While I remember seeing Rollcage on the original PlayStation back in 1999, I never had the chance to sit down and play it like I wanted. Fast forward all these years to now and we have GRIP: Combat Racing that’s essentially a follow-up to the classic battle racer that even has one of the original developers on board to seal the deal. If you’re a fan or enjoy combat racing titles, you’ll want to roll out with this one.
In this futuristic racer, you get to drive these tank-like cars with a flat body and huge tires that serve to keep you going no matter which side your vehicle flips over on. Also, these massive tires give you the ability to grip to the race track, no matter if it’s on the ground, the side, or completely upside down on the ceiling. Toss in some cool power-ups and weapons such as shields, speed boosts, machine guns, and homing missiles, and you got a crazy but fun racer to speed into.
There’s a few modes to take your racing skills to, but you’ll mostly be spending your time in the campaign mode where you’re racing and fighting to be the best against the CPU. This can be pretty challenging as the computer puts up a nasty fight, even on easy difficulty. It also doesn’t help that there’s rubberband AI at play as with most racing games nowadays. But if you keep on keeping on, you’re bound to make it to the top.
At least there’s a sweet multiplayer mode to play along with your friends, as you can play locally via a classic four-way split screen, or online for more racing fun. There’s also some cool vehicle customizations you can unlock as you play, but sadly they’re cosmetic only and don’t affect the stats of your vehicle.
As I played, I was reminded heavily of the classic WipEout games as everything was buttery smooth on the Steam version I was sent for review, and there’s loads of cool Drum and Bass music to really get you into the combat racer mood. What really brought a smile to my face was the option of being able to add your own music to be played in the game. This is something I (and I’m positive most people) wish more games would do, as who knows what music fires you up better than yourself?
The graphics are good but just enough to scrape by. But to be fair you’ll be racing at super speeds and focusing on blowing away your opponents too much to care or notice. There’s also some technical hiccups here and there with the game hanging at menus and such, as well as the physics being a bit wonky when you get knocked around that makes it hard to recover at times.
In the end though, GRIP: Combat Racing is a crazy combat racer worth checking out if you love others such as the original Rollcage and WipEout. It has its issues both in-game and technical to be sure, but don’t let them stop you from getting a grip on this fun for all game.