Have you ever thought to yourself, I really wish there was a driving version of Dark Souls……This is it!
Driving on a knife-edge. Certain death lurking around every corner. In every incident, the potential to lose all progress you’ve made in one brave instant.
This is DiRT Rally
The console release of DiRT Rally has been festooned with an array of new vehicles, including Sébastien Loeb’s legendary Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak, and several well-known rally cars.
The full garage on offer really is a tribute to rallying. The selections reach right back into the 60s and 70s with the likes of Lancia’s Stratos or the Mini Cooper S, and cover the power-house monsters such as Group B.
Prepare yourself to take on real-world courses set in Sweden, Greece, Monaco, Germany, and Finland, all of which come with all weathers, times of day, or at night (if you are completely off your head). You can also enjoy a selection of the officially licensed FIA World Rallycross tracks set in England, Sweden or Norway, plus three variants of the arse clenching Pikes Peak hillclimbs.
So, how does this handle? For starters, Codemasters has created a different physics model from previous titles, completely rebuilt from the ground up. Forget the Ken Block circus that has been the last couple of games. This is a simulation.
Authentic, unforgiving, and as true to the actual motor sport experience as one can get without a hydraulic simulator setup.
Codemasters new tire and surface models demand your respect as soon as you begin your rally. FWD and 4WD can be quickly adjusted to be more forgiving, but being brave with a RWD Escort or Renault is a sure set way with a date with the grim reaper. I have been playing it with “all assists off ” on a controller. However, Codemasters seem to have directed this game to feel as insane as the legendary Richard Burns Rally, and be warned, casuals: the ‘rewind’ feature of previous Dirt titles is no-more.
Knowing your rally chariot is crucial. Adjusting suspension or taking your crew chief input into account will help you no-end. It can be the stuff that helps seemingly minor corrections at high-speed that often snowball into you going completely out of control barrel roll. Expert tip: when your co-driver says “don’t cut”, listen to him.
It doesn’t matter if you’re screaming through sectors like a pro, or cartwheeling into an oblivion to finally come to rest in the ‘retry’ option, DiRT Rally never looks anything less than breathtaking and sounds amazing.
The atmospheric details are just as striking: engines roar like Godzilla, while the sound of stones smashing into your chassis delivers an incredible sense of connection to whatever surface you are on.
Oh, and that tone of fear you’re detecting from the co-driver? Completely real! According to Codemasters, they strapped a voice actor into a Stilo Helmet and put him on a live set to capture the authentic sound of pace notes.
Toss in a pretty sweet multiplayer mode and include career progression and adapting to the increased difficulty will be slow for many of you, and you should absolutely go out of your way to study the rally technique video tutorials included in the console release.
That said, the reward you’ll feel from working up from soul-destroying errors and slow ass Mini Coopers to consistent Pikes Peak Monsters is what makes Dark Rally… sorry, DiRT Rally, a completely new experience.