Some of you may remember our review of GRIP: Combat Racing, the popular title based on the classic PlayStation game Rollcage. Whilst we didn’t score GRIP extremely high at the time of release, we did enjoy racing around the tracks and unleashing havoc on our opponents. Since then though, the game following has grown, and so has the game itself, especially following their AirBlades update.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the update at first, which was announced way back in May by Wired Productions and Caged Element Inc. But, it really has brought the game on leaps and bounds since I last played, introducing both a new vehicle type and new tracks.

But where do I start? I’ll probably go with the new tracks because that was one of my pet peeves about the game upon release. It’s not that they were badly designed, but I thought they were a little too easy to navigate. Although it seems whatever skills I had when I last played I have now lost. I’ll just blame switching from Xbox to PS4 controller for that though.

Anyway, the new tracks. No longer are you just speeding around tarmac and dirt tracks, you now get the opportunity to race in space. And I’m glad to say that I’m finding some of the new tracks much more difficult, but again, that could be due to the fact my motoring skills seem to now be non-functional as I make rookie mistake after rookie mistake. Besides my lack of ability though, the design of the tracks really is great, and I don’t just mean the layout of them but the artwork that goes into the surrounding environments too, they’re absolutely stunning.

In terms of new vehicles, they’re a complete change to the rollers you’re used to. The new automobiles that are available instead hover above the ground thanks to their anti-grav engines, reminding of another popular title from way back when in Wipeout. Essentially meaning that you’re getting two games in one.

But what’s best of all is these new vehicles, as well as being able to race around the new space tracks, are also available to race alongside the wheeled rollers on the tracks available in the base game. I found the new AirBlades vehicles more difficult to control than the original Rollers the game had, but I am beginning to think that I may just have some kind of mental block that is preventing me from being any good at playing this title any more.

Still, I had a tonne of fun testing out the new update and especially kicking the ass of my 14-year old brother. He actually kicked mine. It’s tougher than it sounds to beat kids at video games nowadays since they spend so much time on them, especially he who loves any kind of racing game he can get his hands on.

The update really does take this game up a step from what I originally experienced, and I’m glad to see that the development team are still working on improving the game all the time, as well as seeing the following of the game grow too. There is even a nice competitive scene going now, and I’ve watched a few races and the high-octane fun really is adrenaline fueling, even as a spectator. Hopefully, the game keeps on improving the way it has in this update and to popularity of GRIP continues to grow.

Think it’s definitely worth bumping the original score up from a 69% to a solid 78% following the AirBlades update.

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