Grip: Combat Racing was, for better or worse, little more than a remake of old PSX racer Rollcage. Developers Caged Element had crafted a nicer-looking if familiar game, retaining that same twitchy, aggressive mix of wall-riding racing, shooting rivals off the track while trying to maintain control during spins and crashes. Today, it’s a bit more than that. Today’s free update adds fifteen new “AirBlade” hover-vehicles with notably different handling, two new tracks plus some new music and skins. This is building on last month’s update adding four more tracks and new team play-modes. See the update trailer below.
The difference between the old wheeled vehicles and the new AirBlades (no relation to the unhygenic hand-driers) is clear. Wheeled cars skitter and bounce across the landscape, especially on rougher terrain, while the hover-vehicles just casually glide across obstacles. They seem easier to handle in a straight line, but when cornering don’t have as much grip. Their addition really adds a lot of variety to the races, as there’s now two distinct classes of vehicles competing. The two new off-world tracks are impressive to see, too, with lots of low-gravity jumps and opportunities to fall off into space.
If you don’t like the new vehicles (or really like them) there’s the option to play matches with wheels only, hovers only or both, although from the couple laps I’ve driven, they seem balanced.. This follows on from last month’s Team Modes update, which added another four terrestrial tracks, and a set of team play-modes for the game’s arena/party-game modes. Grip on PC also remains playable with up to four players locally if you’ve got the PC power for it (or don’t mind sacrificing a little fidelity), which is nice. While the game never really found its niche online, Rollcage was such a messy, rough-and-tumble game that playing locally just made sense.