Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Xbox One
Distributor: Apex Interactive
Release Date: 5 April 2016
The racing genre is extremely overcrowded. When it comes time to find something decent, you tend to have to work your way through the piles of lacklustre titles to find anything decent. Dirt Rally is one of those games that should be at the top of the pile as it’s a decent racer in all aspects. It has a solid career mode, great car variety, pretty solid racing mechanics and an overall satisfying experience.
From the start of the game you are thrown right into the deep-end. Dirt Rally is hard and relentless, there is no rewind button. Every scratch and dent you make while racing you pay for and feel throughout the race as your car’s condition degrades your racing experience. The game makes you feel like a pro rally racer and Codemasters really went all out by making it one of the most hardcore racing games on the market. We loved the sheer difficulty of the game and it taught us to be better racers all-round.
While it is a tough game, the career mode is balanced so that you not only learn by failing, but you feel like all the losses and expenses occurred during a race are worth it. Sure we crashed off a cliff a dozen times but the early races have that extra time for those crashes. The learning curve is also a major addition to the game as at first we were extremely cautious and slow, and as we went further into the campaign we started to better understand what we were up against in races. Every time you crashed you had a time penalty added, which could cost you the race.
Once we got the hang of the game we felt more comfortable taking sharp turns and skidding across the gravel. It all came naturally as we got used to the terrain and our car’s capabilities. Controls and overall racing is great and fluid at all times. The Xbox One’s haptic feedback made for a great racing experience in all our fingers. The game felt great using a controller whereas many racing titles kind of push for a racing wheel.
Dirt Rally also looks fantastic, the sound design is on point and the environments and tracks are beautifully designed. Cars are well detailed with dents and scratches all impacting the design of the model in the race. When you dive into mud it kicks up beautifully and leaves your car in a filthy state. Every stone that hits the car sounds fantastic, that together with the great exhaust and engine sounds, really immerses you in the race. With 40 cars to unlock throughout the game ranging from classics from the 1960s, all the way up to the modern-day monster machines, there is plenty of variety here which will keep you grinding for quite some time.
Dirt Rally is the racer that we have been waiting for. Its solid campaign, detailed environments and cars are elements that have been lacking in racers for some time now. Normally we have the great looking racer which lacks everything else, but Dirt Rally combines it all into a solid game. Sure it’s tough and unforgiving, but it not only taught us to be better at the game, but it taught us to be better at racing games in general.