Codemasters announced yesterday that they'd be unveiling something special today, but few could have predicted that it would be a brand new title set for launch in little under two months.
Grid Autosport is the latest instalment in the Grid racing series, and it'll be launching on Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PC on June 24th in North America and June 27th in Europe. It's rare that games are only announced so close to their release date, but it's refreshing that Codemasters hasn't taken the typical route of attempting to hype up a game for more than a year ahead of its launch.
Autosport marks the third Grid title, and will feature five different racing styles - street racing, open-wheel, endurance, touring and tuner competitions. Each style will differ greatly, and players will have to work hard to master them all in a game world that spans 22 locations across the world, and offers in excess of 100 tracks/routes.
Speaking about the game, lead designer James Nicholls claimed the focus on driving is what has built, and will continue to build, the Grid fanbase:
The thing we get very right is racing. That’s our thing.That’s what we do differently. There are a lot of games out there that are driving games or driving simulators but there always focussed on what the car’s about, the detail, or the track, that’s the focus primarily and everything else is secondary to it.
What we try to create is that feeling of what it’s like to be a racing driver, that gameplay experience. We’re a game first, not a simulator. That changes the emphasis for everything.
On why the game won't be appearing on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, Nicholls said:
One of the unique things for us is we’ve got our own internal Ego technology.We built this one off the the same heritage of all the previous games have been built to this point. That means we’ve already got a ready-made engine that’s highly optimised for the current-gen hardware, but also PC can really benefit from that.If we moved that particular engine onto next-gen, it’s almost a port job and you’re not really doing a next-gen game.We’re building something that’s forced onto those consoles, that’s not naturally built for them.
What we’ve traditionally done at Codemasters is we’ve always released games that have been built for that new hardware in mind.So the engines we’re building internally for the new version of Ego of next-gen and the games that are built on that are taking that platform extensions, those new things into account. For our game it didn’t feel right to force a game out.