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Posted March 3, 2016 by Adam Ghiggino in Feature
 
 

DiRT Rally – Console Preview


DiRT Rally has already made a pretty big splash on PC, via Steam’s Early Access program, but it’s the console release that should really be getting rally fans revving up their engines. From Codemasters, the developers of the DiRT series and the original rally classic, Colin McRae Rally. I’m far from an expert on the Rally genre, but having sat down and played through a little of DiRT Rally, I can definitely see the appeal.

Don’t get me wrong, I ran my car off the road more times than I cared to count; off cliffs, into trees and anywhere else I could find. However, the uncompromising challenge that DiRT Rally offers is the entire point of the game. It’s as much of a simulation of the rally experience as a game can be, with a handling model that seeks to replicate the changing surfaces of a real track as realistically as possible, even modeling the way loose surfaces can collect under the tires while sliding. It forces you to keep your complete attention on the road, and to the directions you receive over the radio and on-screen.

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To the untrained newbie, these directions can seem like code – you’ll understand ‘left’ and ‘right’ and so forth, but over time (and with the help of new tutorial videos included in the console versions), you get used to taking advantage of these directions to navigate upcoming turns, ramps and obstacles.

The game looks great and runs surprisingly well given it’s running off an older version of the EGO engine Codemasters developed – 3.0 rather than the latest 4.0 version. This is the same engine that ran Grid 2 a few years ago, but it still comes up really well on the PlayStation 4. The most impressive part is the level detail inside each rally car, with interiors modeled closely on the originals.

The main championship mode starts you off with a small amount of credits and the ability to buy a car from a number of decades of racing to start you off. With the money on offer, you’ll only be able to afford a robust 70’s vehicle but there’s over 40 rally cars on offer up until present-day models. You’re also able to spend credits on hiring staff for your rally crew, in an RPG-like system. You can hire specific workers on under contract periods for a certain number of races, and each comes with their own stats and skills in repairing different parts of your cars. If you’re as loose with your steering as me, then you’ll definitely need as many repairmen as possible. Crew members can also gain perks the longer you have them on the payroll.

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There are six rallies on offer, with over 70 stages to get to know each and every turn. Wales, Greece, Sweden, Pikes Peak and Finland are all included. In addition to the main championship mode there are also multiplayer Rallycross and Uphill Battle modes to tackle, although I didn’t get far along enough in the game to unlock these.

The console release of DiRT Rally also brings with it a few new treats. Seven extra cars have made the release, including the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak, Renault 5 Turbo, Renault Alpine A110, Opel Corsa Super 1600, Peugeot 207 S1600, Renault Clio S1600 and Mini Classic Rallycross. Two new series, the New Classic Mini and Super 1600 will allow players to access rallycross racing from the start of the game, and players will also be able to drive the full gravel surface at Pikes Peak for the first time. The series’ origins with Colin McRae will also be honoured with three of his iconic liveries also available in the game.

DiRT Rally has made an impression on PC, but the console release looks to add even more to the experience. It’s definitely one for the simulation fans out there looking to test their skills, and they’ll be able to see what they’re made of come the game’s release


Adam Ghiggino

 
Owner, Executive Editor of Rocket Chainsaw. I also edit TV, films and make average pancakes.


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