GDC 2018: Grip Hands-on Impressions: Turning Racing Upside Down

Oh, what a feeling, when you're racing on the ceiling. 

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Arcade racers come in many shapes and sizes. From Mario Kart to Ridge Racer and everything in between, there’s always something out there ready to take its own unique twist on the genre. Grip is one such title looking to make a splash with its own twist on arcade racing. I got a chance get some hands-on time with a work-in-progress build of the PS4 version of Grip during GDC 2018.

Grip’s concept is straightforward enough, players take control of a futuristic vehicle that drive on streets, walls and ceilings and race through futuristic worlds in hopes of coming in first place. On the road to victory, racers can grab power-ups like gattling guns, missiles and shields to help give them an edge against the competition. There’s even a time warp power-up that allows racers to slow down everyone else while they speed ahead.

Each vehicle also comes equipped with a recharging nitro boost and a jump button for dodging or grabbing onto surfaces. Overall there will be 15 different car models for players to choose from when Grip goes live, some of which will have to be unlocked through progression. Players will be able to unlock cosmetic options for their rides as well, such as wheel styles and paint jobs.

Overall, Grip will feature 18 tracks that range from dusty desert plains to futuristic city-scapes and icy tundras. While I didn’t have time to check out every track in the game, I was impressed by how much each track made use of the 360 degree aspect and many of them featured some epic jumps and multiple paths to choose from. I feel like Grip has a physics engine that’s somewhere between Mario Kart and SF Rush 2049. Grip also features an optional tethering option to keep races more competitive and closer to that arcade vibe if players are looking to keep their friends from winning by a blow out. If you’re a fan of futuristic arcade racers, Grip is definitely a title you’ll want to keep your eyes on.

Right now Grip is planned to launch later this year for PS4 and Xbox One and is currently available on Steam Early Access for PC.

Reviews Editor

Blake has been writing and making videos about pop-culture and games for over 10 years now. Although he'd probably prefer you thought of him as a musician and listened to his band, www.cartoonviolencemusic.com. If you see him on the street, buy him a taco or something. Follow him on twitter @ProfRobot

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