I remember back in the day playing Colin McRae: Dirt 2 and enjoying it, so having not played one in just under a decade I thought that I’d see what’s happening with the series and to see if it still packs the enjoyment I felt when I played Colin McRae: Dirt 2 back on the Xbox 360.
DiRT Rally 2.0 is a racing game of course, that is developed by Codemasters who are well known for their successful Formula 1 games. This installment in the series is the thirteenth title in the Colin McRae Rally series and the seventh title to carry the Dirt name, it also the successor to the 2015 title Dirt Rally and comes with improved realistic driving physics. Its core focus is rallying and rallycross and players complete timed stage events on various terrains and in varied weather conditions which helps mix up gameplay. DiRT Rally 2.0 also features fifty cars and eight circuits from the FIA World Rallycross Championship as well as stages in rally based in Australia, New Zealand, and a few other locations.
With this instalment in the series Codemasters have focused on offering the best off-road experience for players and have done this by adding new weather systems where a change in the weather can affect the grip on the track and make it more challenging for the player as well as adding a mechanic where the stages change depending on how many cars are present at the event. The road’s surface will start to shift and break up which in turn will affect gripping levels meaning you’ll have to concentrate more when racing around the circuits or on the stages. I personally didn’t like the fact that the game doesn’t offer a rewind function, I make quite a lot of mistake in these types of games and having raced around a track for 6 minutes to crash and have to get a time penalty just for resetting myself isn’t really fair. I literally got to the point where I made everything auto to see if this could make it easier for me, at first it felt like it did but after a while, I felt like there was nothing I could do to make this game easier for me to try and play.
The game has visual and mechanical damage which affect the handling of your car, as well as playing a massive impact on the whole event. If you run out of chances to fix your car you might have to go into a different stage with a puncture or handling problems, again this is very annoying because you could be doing well in the whole event do one thing wrong and then it ruins the whole experience because you are forced to either retire from the event or plod around the track as a snail pace and come last.
Seeing as the game has just been released I was expecting some eye-catching visuals but sadly this isn’t the case with DiRT Rally 2.0. Yes, the cars might look good but the overall track locations and other aspects of the game just lack. Graphically it feels like something that would have been released at the beginning of the PlayStation 4 life cycle not when it’s been around for a while. Though in all fairness graphics isn’t everything when you haven’t got much in terms of assets present in a game you would have thought that these would be polished and looking the part. Audio in the game is lacking compared to other racing games on the market. I remember how good the tracklist was from the game I played back on that old Dirt games and loving it but this soundtrack is terrible. It sounds like the type of music that would play in an elevator or if you were put on hold while on the phone to the bank.
However the audio for the cars is what you’d expect and each car sounds awesome, you also have veteran co-driver Phil Mills lend his voice to play as the English-speaking co-driver which is really cool and fans of the sport will appreciate and love to hear.
There is a sense of replay value in the game as you find with most racing games. In this, you get daily, weekly and monthly Challenges that you can complete as well as a career in Rally and Rallycross. If you feel like that isn’t enough then you have free play mode which opens up the online multiplayer, FIA world Rallycross Championship mode and a few other things to keep you busy. If you’re a fan of these sports then you’ll have hours of fun trying to set the best times on each stage as well as racing around iconic tracks that you would have seen on T.V. Though personally, if you’re just an avid racing game player like myself, who might just be looking for something new to play this wasn’t really enjoyable, as I felt like I could really enjoy the game because I didn’t really know much about the sport and it was very repetitive and lacking, having to race around the same circuit for ages and then finding out that even though you came first in the races you still lost because you didn’t set the quickest time was just frustrating.
DiRT Rally 2.0 started off as an enjoyable game, something new for me to play but very quickly become something that I just got annoyed at and found myself wanting to play something else. For people who love the sport or are used to these types of game will probably enjoy the game a lot more than I did and find no fault in it. I just didn’t get this experience, I found myself contently losing races, crashing into things and having to retire from races or get time penalties and it just wasn’t fun for me. It’s not that the game isn’t playable it’s just the sense of realism that the game has on its handling that I just can’t pick up and adjust to. I understand that Codemasters is trying to make the game more realistic but personally, realism can be used for simulators rather than games. Even with just a simple rewind mechanics I would have probably enjoyed the game more and been able to tolerate it but sadly this wasn’t the case. The plus side for fans is that it’s the official game for the FIA World Rallycross Championship and you’ll enjoy all the location and cars available for you. However, I personally didn’t enjoy the game and felt like it needs more done to it for it to be accommodating for your average racing game player. For these reasons, I’m having to give DiRT Rally 2.0 a 6 out of 10.