We’ve had the latest news on Project Cars 3, but what of Codemasters’ other high-profile racing game due out this year, Dirt 5?
We’ve had a massive update on how the new career mode is going to play out and they seem to be following on and expanding from the story-driven career mode they first introduced with Race Driver.
The way it’s described leads me to think it’s going to have cut-scenes of some sort, which is ok, as long as it adds something to the game. What they need to avoid, though, is having it turn into a cringe-fest like the cheesy story we saw back in the Need for Speed reboot.
What’s The Story?
“The player is dropped into a world-renowned off-road racing series that delivers constant extreme action, continent to continent, in all manner of amplified events. As you begin to get your feet wet and make a buzz in the racing scene, you catch the eye of Alex Janièek – better known as AJ, voiced by the legendary Troy Baker. An undisputed superstar and fan favourite in the world of DIRT, AJ quickly takes you under his wing, showing you what it takes to rise to the top of the sport he has dominated for years.
You’re not the only new racer making a splash, though. Enter Bruno Durand – the ultra-competitive, cold, calculated veteran, voiced by none other than Nolan North. A champion in other off-road disciplines, Bruno’s talent and star power mean a clash with AJ is inevitable, but the fallout from an epic race between these two icons lays the foundation for you to create your own legacy in the sport.
All of this comes together for a deep, narrative-driven mode that sees you rise from obscurity to infamy in an amplified racing world. Well, only if you’ve got what it takes…”
The career mode comprises of over 130 events, set across nine different race types. You can pick and choose your own career path to make progress through the five chapters, or completionists can complete every event if they wish.
Performing well in events earns you stamps, and the more stamps you earn, the quicker you can progress to the higher tiers of competition.
Where Dirt 5 comes into its own, though, and the subject of this article, is split-screen co-operative play.
Every event, if it’s made for multiple participants, can have some of the AI drivers replaced with your friends in drop-in split-screen gaming for up to four players. Playing as a team, the highest placed driver from your team will determine your overall reward, which is actually a brilliant idea. While I frown upon taking out other drivers online, offline play is fair game. Someone on the heels of your lead driver? Have one of your friends smash them off the circuit!
Considering how overlooked local co-op is these days, it’s great to see Dirt 5 not only including it, but taking the formula and revolutionising it. Many games add co-op racing as a single or custom event setup, or one that operates independently of the main career. Being able to make meaningful progress whilst playing with your friends could make this the perfect social-racer (Once social distancing laws permit it, of course). Not only is it more fun to play this way, but it’s also beneficial.
(All co-op drivers earn XP and currency rewards, although only the host driver earns the stamps and career progression.)
There is no word yet on if a similar method can be used for online play, with one player acting as host and recruiting their online friends to help them. With the framework in place, though, it would be highly unlikely they wouldn’t implement it. We have reached out to Codemasters for confirmation and will update accordingly.
And yes, I know Rally fans are champing at the bit for Dirt Rally 3.0 news, and so am I. Especially since Codemasters have been awarded the WRC license from 2023. Whether they will bring out another Dirt Rally game in between this time has yet to be revealed, but we’ll let you know as soon as we have any concrete evidence.
DIRT 5 launches from October for Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam, and for Google Stadia in early 2021.
Follow @dirtgame on Twitter and Instagram for news and general DiRT debauchery, use #DIRT to give us your thoughts, and talk to the team in the official DIRT 5 Discord server.