with some mates. There’s definitely loads to like in Grip and other than some bugs bringing it down (nothing that can’t be ironed out in future updates though) its a very competent racer and blends the best aspects of some of your favourite racers in its futuristic little package. Any fans of the Xbox 360 racer Blur should enjoy this game trust me.
Grip: Combat Racing is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and is even part of Xbox One’s GamePass subscription service.
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- Overall - 8/108/10
Grip: Combat Racing is a gem of a racer and even though on release it’s a bit buggy it is definitely one to play. If you loved games like Blur and its distant relative Rollcage then there is something here you will love! It’s on GamePass so no reason not to give it a go if you own an Xbox One.
Gamer, dad and supporter of @SpecialEffect Charity. Dark Souls fan and gooner!