Dirt Rally: Not Your Average Racing Game


George Crowley

By George Crowley ’16, Tech Desk Editor

Dirt Rally, made by the game development studio Codemasters,  is an early access racing game released April 15th. The game focuses on rally racing such as Stage Rally or Rally Cross, which are more off-road focused than other classes such as F1 or NASCAR. Codemasters has a long history of producing rally racing games, but Dirt Rally is the first one they have released as an early access. What that means is that they release the game partially-completed for a lowered price in order to raise money to finish it. This may sound like a dubious investment for people buying early, but Codemasters has a detailed “roadmap” of where they expect the game to be on their website, and so far have hit every goal. The game currently retails for $45 on the steam store. With this, you get the game and any future updates that are released for it, expanding game play even further. The game already has a pretty dedicated fan base— from casual players, to people who go totally overboard and almost create a racing car cockpit by their computer to play it.

So what do you get for that $45 right now? Dirt Rally feels nothing like an unfinished game; it feels nearly complete, albeit lacking slightly in content, more of which is regularly added in updates. You have two choices of gameplay— one where you play a “career,” and one freeplay mode where you can create your own race. In the career, you start out with a small amount of money: just enough to buy an old 60’s Rally car. You race in stage rallys across a variety of race courses spanning several continents. In stage rally, you race through 4 or so segments of an off-road track, trying to get the fastest overall time. You don’t actually ever see the other cars, so you have only yourself to race against. The stages usually last around 5 minutes, which means five minutes of intensely staring at your screen, threading your car in between trees at speeds you’d be terrified to go in real life. The game also gives you a copilot who calls out the upcoming turns and hazards—a very helpful feature. Once you gain enough money, you can buy a different car from a newer class of rally racing. The game features a multitude of classic cars from the beginning of the sport all the way up until present day. There are two other types of racing you can participate in as well; Hill Climbs, and Rally Cross. Hill Climbs are essentially a race up a mountain, usually on a long and windy road. Again, you are only racing against yourself to get the absolute fastest time you can. Rally Cross is a different type of racing, centered around a mostly dirt track where you race against other cars in an intense battle for first. With all those different types of races and locations you can drive in, the game feels very fleshed out, and will entertain for a while. The driving also feels extremely realistic, certainly far from easy, but extremely rewarding once you master the technique to slide through a turn sideways, mud flying everywhere. The realistic damage is also interesting— hit a tree, and your fender will rip off, slide into a rock, and you might pop your tire! If you’re looking for something a little different from Forza or Need For Speed, look no further than Dirt Rally, although be warned, it will eat up your time like no other!

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Image Source: https://www.dirtgame.com/uk/home