THE MOST REALISTIC RALLY GAME TO DATE
- Developer: Codemasters
- Publisher: Codemasters
- Genre: Racing
- Release Date: 26/02/2019
- Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Reviewed on: Xbox One X
- Game Supplied by: Codemasters
Codemasters are renowned for creating some of the best rally games on the market by trying to immerse the player in a game that captures the spirit of what rallying is all about. Dirt Rally 2.0 is the latest to hit the shops which combining the realistic and authentic feel of its predecessor but also bringing some features from the likes of Dirt 4.
From starting Dirt Rally up, you are presented with an easy on the eye tab menu system where all events can be selected from one place whether it relates to your your own Career Rally, Career RallyCross and all the community and AI events. During your career, you can earn plenty of money which does help to get those better cars with improved performance, but it also allows you to build your team members from the ground up by developing their skills which help in reducing damage times and cost, to the extensive details of the tuning setups which is a case of trial and error and will reflect on your driving style.
Freeplay allows you to compete in the official Rallycross championship or Historic rally which covers 4 events from classic rally right through to today’s modern rally cars. If that wasn’t enough you can race against the clock in time trials.
Finally, there is the custom championship, this for all purposes is multiplayer where you can create your own events using all the available locations, disciplines and cars (50 cars in total over 13 classes from H1 to RX Supercars) to create your own unique experience that can be shared with up to 8 friends or other players, but if you feel this is too much work you can simply search for an existing championship online.
Dirt Rally 2.0 lets you race on some of the most renowned rally locations from around the world with a total of six from places such as Australia, Spain to Poland just to name a couple. On top of this there are 8 more locations for the rallycross events giving a total of 14 locations overall which may not seem like a lot but each race you try will always vary depending on the car you choose, your tyre choice and the type of surface is on the stage, even weather effects come into consideration as an asphalt surface in the wet will cause your car to slide which will either help you get around some of those more difficult corners or will punt you off into a ditch.
Visually Dirt Rally 2.0 takes it to another level with some exquisite lighting effects during dusk stages or overcast rain-soaked tracks it feels that the environments are alive with great details on and off the stages. This can be seen in spectators, recovery vehicles or rocky outcrops to trees lining the road, it all adds up to a beautiful looking game.
One of the more negative points I would have to say about the game is the repetitive nature of your co-driver at the end of each stage. It does get a bit annoying after a while, but as for the rest of the audio in the game it provides an authentic touch with engine noise, tyre screeches and so on, but no more than when damage occurs on your car and all you hear is the grinding metal of your rims dragging along the ground as try to steer a 3 wheeled death trap.
With the looks and sounds aside it comes down to how Dirt Rally 2.0 plays and boy is it tough. There is a steep learning curve. The first couple of races I’ve done, I spent more time off the track than on it. If you got up a little bit of speed and end up hitting a bump it is so easy to roll your car or just bin it into a barrier. The key is the tuning of your car and using the shakedowns to familiarize yourself with the stages and learn to slide into the corners, this can be frustrating at first but after a short period it’s easy to get on top of handling and the stages became more enjoyable to race along, not to say, I still crashed a bit.
Even though the rally disciplines were decent, I got the most fun out of the game from playing the Rallycross modes which were fun, not just for the tight twisty tracks and your Joker laps (which can either win the race or lose the race for you), but it’s how ferociously the AI cars will swerve, block and if pushed will push back and ram you off the track if necessary to get ahead, and this was only on the medium difficulty setting. This provided a great racing experience that is very rarely seen except in multiplayer.
For me, Dirt Rally 2.0 is a great racing game, and even with a few minor flaws it may appeal to not just the fan base but anyone looking for a challenging and realistic racing experience, a definite thumbs up on this game.
This is the most realistic rally game I have played to date, but be warned; this isn’t a simple case of jumping into a rally car and chucking it around a couple of corners to the finish. Dirt Rally 2.0 will test your reactions and you will have to master tuning to get the best out of the game.
There is plenty on offer in the way of locations and car choice already, but there is plenty of replay value with the daily & weekly community events.