Mark your calendar for April 22nd everyone – this is the date when Codemasters will finally unveil their latest racing game project. Surprisingly however, it doesn't look like it will be the long-awaited DiRT 4, but a Grid sequel.
Of course, that's not to say DiRT 4 isn't coming at some stage – it's not a matter of if, but when. We've certainly been given enough hints indicating it's in development over the past few months.
But a teaser trailer pointing to next week's announcement strongly hints at a sequel to last year's Grid 2, leaving us with the telltale Grid emblem and the tagline "Racing is coming."
While you could argue there is more demand for a DiRT sequel as Grid 2 was something of a disappointment for some thanks to its arcade handling, lack of circuit tracks and cockpit camera. It makes you wonder what direction the series will head in next, although it does seem a little soon to be hearing about Grid 3 already. However, there have been signs that Codemasters have been working on a possible TOCA reboot, or a Grid spin-off featuring touring cars, which seems more plausible. Grid: Race Driver, anyone?
Indeed, there's certainly enough fan demand for a TOCA reboot, which Codemasters has been acknowledging as of late. Numerous Tweets and FaceBook posts from Codemasters have been reminiscing the old TOCA games, but perhaps the biggest hint that we could be seeing a return to TOCA was the recent revelation that BTCC champion Matt Neil has been helping Codemasters tuning tracks and cars for the unannounced game. The engine sound that opens the teaser trailer also happens to sound distinctly like a touring car. Hmm…
It's certainly a busy period for Codemasters at the moment – not only do we have this mystery Grid game and DiRT 4 to look forward to, but it's also a given we will see F1 2014 debut on next-gen platforms later this year. Whether or not we will see all three games released this year remains to be seen.
Whatever happens, next week's announcement should be a significant event for racing game fans and long-time Codemasters fans. It's probably safe to assume the mystery project will be on next-gen platforms, so we could even see the return of cockpit cameras, heaven forbid.