Codemasters lifts the lid on GRID Legends Story Mode

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Codemasters has shown off 40 minutes of exciting GRID Legends gameplay giving us a first look at the new Story Mode.

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Ahead of its release in February, Codemasters released a new GRID Legends trailer this week. The action-packed trailer gave us a first look at the Tushek TS 900 Racer Pro hypercar, which makes its racing game debut in GRID Legends. It also introduced us to Valentin Manzi, one of the drivers in the Driven to Glory story mode played by actor Ncuti Gatwa. But this isn’t the only new GRID Legends gameplay Codemasters is sharing this week.

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GRID Legends first look Story Mode gameplay

In an extensive video streamed live on YouTube, Codemasters shared a tantalising 40 minutes of brand-new GRID Legends gameplay giving us a first look at the new Story Mode.

Called Driven to Glory, the Story Mode sees you take on the role of underdog racer Driver 22 (you can’t change your name) trying to make a name for yourself. You end up driving for Seneca Racing, a struggling team competing in the GRID World Series. Throughout your driver journey, you’ll meet new and familiar faces including Nathan McKane, who appeared in past GRID games. More on him later.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wrw_PlD1utI

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Driven to Glory’s story blends live action cut scenes with the same virtual production technology used in The Mandalorian Star Wars TV spin-off. Drivers are introduced in documentary-style videos clearly inspired by Drive to Survive. While some of the dialogue sounds corny, Codemasters has done a sterling job replicating the style of Drive to Survive.

We’re introduced to Seneca Racing’s Team Principle Markus Ado who is looking to hire a new driver. The action then switches to a race in a new London street circuit with Driver 22 behind the wheel of an Audi A4.

Here, we get a look at GRID Legends’ objective-based racing. In the first Driver Showcase event, the objective is to finish ahead of rival Mateo Vego. Throughout the race, the team principle issues instructions to push harder and get ahead of specific drivers. Points are awarded for clean racing, overtaking opponents, and sticking to the racing line.

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After finishing first, Driver 22 discovers Ado is looking for a new driver. Looking for your first big break, Driver 22 competes in a Rookie event in a Beltra Open Wheel. Set at night in the same London circuit, this event showcases the unpredictable AI. These drivers can make mistakes and we see one driver lose control in front of you, nearly causing an accident.

We’re then introduced to Valentine Masino, your first rival, in a stadium truck race in Paris. These races look like a lot of fun with ramps to jump to over. The trucks also look like a handful to drive as with bouncy suspension making them prone to tipping over. At one point, the player loses control and slams into the wall, giving us a brief glimpse of the damage model.

Chicago, Bathurst and Suzuka are back

The deep dive video confirms that the Chicago, Bathurst and Suzuka circuits are back in Grid Legends. Chicago is showcased in a thrilling multi-class race with Driver 22 driving a Ford GT Heritage Edition, showcasing an impressive sense of speed.

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But the main highlight has to be the classic touring car race at the Mount Panorma circuit in Bathurst during a thunderstorm showing some stunning weather effects. Dare we say it, but the rain effects in the cockpit camera look as good as they did in DriveClub, with water sloshing around the windscreen and side windows. This probably isn’t a coincidence as former DriveClub developers work at Codemasters. Codemasters also confirmed snow effects will be in GRID Legends too, but didn’t confirm if there will be dynamic weather.

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As Seneca Racing qualifies for the Pro series, the final event sees Driver 22 hammering around Suzuka in Honda NSX for a practice lap.

Finally, we’re introduced to Nathan McKane, who makes his live-action debut in GRID after appearing in previous games. A five-time Grid Series World Champion, Mckane doesn’t hide his arrogance. “They know who I am,” he says when asked to introduce himself.

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With its thrilling racing action, variety of disciplines, stunning visuals, and unique storyline, GRID Legends is looking very promising.

GRID Legends release date

We have just over a month to wait until GRID Legends releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on 25 February.