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OS Scores Explained DiRT Rally Overview (PS4)
Pros
Realistic car physics, Intuitive controls, Detailed, living environments.
Cons
Controls can be hard to master, Lacks content, Frustration may turn off casual fan.
Bottom Line
Not a game for those wanting to master it from the get go, the payoff is well worth the effort put into DiRT Rally.
8.5
out of 10
DiRT Rally REVIEW

DiRT Rally Review (PS4)

Although many consider the racing genre to be a niche genre in the video game industry, it definitely has produced some incredible titles over the years. If you take that mindset one step further, then rally racing would be considered the ultimate niche sport. While not nearly as popular as some of the other circuit racers like F1 and NASCAR, rally racing’s fan base is smaller but definitely not any less loyal or supportive.

Codemasters, the developers of Dirt Rally, have often been described as a champion of dirt racing with its previous Dirt titles, and seems to have created something special again with Dirt Rally. While it may not overtake 1998’s Colin McRae Rally for some, it just might for others.

Gameplay

If you are familiar with Codemasters’ previous Dirt titles, then the overall gameplay will feel familiar, but do not mistake that for easy. Each track environment offers a different set of challenges, and some layouts will absolutely make you want to put the controller down and take up crocheting. Unlike your standard racing titles, Dirt Rally throws so much at the user that the thought of turning a perfect lap is ridiculous. Dirt Rally almost promotes the idea of simply doing your best and seeing where that leads. Some will complain the controls are too twitchy and make it almost impossible to control, but that’s the point.

Dirt Rally uses changing undulation, multiple forms of weather, water, tight environments and limits the ability to cheat the course by severely penalizing you for trying to cut corners -- whether by obstacles, vehicular damage, time warnings or penalties. And if the thought of that doesn’t scare you, your only form of course navigation is through your own eyes, and your co-driver yelling out directions at you, as you will find no track map at the bottom of your screen.

"Dirt Rally challenges you in ways I truly never thought a racing game could..."

While it may sound like I am being critical of the game and its controls, it’s quite the opposite. Dirt Rally challenges you in ways I truly never thought a racing game could, no matter what the genre. In order to enjoy it though, you must force yourself to remove any previous racing experiences prior to this game and just embrace the chaotic frustration you most certainly will endure. How is that for a ringing endorsement of a title?

Presentation

While Dirt Rally does provide licensed content, don’t get overly excited about the overall presentation. Other than some nicely done splash screens and easy to navigate menus, there isn’t much else in regards to the overall presentation. Even when you enter career mode, everything is rather basic. You'll get updates like the standings from stage-to-stage, access to overall standings, current vehicle status and the ability to buy new vehicles.

I won’t go so far as to say that the lack of presentation takes away from the game, but it definitely doesn’t add to it. In fact, for the most part, the game seems to promote the overall gritty feeling that most of these tracks and courses provide. The grit seems to permeate the overall vibe of the entire game.

Online

Dirt Rally does fall a bit short in providing a lot of different content, but the online options are decent. One can choose to simply stage race against another real-life challenger’s times, or race person versus person. If you’re looking for a more structured setup, well Codemasters has you covered in the form of online league options and the ability to set up your own.

Although the servers were a bit on the thin side in terms of population at the time of this review, there were zero issues when trying to connect or staying connected. If lag is a worry you have about Dirt Rally, then I can at least tell you I had zero problems in this department, and the game ran as smooth as offline.

Final Thoughts

For all the frustration and angst that Dirt Rally provides, the payoff is well worth it. The more time spent with the title, the more you get out of it. If you are expecting a game that you can master from the beginning, please look elsewhere. If you are looking for a bunch of oval circuits, please do not apply. If you are looking for incredibly detailed and difficult environments that will test every ability you have with a controller (or wheel), then do yourself a huge favor and find a place in your rotation for this gem from Codemasters.

Score: 8.5 (Great)


DiRT Rally Videos
Member Comments
# 1 Kevin82485 @ 04/07/16 01:27 PM
I played it during the early access on Steam and picked it up again after its full release. It's a deep game, great looking too, but the difficulty to crushing and unforgiving.
 
# 2 zephyr22 @ 04/08/16 03:50 AM
Best rally game I've ever played, and that includes Richard Burns Rally.
Kudos to Codemasters for releasing a game in this day and age that's challenging and rewarding.

As with any good driving game a decent wheel improves the experience ten-fold, and that's the case here.
I couldn't imagine playing this without a wheel.

Oh, and it doesn't half look pretty too.

9 from me.
 
# 3 poulka @ 04/08/16 05:09 AM
Keep the comments coming on this review because each one I hear. It makes me want this more and more. Wanted forward but think I will get this instead.
 
# 4 stocksy @ 04/08/16 07:56 AM
A few things I would add to this review which might swing it for some...

Not only does it include standard rally events it's also includes Rally cross and hill climb and whilst that is a stripped back roster of event from the previous dirt outings it's nice to see More than just Straight pure rally events.

I have always found the inclusion of Rally Cross a massive bonus for rally games as it gives head to head racing and overtaking to master a skill set usually not needed.

Whilst they clearly need to add more tracks and cars to the rally cross section I was shocked and pleased
To see my local (5 min walk from my old house) rally cross track included.

There are only 3 different rally cross locations as standard.

This game is brutally punishing... I've only had a few races and it looks gorgeous, sounds gorgeous and plays well... No regrets buying it but I suspect I won't win race for months!

On the three Rally games on the ps4 this wins by miles..... But content wise it's stripped back from its cousins on the PS3.... Which I think everyone will agree is disappointing



Also on the review....


It's also worth noting that in Europe Rally racing is much bigger than NASCAR and isn't really seem as a niche Motorsport.

You will find it much easier to find a Rally fan in the UK for example than a NASCAR fan.
 
# 5 fearwhatnow @ 04/08/16 11:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stocksy
A few things I would add to this review which might swing it for some...

Not only does it include standard rally events it's also includes Rally cross and hill climb and whilst that is a stripped back roster of event from the previous dirt outings it's nice to see More than just Straight pure rally events.

I have always found the inclusion of Rally Cross a massive bonus for rally games as it gives head to head racing and overtaking to master a skill set usually not needed.

Whilst they clearly need to add more tracks and cars to the rally cross section I was shocked and pleased
To see my local (5 min walk from my old house) rally cross track included.

There are only 3 different rally cross locations as standard.

This game is brutally punishing... I've only had a few races and it looks gorgeous, sounds gorgeous and plays well... No regrets buying it but I suspect I won't win race for months!

On the three Rally games on the ps4 this wins by miles..... But content wise it's stripped back from its cousins on the PS3.... Which I think everyone will agree is disappointing



Also on the review....


It's also worth noting that in Europe Rally racing is much bigger than NASCAR and isn't really seem as a niche Motorsport.

You will find it much easier to find a Rally fan in the UK for example than a NASCAR fan.
Rally is indeed very popular here in Europe. Also NASCAR is largely underrated here and many jokes have been created about it because of the (mostly) oval racing.
The fact is that Rally combines driving skills, dangerous driving and exotic places. The negative is the "ghost" timed racing and maybe that's why the motorsport is not popular in US.
 
# 6 Dazraz @ 04/08/16 11:35 AM
This is a great game & is indeed one of the most challenging race simulations ever made. My only annoyance is that when racing against the AI in standard Rally mode you don't really get the sense that the timings are being generated in any sort of a realistic manner. It's basically a case of the 1st placed driver setting a very tough to beat time which is considerably faster than the 2nd place driver. I don't recall racing a stage in which I didn't finish in the top 2 myself, whereby the top 2 AI finishing times were remotely close.
 
# 7 Ac3way @ 04/08/16 02:19 PM
I am from Europe and i don't understand NASCAR at all. I am not dissing that, but i just dont understand that.

Rally i love and i prefer that more than racing on track. Dirt Rally is best rally game there is (even better than modded Richard Burns Rally), but it have some things that can get even better for future.

Best thing about Dirt Rally, is the legendary Rally feeling. Physics and some game elements can get even better with furhter development for Dirt Rally 2.
 
# 8 temaat89 @ 04/08/16 02:46 PM
Is there a demo available?
 
# 9 bluengold34_OS @ 04/08/16 06:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by temaat89
Is there a demo available?
There is not -
 
# 10 JMD @ 04/09/16 06:26 AM
In career mode on easy rally cross races I am getting slaughtered. I have yet to qualify for a final. This game is indeed difficult, but great. After work today I'm going to get serious and see if I can get into the final. I need to win some cash so I can buy a car for the rally events.
 
# 11 RandyBass @ 04/10/16 05:19 PM
So did they bring back the mid stage repairs? I assume yes, but at the same time cannot find confirmation in the few places that I've looked, so I thought I'd ask here.

Having to decide what to repair as your car slowly decays is what make rally games rally games. Never understood why they took that strategic element out.

At any rate, if anyone has an answer I'd appreciate it.

Edit: Indeed you do deal with repairs. Found it on a youtube gameplay video.
 
# 12 jct32 @ 04/10/16 05:53 PM
Wow, this game looks great. I may have to pick it up on PC when it gets Oculus 1.3 support.
 
# 13 stocksy @ 04/11/16 04:30 AM
Yeah repairs are in and the tactical side of rally is VERY important in this game which to me is what separates it from most other driving games
 
# 14 Tomba @ 04/11/16 01:31 PM
i had this game since early access and with the update which put it in parity with the console releases they REALLY improved this game with a standard controller. before turning felt like turning on ice now? completely more fair and realistic to what you mind wants the controller to do as a wheel....
 
# 15 DickDalewood @ 04/11/16 06:28 PM
REALLY tempted to pick this up. I've never really dabbled with a rally racer before but the challenge sounds fun and the courses and cars look beautiful.
 
# 16 JMD @ 04/12/16 05:36 AM
Ok, so I was driving with stability and traction control on 5. I turned traction control off and stability down to 2 and i am in the race now. Won a couple usually in the top 5. You really have to hit your lines in the rally cross races. One bad lap and you're in trouble. Also Joker lane strategy is key.
 
# 17 piffbernd @ 04/12/16 07:45 AM
How is the driving with a gamepad ? I hate that games comes no more with reaĺly good Controller setting out of the box.
 
# 18 cfiore99 @ 04/12/16 11:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by piffbernd
How is the driving with a gamepad ? I hate that games comes no more with reaĺly good Controller setting out of the box.
My my opinion is it's great with the controller. Obviously probably better with a racing wheel.
 
# 19 Richzilla @ 04/12/16 07:03 PM
I'm using a game pad with this one on PS4.

Any setting recommendations out there anywhere ?
 
# 20 temaat89 @ 04/13/16 08:53 AM
This is the most I've enjoyed a rally game since Rallisport Challenge 2 on the original xbox
 

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