This month in Q5, we find out which games make Steven Brand, associate creative director on GRID Legends at Codemasters/EA, tick.

What’s the first game that you remember playing?
I was lucky enough to receive an Atari 2600 one year for Christmas with a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark to play… and I have to say it’s probably still one of the most obscure games I’ve ever played! I think the memory of this game sticks with me more than any other at that time as it was the first game that I’d played that wasn’t just a question of timing jumps, dodging enemies etc.

What was the last game that you finished?
Halo Infinite (campaign) – loved it! I spent many years at Rare (ultimately working for Microsoft) and have fond memories of being around for early Halo launches. There’s something ultimately satisfying about the core mechanics of Halo and the team has knocked it out of the park with Infinite.

Halo

What’s your favourite video game/series of all time?
Elite. This changed everything for me as a child. The sense of adventure and exploration was like nothing else that had come before, and it was the first time I felt I could lose myself in a game experience.

What do you think is the most underrated video game of all time?
I’m going to say a game I’ve worked on, and I think that Viva Piñata is up there. Under the cute presentation is a deep and complex experience where players must essentially attract and ultimately sacrifice piñata that make it into their garden for their own gain. Our focus at the time at Rare was to bring broader content to the Xbox. It’s great that it’s now on GamePass, so hopefully more people are enjoying what I feel is a proper gem of game.

What’s the game that you most wish you’d worked on?
The Project Gotham Racing series is one that immediately springs to mind (as I’ve now fulfilled my other goal of working on GRID…) Oh, and Elite, of course!

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