Racing game GRIP is unashamedly based on the classic racer Rollcage, which found itself up against Playstation’s console-selling Wipeout series back in the 90s, so it’s fitting the new Airblades update adds a similar set of anti-grav racers to the game.
This provides an interesting conundrum. Does a racer with tracks designed especially for the rolling behemoths in the original game work when you replace those cars with the new Airblades?
Airblades, unlike their sleek Wipeout counterparts, look more like someone has gone into the garage with a Grip car and modified it for anti-grav, giving them a strange mix of a chunky, heavy looking vehicle that just happens to float in the air. At least they still match with the aesthetics of the game and it does make them inhabiting the same game world more believable.
The best thing about this update is that it doesn’t just throw these new cars in to the mix, it lets you choose between the Airblades or the Grip cars or a mix of both, giving you a bit of an even field if you find yourself leaning to one or the other. That said, the Grip cars do have the advantage of having these tracks built around them and it shows in races. While the Airblades are certainly faster, they don’t corner as well and the tight courses can be very tricky at such high speeds. A lot of practice and a ton of luck is needed to get these new vehicles around the track without smashing into the side of a structure.
The effect of this track design is even more apparent when you play the new courses that come with the DLC. Designed more for the Airblades, they really show what these great vehicles can do with a track that is sympathetic to them. I really hope new tracks like this are added at a later date as it makes the Airblades far more enjoyable, or at least some of the old tracks get a few tweaks.
Single races are still very good fun, though. and the multiplayer with both vehicles can be a great way to showcase their strengths, as long as you make it fair by deciding to race on both the old and new tracks.