Dirt Rally Review (Early Access PC)
Dirt Rally, from Codemasters, is an early-access Steam game that returns to an authentic and dangerous off-road racing experience. Currently, the game has four massive environments and 38 challenging stages. You can drive them during the day or night, along with different weather conditions, such as dry, overcast, sunny, misty, wet, rainy and snowy. Dirt Rally also currently has 20 cars you can drive, from old to new, each which handle and drive differently. Codemasters plans on releasing more cars and tracks as the game develops.
Dirt Rally also features a few different types of events for players to participate in, such as Rally Championships, Rally Async and custom Rally Events. The game also features a great team management system where you can hire up to four engineering staff to work on your vehicle between stages. The car upgrade system is also a great feature where your engineers will become more familiar with your cars the more you drive them and will research upgrades that will unlock the full potential of the car.
The gameplay and physics in Dirt Rally are amazing. The game is a straight-forward simulation style drift racing game. There are no over-the-top stunts or bonus points for long drifts. Codemasters has done a great job so far of creating an emotionally-charged game. You feel the intensity of every sharp corner as you hug the edge of the turn and do everything you can to keep the car from falling off the cliff while tearing through the track as fast as you can. Every car has a different feel to it and each car can take some time getting used to. The controls in the game feel very realistic and fluid. I used an Xbox 360 controller for the most part while playing and it worked very well. This is one of the few racing games out that has made me want to go out and buy a racing wheel for my PC.
The graphics in Dirt Rally are gorgeous. Everything from the cars to the environment have amazing details which will likely only get better as the game progresses towards final release state. The sounds of the game are also great. You can hear everything from the gravel hitting your car to your brakes grinding when you hit them too hard. The graphics and sound combined are some of the most impressive I have ever seen in a racing game.
Overall, Dirt Rally is one of the best racing games I have ever played, even though it is in the early-access stage. If you enjoy arcade style racing games, this game may not be for you. If you enjoy realistic, simulation style racers, this game is definitely for you. It takes a while to get used to the handling of the cars, as one little mistake can send your car spinning. Once you are used to it, it feels amazing when you hug each corner and improve your times each race. I am really looking forward to seeing what more Codemasters can do to improve Dirt Rally.