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DiRT Rally

Developers / Publishers: CodemastersFeral Interactive
07 December 2015
DiRT Rally - cover art
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3.55 / 5.0
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238 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#1,117 All-time
#40 for 2015
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I really enjoy racing games and rally is definitely one of my favourite racing types. Not only do you get some good scenery, you get lots of winding tracks and a great mix of elevation and surface types. Since you are racing against times, you only have yourself to blame, rather than putting up with other drivers ploughing into you (or having the ability to cheat and ploughing into them).

Many modern racing games are quite lenient with the difficulty, allowing you to rewind time when you make a mistake. Dirt Rally doesn't have that feature, and given the difficulty of keeping your wheels on the ground, people have sometimes called it the “Dark Souls” of racing games.

The car is pretty bouncy and flips easy. It's often a good idea to try and drive safely given you want to minimise damage to give you the best car performance, and to avoid penalties. You can often reset your car for a 15 second penalty. Careening down some embankments is instant fail which is annoying, yet others let you reset. I hated this inconsistency. If you let your car fully go down the embankment, surely there's a good chance you would roll and crash into a tree which would ruin your car. But being able to reset your car as soon as you go off the embankment means you avoid the damage and just suffer the penalty. I didn't understand why sometimes it would just tell you your car is unrecoverable. The game should choose to be realistic, or a game, and not both.

Similar things could be said about the physics when rolling. I found that 90% of the time, you magically flipped back on your wheels. Rarely did I find myself completely flipped upside-down or on the side.

In the rally mode, your co-driver reads out the pace notes. The level of detail is informative, so it helps to listen to him. He may simply say “hairpin left” or more descriptive lines like “right 3 long, tightens to 2, rocks on exit”. So then you know to turn right, use the brakes more, then avoid the side of the road, otherwise risk of ploughing into a rock. There were only a few corners where I think he could have added the “deceptive” descriptor, or gave you the instructions slightly earlier. You can change the overall delivery in the options to give you the notes early or later than the standard setting.

I liked using the cockpit camera which gives you a more restricted view. It can be restricted depending on the car because some have smaller windscreens, or extra pillars to support the vehicle. Taking damage often cracks the windscreen which then also obscures your view.

The races can take place at night, so it helps if you keep your headlights working. Lights are often the first things to break when crash which puts you at a major disadvantage on night races. There's also rain which obscures your view and also affects the handling of your car. The rain looks great, and it was nice to see the windscreen wipers in action.

The menu music is bland, and I soon turned it off because it grew old really quick. The race sound effects were good, and I liked the sound of pebbles flicking against your car, or the creaking of your car as it struggles to navigate the corner.

I found it quite annoying to play Custom Events. You are taken back to the menu, and it doesn't remember your last car selection, the mode you selected (race against AI or Personal Time), or country you raced in. I was working through the tracks in order to try and beat all the times, and this was very cumbersome. It does remember the last track and weather condition you selected (once you choose the country).

The countries are as follows:
Wales – wet woods and countryside, mud roads with very bad camber.
Greece – scenic, dry, rocky mountains with many steep inclines. Some roads are very thin, so great care is needed.
Germany – many fast, flat roads
Sweden – snowy roads, with lots of snow walls
Finland – scenic woods with plenty of crests, bumps, and jumps
Monaco – snowy winding roads in the mountains. Many icy roads, and perilous cliffs.

There's a great selection of cars, from retro cars from the 60's, 70's and 80's, to the modern, super rally cars. Some are rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, and more commonly in the modern cars; 4 wheel drive. These have a different feel to them.

In the main Rally career mode, you race through many tracks each of the countries, and if you end up in the top 3, you are promoted to the next difficulty level. You can repair your car every 2 races. With your race winnings, you can purchase new cars, or hire better crew members to give you better repairs.

Rallycross sees you racing on small circuits. I found this very difficult, and since you have to race the same track repeatedly before moving on; it grew old fast.

Hillclimb sees you racing up Pikes Peak. You do the same track twice, and your best time is counted. You don't have a co-driver reading out pace notes, although this would have been a great help.

There's an online mode which part of it sees you racing against other people's times in Daily/Weekly events. I didn't spend long in this mode since the main Career mode was hugely time-consuming.

Although I know Dirt Rally has its flaws in its inconsistent approach to difficulty, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it, and I happily played it for 36 hours before reviewing. I'll definitely return to it at some point in the future.
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Catalog

paillou DiRT Rally 2024-06-14T15:13:02Z
2024-06-14T15:13:02Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ernumpo Dirt Rally 2024-05-25T11:39:13Z
Windows / Linux/Unix
2024-05-25T11:39:13Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ZacharyK DiRT Rally 2024-05-12T16:36:14Z
2024-05-12T16:36:14Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
orchidcnr Dirt Rally 2024-04-19T13:24:53Z
Windows / Linux/Unix
2024-04-19T13:24:53Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
citrus3 DiRT Rally 2024-04-09T02:01:19Z
2024-04-09T02:01:19Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Purgenta DiRT Rally 2024-04-02T19:53:49Z
2024-04-02T19:53:49Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CaptainPlasma Dirt Rally 2024-03-25T14:49:46Z
Windows / Linux/Unix
2024-03-25T14:49:46Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
polaroid_android DiRT Rally 2024-03-15T19:53:32Z
2024-03-15T19:53:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kluwenblauw DiRT Rally 2024-03-15T08:05:56Z
2024-03-15T08:05:56Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten DiRT Rally 2024-03-11T04:35:08Z
2024-03-11T04:35:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bobos808 Dirt Rally 2024-02-11T10:39:06Z
Windows / Linux/Unix
2024-02-11T10:39:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TheKarmaPoIice Dirt Rally 2024-02-01T04:28:40Z
Windows / Linux/Unix
2024-02-01T04:28:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Multiplayer modes
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  • ... 2017-09-21 02:55:33.031735+00
    Lacking content but, Holy Moses! Codemasters still got it!
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  • szo 2021-01-11 10:10:00.368666+00
    This really grew on me once I started taking it seriously and competitively. Really exhilerating to try to keep a good performance for like 4 minutes. Very authentic experience and really nice scenery. This game rules.
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  • townandcountry 2021-08-09 08:24:09.468958+00
    Favorite car physics ever. Pure fun.
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