Dirt Rally is now out on the PS4, and Xbox One. Still fantastic, still amazing, redundancy is a must so that you don't cut! Dirt Rally never cuts.
Dirt Rally is one of those games you rarely see. It's a realistic simulation of driving, but is also pure fun. While I'm not saying I can't drive, I can't drive. But am still having a ton of fun. As Dirt Rally is now out on Xbox One and PS4, I thought it would be a good time to dive into what makes it so great.
Dirt Rally brings back the core of what made Dirt so good; the act of driving through the dirt as fast as possible (sometimes roads too). Dirt Rally combines that with Richard Burns Rally, and Colin McRae Rally to bring the fun of the Colin McRae DiRT (later just DiRT) series, with the realism of the aforementioned rally sims. It captures the feel of rallying, or what I imagine it to be -- a haze of trees, rocks, grass, crests, corners, and a bunch of other objects flying past, or at, your windows.
By the way Paul Coleman (Chief Game Designer) describes Dirt Rally, being an actual co-driver and the voice of the English co-driver, I think I may be on the right track.
I asked him how he would describe Dirt Rally in 4 words. Here's what he said:
I'm pretty sure everything is fine.
...are words uttered by the greatest driver to take a seat in a car, Colin McRae. If you are wondering why I mention that, look at the image above. I was in doubt, and I applied the brakes -- locking my wheels up so I could no longer steer. Hit the bank and had a little inverted flight.
I also mention the quote because I wanted to make sure everyone knows that I care. I'm not just some guy who talks about a game, I love cars and the WRC inparticular. Let's just a take a second to remember McRae, before I fully dive into the dirt.
I always wondered what it sounded like in a rally car. Was it just the pure chaos the TV made it seem like? Dirty Rally is cacophony of sound from everything in the car, the engine, the co-driver, gears changing, turbo kicking in, dirt, branches, and rocks hitting the car, then of course the sound of spectators bellowing and hooting as you fly past them.
But as it turns out, you can tune all of that out and listen to what needs to be listened to at the right time. I say you can -- not that it did me much good. The audio team did a fine job on Dirt Rally, a favorite of mine being the spit of fire from the exhaust as the gasses get so hot they self ignite.
I assume you want the long answer, so here it is. Dirt Rally has authenticity written all over it. While at first it may feel like the steering and braking is floaty, cars do tend to not want to turn or slow when going fast. Dirt Rally does driving in games right. It's not just an excellent physics simulation, it changes some smaller details to allow it to feel like a perfect simulation.
This is not a criticism -- there are some allowances to be made when not actually in a car. When you can't feel the break, gas, or clutch pedals vibrate, you can't feel what you are driving over through you seat, and no matter how good a racing wheel you have, it cannot fully replicate a real one. Tiny details like suspension travel, or full brake lockup -- and a few more things -- are not quite right, and they don't need to be. If it all feels right, then it is right, and that's how Dirt Rally feels.
The Career mode is simple: compete in a few rallies. Each time you complete one you earn money. The longer and harder the event, the more money you earn. The higher up you place, the more money you earn. Use that money to buy new cars, and keep going. If you just want to drive all of the cars, jump into a custom session, set it up how you want and drive.
If you want to participate in a challenge against the community, there are daily, weekly, and monthly challenges to compete in. If you win any of them, you get...well I don't know, because I never win. I feel like the beginning of the 2016 season for Jari-Matti Latvala, nothing ever works -- even if it does work, I don't have nearly the skill as Jari-Matti does.
While it's called Dirt Rally, rallying isn't the only thing you can do. If you want to take on the legendary Pikes Peak Hillclimb (either tarmac, or now classic dirt version) grab your finger and hit the start button, and enjoy. It's 20km of pure driving heaven -- literally heaven, as the race climbs for 1,440m (4,720ft), to reach a height of 4,300m (14,110ft) at the peak of the mountain. See the image to the right (click for full size).
If you want to drive a 600bhp monster, you can take part in a Rallycross event. Just remember there will be other cars next to you, forever. Otherwise, you can always grab a Mini from the Super 1600s and drive slower, but with less chance of being out of control. Rallycross is where being sideways is a must, and having fun is everything. Just remember, take the joker lap early if not many take it. A clearer track is easier to drive faster on. Just stay near everyone, and you will be fine.
I parked it there on purpose. Promise!
I don't think I've seen a Rally game which has had a near perfect run like Dirt Rally, from how the pacenotes are called out, to being less intense the slower you go -- all the way through to how the nice game is to control. The team at Codemasters has really done a fine job. It doesn't matter if you have an Xbox One, PS4, or PC, they all run amazingly -- with the consoles having a very stable 1080p60 with amazing detail. A must buy for any fan of sim racing games. Dirt Rally is pure rally simulation at it's best.