DiRT Rally 2.0 harks back to the similar naming convention of the Colin McRae Rally game back on the PlayStation 1 almost 20 years ago. The naming convention isn’t the only thing that the developers Codemasters have decided to revisit. It takes out all of the features most modern-day racers have added to make it easier and user friendly, so was it a good decision?
Rally racing is possibly the most difficult racing profession in my opinion. The sheer diversity and unpredictability of the terrain and weather can add additional layers of difficulty to a normally straight-forward track. Now add a realistic damage model which can cause almost every part of your car degrade in a multitude of ways.
Challenging would be an understatement. You can wave goodbye to a racing line and there is no rewind, you are even limited to five restarts, so you better use them wisely and trust me, you will use them! Try racing at night without headlights, it is near impossible to get a good time and get through the stage without crashing for falling off a cliff edge. So, does it take away the fun factor? In a way, yes it does. I found myself getting very frustrated with the game, with less time on my hands these days, I have limited hours to dedicate to a game, so after racing on a 7 mile track for almost ten minutes to mis-judge a hairpin turn that has no barrier or a rock that sends you flipping in the air that not only makes you loses valuable seconds on the clock, but damages your car for the remainder of the race is soul-destroying to a degree.
However, this does not mean it is a bad game, or a bad decision to be so simulation orientated. Each race is intense and you drive like your car is worth a million dollars. You will pay attention like you do in real life driving and your knuckles will be white and the controller dripping with sweat by the end of every rally event. The game is astounding and truly made for the hardcore racers.
Fear not casuals, as there are some easier portions that personally I found easier. The Rally Cross events are based on smaller tracks and much easier to grasp and have less hazards. Though repetitive, they allow you to get comfortable with the car and the stage to really push yourself to get quicker times. There are also time trial events and my favourite ‘Historic’ mode in the ‘Freeplay’, which is similar to the career mode, but lets you use cars from the 80’s through to the present-day vehicles.
Visually the game looks good, nothing mind-blowing, but definitely up there, I imagine some of the visuals were sacrificed with the additional damage modelling. Stages vary massively, from all kinds of terrain to all kinds of weather as well as day and night races. DiRT Rally 2.0 pretty much has it all.
Controls are fantastic, you can get a good feel of your car and the handbrake turning is so satisfying when you figure out how it works effectively. Another improvement is the simplified rally notations spoken to you by you co driver. A lot less cryptic than ever and will let you instantly know what turns you can accelerate through and when you will need to avoid cutting a corner or initialising the handbrake.
The online features involve Daily and Weekly Challenges, these usually consist of time trials with certain cars in certain scenarios. They are good to let you know where you stand against the worldwide player base, but nothing to write home about.
DiRT Rally 2.0 is a superbly polished game with brilliant gameplay, great visuals and a lot of content. It is not for the feint-hearted and perfect for those looking for a challenge.
- Replay Value