Review: DiRT Rally
I'm the best driver in the wo...oh nevermind, restart
My track record when it comes to driving games isn't that great. I bought Project CARS for £60, played it for ten minutes and never touched it again. Found the graphics to be awful and the learning curve too steep. I then bought Driveclub and although I enjoyed it at the start I quickly got tired of that, too. The arcade fluff became too much after a while.
So when DiRT was released for the PS4 I wasn't really paying attention until I happened upon a gameplay video on YouTube, and memories came flashing back from sitting in arcade halls as a kid playing Sega Rally. Immediately bought it and I have to say I'm really enjoying it so far.
The format is pretty standard: you start with a budget, buy a cheap car and then enter a competition. There wasn't really a competition tutorial, so the fact that you can only do repairs after every two races came as a surprise (I don't know anything about rally). The other thing about competitions - and this is a huge oversight in my opinion - is that you can't actually see details about the next leg...so I have no way of knowing what car I should enter. I don't know if it's gravel, snow, tarmac, etc, until I enter a car. Not good!
Other than that the gameplay is great, but most importantly it's unforgiving. One tiny bump against a stone on the side of the road and your entire race is compromised, and if you happen to do more substantial damage - which is very easy to do - you are royally screwed. Lucky enough there is a 'restart race' option that has become very popular in my household.
The 60fps frame rate took a while to get used to, only because I've mostly played Driveclub lately and that chugs along at 30fps. Needless to say the feel is completely different at 60fps, even though some graphical compromises have been made in DiRT (some low-res textures here and there).
Overall I'm a satisfied rally driver. The relatively low pace of rally (compared to bolting through a Driveclub track in a LaFerrari) suits my playing style, and there is a slight RPG-style element to building your team and hiring mechanics.